The US Open starts tomorrow and the #1 golfer in the world is poised to win his first major. Can anyone tell me who that is? The PGA tour is filled with new up and coming talent ready to make their mark on the golfing world. Does anybody care? There are lots of storylines this weekend, but the biggest storyline of the tournament will be the absence of Tiger Woods.
For all intents and purposes golf really doesn't have a pulse unless Tiger Woods is playing. Phil Michelson is a feel good story and a sentimental favorite, but the rest of the field is made up of virtual unknowns. Most people wouldn't know Rory McIlroy or Lee Westwood if they came up and slapped them in the face. The tournament is up for grabs and the lack of a clear cut favorite should make this weekend's play that much more exciting. The sad truth is most people will find out who won the US Open championship watching Sportscenter highlights as opposed to the 18th hole on Sunday.
Golf is a sport in transition trying to find an identity and a reason for viewers to tune in. Over the last 15 years the sport has experienced unprecedented growth, but without the golden goose/child prodigy/athlete of the decade fan interest is almost non existent. Until someone bursts on the scene with charm, charisma, and dominant play golf will continue to suffer.
Golf was here before Tiger Woods and will remain long after he is gone, but it's not compelling in his absence. Tiger leaves a void the entire leader board can't fill. Hurry up and get healthy Tiger. Golf desperately needs you.