Monday, February 23, 2009

Tiger's Almost Back -- And So Is The PGA

Do they still hold pro golf tournaments? Is the PGA still in business, or did it take a hiatus?

Answers: They're about to again, and, yes -- it's on hiatus.

You remember the PGA, don't you? The Professional Golfers Association? In case you were wondering, the PGA hasn't dissolved. It hasn't held a massive auction on eBay to get rid of all of its tees and flags and "Shhhh" signs.

But there haven't been any tournaments lately. Not for quite some time. If the PGA was a retail outlet, it would have a sign out front that reads, "Closed for remodeling."

Yet there is hope, for the golf fan. The PGA is about to re-open -- but there might not be all that much new to see.

Tiger Woods, they say, is getting closer and closer to returning, following knee surgery and the birth of another child, for which he showed his fatherly support.

The PGA is back in business.

Think I'm being facetious and smarmy?

Quick -- name me some PGA tour winners over the past six months or so.

Woods is just about back, and so is golf.

I'm sorry, but Tiger Woods IS the PGA. There -- it's about time someone said it. The PGA, minus Woods, is like one of those inflatable characters you see on front lawns during the Christmas season, but deflated. You've seen how pathetic and sad those things look when there is no air being pumped into them? Face first on the grass; splayed out. But now here comes Tiger Woods. The inflatable PGA is about to be plugged in again. The air is about to be flowing through it again.

Why argue this? Why bother trying to purport that there is actually genuine interest in any golfer other than Woods? Why should there be, anyway?

Tiger Woods is pro golf. Has been for years. Will be for many more. And there's no shame in that.

Sorry, Phil Mickelsen fans. Hate to break it to you, Vijay Singh enthusiasts. All you Davis Love the Third zealots and Corey Pavin rooters from the old school, give it up.

Tiger is the man, and that's just the way it is.

I've long said that it's OK for golf, or tennis, or any individual sport, to have a dominant figure. The proof is in the excising of that individual.

Was golf on your radar while Woods convalesced?

All you die-hard fans -- the ones who'll golf no matter what -- all you folks take a step backward. I'm speaking now to the casual-to-moderate fan. The ones who wonder what golf would be like without Woods to preside over it.

Well, wonder no longer.

Woods was holding the PGA hostage while he recovered from his injuries, but he didn't do it with any malice. It was just the way it was.

So soon we can all get back to watching Woods dominate and wonder if any of the other poor saps can give him a run for his money for any length of time. There's also the curiosity factor re: Woods's repaired leg and whether it will allow him to continue to keep all the Lilliputian golfers at arm's length from him. But I'd bet that the answer to that question will be a resounding YES, and will be proven in short order. Like maybe with the first major in which Woods appears.

Tiger Woods is just about back. Golf has been re-inflated.

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