Not everyone misses Tiger

August 6, 2008

Lower TV ratings, smaller crowds, less excitement. You’d think the golfing world would be heartbroken during Tiger Woods’s injury-forced absence and waiting for his return like he was its Santa Claus,  Easter Bunny and Batman all in one (which he is of course). But The Irish Times’ Colin Byrne identifies a group of people who don’t miss Woods at all: his fellow Tour players. If a hint of apathy has seeped under the door of the press room then the opposite could be said of the attitude in the locker-room. Knowing the "great one" is not playing has sharpened the competitive edge of players who had tacitly submitted to the Woods winning spell.There is a new mindset from the early part of the week: "Tiger is not here so we have a better chance of winning." Byrne himself admits to an appreciation of the Tiger-less Tour, where a fan is more likely to feel like Will Smith in I Am Legend than an extra in Gladiator. Overall it is a more pleasant experience to be at an event without the uncivilized mob that usually stomp all over the course in pursuit of the world number one.I talked to some regular spectators on tour in the States, and they agreed it was much more enjoyable to be at an event without Tiger playing. I know what Byrne means. I live in New York City and I enjoy the summers here because with so many people on vacation and fewer tourists you can always find a parking spot or a subway seat. Still, be careful what you wish for. As the now-unemployed call-center guy once said: This would be a great job if it wasn’t for all the friggin’ customers.