If last year's efforts at the U.S. Open were heroic enough to qualify as Tiger Woods's Survivor: San Diego, then his next act may best be billed as The Great Escape.
Tiger will tee off at the Accenture Match Play Championship near Tucson, Ariz. tomorrow at noon Pacific Time and already the golf world is anxiously waiting to see how well he will play. "To me, when you have what is going on in the country, people escape their troubles by watching sports, and this is the biggest sports story we have going right now," says Tommy Roy, the executive producer for golf at NBC Sports, in this week's SI. "[Tiger]'s so likable in the way that he plays, it sucks you in."
It is not only those who benefit financially from the return of Woods who are excited, though. "Obviously it would be a dream come true for me to be able to meet Tiger," said Rory McIlvoy, a 20-year-old golfer competing in the same event, told The New York Times. "And just to play with him or against him, that would be great to do."
Whether Woods can or cannot make fans forget the current economic recession, there is no doubt his sponsors are smiling at the sight of him carrying their logo across the links with him, but what will be the immediate results of his return? Who will benefit most from his presence? Does golf need to develop more big names to fill the void if and when Tiger falls again?
A student of Woods's channels his idol [New York Times]