The 2014 Masters opens play at Augusta National on Thursday without
world number-1 Tiger Woods.
Woods first played at the Masters back in 1995 and has been a huge ratings draw ever since. He’s won four green jackets and finished in the top 10 nine other times.
But Woods won’t be at Augusta this week after undergoing back surgery. Some claim that there’s so much young talent on the PGA Tour now that golf can get along if Tiger Woods isn’t around. Others feel there’s a big void without golf’s biggest name. Among them is Madison’s Steve Stricker who has drawn close to Woods, with the two playing several Ryder Cup events together.
AUDIO: Steve Stricker on not having Tiger around :20
It wasn’t long after Woods revealed that he would miss the Masters, that resale ticket prices dropped significantly. Stubhub saw a decrease of up to 25% for many of its tickets.
TV ratings are expected to take a hit. The regular golf fanatics will watch golf’s first major with or without Tiger. But the casual sports fan who occasionally watches golf could be lost without Tiger.
Even the players relax a little bit without Tiger. And many selfishly don’t mind if Woods isn’t around because it’s another player they won’t have to worry about when trying to win golf’s most prestigious event.
Historically, with Woods around, the Masters has had some great finishes. The golf world will cross their fingers and hope for something spectacular this year, without Tiger.