The original title to this golf blog was intended to be something like "Two Huge Draws to Boost Napa Safeway Golf Tournament...Tiger Woods and...?" Unfortunately, days after Tiger Woods had committed to playing golf at the Safeway Tournament in Napa this week, he withdrew.
According to Woods,
"After a lot of soul searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA TOUR or compete in Turkey. My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be."
A practice session proved to Tiger that he was not yet ready for the big league but why wait until only three days before the tournament? Woods said he "wasn't ready to compete against the best golfers in the world." He also apologized and said that his game was close but obviously not good enough.
Ticket sales were said to have been boosted by a minimum of thirty to forty percent and visibility on TV, radio and social networks would have been increased by more than any event in recent memory, not to mention advertisers who booked time (probably attached to a healthy sum) based upon Woods' okay.
Wonder what all of those folks are thinking who specifically bought tickets to see the return of the former number-one golfer in the world play alongside of Phil Mickelson? I guess they will have to watch the golf game for the pure enjoyment of the sport.
According to Golf Digest, The PGA Tour was so excited at the prospect of a Woods-Mickelson pairing that it released the information as soon as confirmed; usually, this information is not available until the Tuesday before the Tournament! The Safeway Open website was said to have a banner which read, "See Tiger, Daily Tickets Only $30. 'Now the banner says, See Phil, Daily Tickets only $30." There were reports of fans requesting refunds.
Think about it... what could be more exciting than a return to the greens by one of the greatest golfers of all time, being paired with a current top-ranked player whose back-and-forth duels have been likened to some of the best sports moments in history?
Mentioned on ESPN.com, "in 1,139 rounds in his PGA Tour career as a pro, Woods has been paired with Mickelson just thirty-two times -- or less than three percent of their rounds."
I am sure that many golf fans can remember a few of the more exciting Mickelson-Woods moments; my favorite is the 2005 "Duel at Doral" where Phil played his best but where Tiger Woods rallied at sunset to regain the world number one ranking. Sorry folks, not this time.
Mickelson is raring to go with Woods; Phil and Tiger spent quite a bit of time together during the Ryder Cup and mentioned in an interview last month, "that would be really fun. I would love it."
I guess Tiger Woods fans will have to wait until his foundation's "Hero World Challenge" to get a peek at the game gone south of our former hero.
What do the fans think of Tiger's comeback flip-flop right before the Safeway Tournament?
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