After receiving an encouraging tweet in the aftermath of the 93rd PGA Championship where Keegan Bradley charged from behind to take glory's last stand from Jason Dufner, I wondered if Tiger Woods is needed anymore to stir interest in professional golf. My answer, "Golf will survive and thrive without Tiger in the game!"
A short conversation between @GolfSchott on Twitter and myself (@Golf4Beginners) after a sudden-death playoff on Sunday transpired as follows:@GolfSchott: I would say this one would be considered memorable now as well. What a tourney!!@Golf4Beginners: Playoff always good but memorable?@GolfSchott: Absolutely, this is no ordinary playoff, this is a playoff in a Major!Excitement and patriotic relief were measured hand-in-hand as Americans came in first and second and that a red-shirted, fresh-faced Keegan Bradley hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy; "relief" that there is finally someone on this side of the pond to challenge the ever gregarious and competitive golfers standing up to be counted in the world arena. I watched intently as the playoff commenced with two relative unknowns taking center stage. There were center-cut drives, long, twisting putts dropping into the cup and fists a'pump with unabashed joy as the golfers walked as purposely as the once-great Tiger Woods did on major Sunday with fans cheering immeasurably as a hero was finally crowned. This was not just one hero that the fans were cheering in my opinion, it was the game of golf that received the applause! According to this opinion piece, Tiger Woods as we knew him is "dead". "He might still win, but the dominant force we loved to watch is gone." Woods can never be the person or champion that he once was; his true identity has been discovered, found out, ousted and doubt in his own ability has caused "rigor mortis" in his golf swing. The fear which Tiger instilled in professional golfers when he was in the hunt has diminished and, at thirty-five, the mystique of how he was regularly in contention is being replaced with missed cuts and pack-like, mediocre play. Although the odds are good that Woods will win again, he will never again be known as a hero in the world of golf. Thank goodness that the fans are finally willing to move on, for the game has been suffering along with Woods for the past several years, unable to pick up and move on. As of this PGA Championship where Tiger M/C'd with one of his worst major rounds, golf media and fans are finally welcoming change.Yes, a new era is at hand. Whether Keegan Bradley or Jason Dufner will become "memorable" or win more events cannot be predicted but it is safe to say that the PGA Championship Sunday sudden-death playoff gave the game of golf a push in the right direction.
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photo credit: MSNBC