Friday, July 11, 2008

Golf Without Tiger Woods: Boring!

My husband loves golf. He loves playing it, he loves watching it. I’m horrible at golf so I don’t play. But when my husband is glued to the TV to watch a golf tournament over the weekend, I’ll watch – well, maybe partly watch – along with him. Golf is one of those sports that unless the game is close or unless there are some exciting plays, it can put me to sleep in a nanosecond.

With Tiger Woods out of the picture for the time being as he is recovering from surgery, the sport has become desperately dull. There really isn’t any one golfer out there that can bring on the excitement and the drama like Tiger. That was evident in the recent US Open, when Tiger, playing injured, came from behind to tie the leader, Rocco Mediate, and then eventually beat him in overtime play. While I really would have liked Rocco to win, there was no doubt that Tiger’s run to win was thrilling, considering this was, after all, golf. The match became even more interesting after it finished when it was discovered that Tiger, playing more seriously injured that viewers were told, was able to beat the entire field of pro golfers

Now, after watching a few tournaments without Tiger, I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t anyone out there who has the pull, and the affect on the sport, like Tiger. Sure, it can be interesting at times to watch Phil Michelson implode, but after seeing that happen too many times, it gets, well, boring.

While Tiger clearly is the best player in the sport at this point in time, the media can be partly to blame for the fact that no other golfers seem to bring the same thrill. Just watch any of the commentators interview any of the golfers, and the questions always turn to Tiger Woods. It’s not uncommon for a golfer to be asked something on the order of “How did you feel when Tiger made that great putt?” or “Did the roar on the 16th hole when Tiger made that great putt bother the rest of your game?” or “Do you think you have a chance to catch up with Tiger tomorrow?” etc. It never ends, they always make someone else’s performance to be about Tiger, one way or another. It’s almost comical to watch the golfer being interviewed to try to hide their contempt for the commentator in their response.

I hope for the sake of the sport that Tiger gets back on the tour, and until that time, some other golfers out there will take center stage for a while and recharge the sport. I also hope that, while Tiger is recovering, the networks covering golf will learn that there are other talented golfers out there who deserve attention. If they don’t, golf will remain boring, even if/when Tiger does return.

Of course, in the case of the Golf Channel, there may not be anything to make them less boring. They should rename themselves the “Cure Insomnia Channel” because they have THE most boring, sleep-inducing programming of anything out there, even WITH Tiger Woods. Watching that channel is like watching paint dry – no, like watching paint PEEL. It is to be avoided at all costs, unless you enjoy becoming comatose.

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