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Unsettling future for golf after Tiger Woods crash

‘I believe he has lifetime exemptions at each main occasion however I think we’re in all probability not going to see Tiger in a aggressive golf occasion going ahead.’

IMAGE: The biggest golfer of his technology, Tiger Woods, as the sport’s first African-American famous person, did greater than rewrite the file e book however modified the best way golf is performed and seemed, bringing range to a sport that had been the area of the white center class. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Already within the last chapter of one in every of golf’s biggest careers, Tiger Woods might have penned a stunning finish to that story on Tuesday when the winner of 15 majors was concerned in a single-car crash and brought to the hospital with a number of accidents.

Battered by years of again and knee surgical procedures, Woods has just lately spent as a lot time away from the PGA Tour recovering from harm as he has on the course, offering the golf world an unsettling glimpse of what the future would possibly appear like with out its greatest drawing card.

“I think golf has accommodated the fact that Tiger is no longer going to be active in attending events on a regular basis,” Neal Pilson, the pinnacle of Pilson Communications and former president of CBS Sports, instructed Reuters.

 

“I believe he has lifetime exemptions at each main occasion however I think we’re in all probability not going to see Tiger in a aggressive golf occasion going ahead.

“In his prime, it was clearly established if Tiger was playing on Sunday, numbers for Sunday coverage were usually up 25 to 30%,” Pilson stated. “If he doesn’t play again, he will be missed for sure.”

Almost because the second he burst on the skilled scene in 1996, Woods has been the tide that raised all boats, a crossover star who drove tv rankings, purses and endorsements to spectacular heights.

With extra viewers got here extra sponsors and bigger purses, with Woods creating a brand new class of {golfing} millionaires.

That recognition made Woods one in every of sports activities’ richest athletes, Forbes anointing him in 2009 as the primary athlete to achieve $1 billion in profession earnings (prize cash and endorsements).

Along with accidents, the 45-year-old has survived a number of scandals all through his profession together with a 2017 arrest on a cost of driving drunk or medicine.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated on Tuesday there was no indication that Woods was underneath the affect of any substances on the time of the accident.

If Tuesday’s automotive crash was purely an accident, and even when it impacts Woods’s skill to play golf within the future, his longtime sponsors might stick by him, stated Patrick Rishe, director of the sports activities enterprise program at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Because of his historical success, there’s still value in partnering with him,” Rishe stated. “There’s plenty of athletes who are still brand endorsers who have long been retired.”

For greater than a decade, golf has waited for Woods’s successor to emerge from a crop of prodigious hitters and expert younger gamers, however none has been in a position to grasp his mantle or the creativeness of {the golfing} public.

There had been indicators Woods had been on the cusp of passing the torch and to not world No. 1 Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy however to his son Charlie, after they partnered final November within the PNC Championship, a joint PGA/LPGA Tour household event.

The 11-year-old Woods confirmed he had a few of his father’s {golfing} genes, from the twirl of his membership to strolling in a birdie putt.

The biggest golfer of his technology, Woods, as the sport’s first African-American famous person, did greater than rewrite the file e book however modified the best way golf is performed and seemed, bringing range to a sport that had been the area of the white center class.

With never-before-seen energy, Woods revolutionized the sport, forcing gold programs, even iconic Augusta National, to Tiger-proof layouts.

While Woods seems to have one other lengthy, gruelling highway again to health in entrance of him, one of many hallmarks of his exceptional profession has been resilience.

Former President Barack Obama wished Woods a speedy restoration in a tweet on Tuesday evening, including: If we’ve realized something over time, it’s to by no means depend Tiger out.”

Timeline: Tiger Woods’s skilled {golfing} profession

The following timeline charts the skilled profession of American golfer Tiger Woods:

1997 – Woods, 21, gained the primary of 15 profession main titles with a 12-stroke victory over Tom Kite on the Masters, making him each the youngest golfer and the primary Black skilled golfer to triumph at Augusta National. Two months later, he was ranked primary on the earth for the primary time in his profession.

2000 – Completed a profession grand slam by the age of 24 with wins on the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship, making him the youngest participant ever to win all 4 main golf titles and simply the second to win three majors in a yr.

2001 – Won the second of his 4 Masters titles, to turn into the primary individual to carry all 4 {of professional} golf’s main championships concurrently – the so-called ‘Tiger Slam’.

2008 – Won his 14th main on the US Open by beating Rocco Mediate on the primary gap of a sudden-death playoff at Torrey Pines following an 18-hole playoff, regardless of enjoying with broken knee cartilage and two stress fractures of the leg.

2009 – Weeks after being concerned in a weird automotive accident outdoors his residence that ballooned right into a intercourse scandal, Woods stated in December that he was taking an indefinite break from skilled golf after admitting he cheated on his spouse.

2010 – Made his return to skilled golf with a fourth-place end on the Masters in April. In October, after a run of 281 weeks, Woods was unseated from the world primary rating by Lee Westwood, ending the file for most consecutive weeks in that place.

2013 – In March, retook world primary spot from Rory Mcllroy.

2014 – Per week earlier than the Masters in April, Woods introduced that he required again surgical procedure, forcing him to withdraw from that yr’s opening main for the primary time since 1994. He returned to competitors in July however the next month once more injured his again.

2014 – After 60 consecutive weeks, Woods was dislodged from the world primary rating in May, marking the final time he occupied the highest spot.

2015 – After seemingly being injury-free for many of the yr, Woods had a second microdiscectomy carried out in September with a follow-up process six weeks later, forcing him to close down his enjoying schedule indefinitely.

2016 – Woods performed his first aggressive occasion in practically 16 months and completed fifteenth in a 17-player discipline on the Hero World Challenge.

2017 – Missed the minimize in his first occasion of the yr after which pulled out of a European Tour occasion after an opening-round 77 on account of again spasms. In April he had the fourth again surgical procedure of his profession and in May was arrested on a cost of driving drunk or medicine. He blamed the incident on a response to prescribed remedy.

2019 – In April, Woods accomplished one in every of sport’s nice comeback tales, ending an 11-year majors drought by profitable the Masters for a fifth time and bringing his majors complete to fifteen – simply three in need of file holder Jack Nicklaus with 18. In October, Woods gained the Zozo Championship in Chiba, Japan to match Sam Snead’s file of 82 PGA Tour victories.

2020 – Woods and son Charlie teamed as much as play on the PNC Championship, a joint PGA/LPGA Tour household event.

 

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