Tiger Woods had vanished from the hollowed grounds of St. Andrews well before Monday’s riveting finish, prompting more talk about the end of Tiger’s supremacy from golfing superpower. Despite his struggles, Woods will always be God to golfers around the world.
Tiger Woods can’t seem to hit a fairway, he can’t seem to find a green, and he certainly can’t seem to hole a putt when it counts. Some say Woods’ epic plunge resembles that of a Shakespearean tragedy, although the protagonist is still alive.
So why would anyone waste time writing articles, making videos or spending their tragically short lives talking about a golfer ranked number 258 in the world?
Tiger Woods will always be Tiger Woods – a legend bigger than any other athlete in the history of golf. While Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have earned the mantle by winning four of the last six major championships – electrifying the game in the process – Tiger Woods remains the biggest draw in all of professional golf.
Tiger Woods is nostalgia for every millennial that grew up watching the game. The way he turned that Masters tournament into a procession as a 21 year-old kid in 1997. His destruction of the field at the 2000 U.S. Open. His clutch putts at Bay Hill seemingly year-after-year. The chip shot at the 2005 Masters. There’s just so many moments that transport us back to a time in our lives when one man single handedly changed the way we saw the game forever.
Woods earned every bit of his fame — despite being a philandering fool in the process. He is a museum piece on display, attracting endless coverage, insane television ratings and galleries the size of small football stadiums.
Unlike anyone else in the history of the game, Woods brought athleticism to a game not known for athleticism. He shattered the racial barriers that governed the game while elevating golf’s profile and purses. Golf – because of Tiger Woods – is on the sporting landscape forever. It is for this reason Woods is golf’s version of God.