This past Sunday was a beautiful day for yours truly. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping & Tiger was in contention sporting his beautiful Sunday red. All was well in the world.
Early in the day I made my towards the 2nd hole as I tweeted “Tiger deserves $10 million a year from the PGA tour when he is playing well.” Of course, I was joking and just referencing how palpable the Tiger buzz was so early into the Sunday round.
Later in the day Tiger made his way towards the 18th hole 1 shot behind the leader after hitting a 43 foot birdie putt. I can remember looking at my girlfriend after going fucking bananas and just saying “wow.” After all the back surgeries, the comebacks and the DUI arrest, seeing some Tiger magic up close & personal felt like a complete fantasy.
As we weaved our way through the crowds it became mission impossible to find a spectating spot on 18. Everyone was going insane and the Tiger, Tiger, Tiger! chants could move mountains. People filled every climbable tree in sight, girls were on guys shoulders and grown men (myself included) were giggling like 5th grade boys with excitement.
We found a decent spot halfway up the hole about 200 yards from the green. It was the closest we could get and still be able to see. Looking to the left I could see Tiger step onto the tee box and place his ball. He hit a bomb right down the middle and his 18th hole quest to tie Paul Casey at the Vaslpar Championship was underway.
What was crazy and, frankly, I think hard to understand without seeing it, was the sheer amount of people that showed up to watch Tiger Woods. It was absolute fucking mayhem all day and the whole picture came together when every single spectator stood at the 18th hole.
We all know how it ended with Tiger missing the birdie putt and finishing 1 shot behind Paul Casey. It was a valiant effort on his part and by days end I was firmly convinced of my early morning tweet: Tiger Woods deserves $10 million a year from the PGA tour when he is playing well.
Let me set the table by saying I am completely on the side of anyone who wants to have fun watching and playing golf. I could care less if someone yells “get in the bunker!” after Justin Thomas tee’s off. It’s also very understandable and part of the game if people are rooting against Tiger Woods. Us Tiger fans have brushed it off but maybe some people haven’t forgotten that he cheated on his wife with about a billion hookers. Can you really blame them for that? I think not.
So I’m not saying this because I’m Tiger’s biggest fan boy. I’m not jumping up and down with a pitch fork, ready to attack and declare war on anyone who talks shit about him. What I am doing is telling you what my eyeballs saw. Other players like Sergio, Paul Reed and Justin Rose were in contention at this golf tournament. There were literally less than 100 fans watching them at each hole. Brandt Snedeker went +6 on the day and I am convinced it was all because he played with Tiger. How are you supposed to compete and do well when the ENTIRE crowd is rooting for the guy who’s playing next to you? I’d disappear quicker than James Harden.
Lines for the bathrooms? Outrageous. Lines for booze? Preposterous. Lines for food? Insanity. I’ve always heard about the Tiger effect but had never actually seen it and holy fuck is it real. When I do simple math with my simple brain I will confidently say take whatever a regular PGA tour event makes (minus Majors) and quadruple it the second Tiger Woods steps on the course. And then quadruple that the second Tiger makes it to Sunday and is in contention. $10 million a year is a bargain for what this man brings to the game of golf. Don’t believe me? Thats cool. Take yourself down to Bay Hill this weekend and try to avoid the stampedes Tiger whips up.