Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 12/3/11
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A day after trailing K. J. Choi by a couple strokes, Tiger Woods shot a 5-under to move into a 3-shot lead at this weekend's Chevron World Challenge.That marks the second tournament in a row that Tiger has been in contention come Saturday morning.

A win would help Tiger get back his lost confidence. It would be a first step on the path back to wrestling the majors record away from Nicklaus. But more than, plain and simple:

Golf needs this. Golf needs Tiger. And they need him to win.


The "Tiger Woods effect" should be familiar by now to all that follow golf:

  • TV ratings for televised events without Tiger are half of those with Tiger
  • For example, nine million viewers watched Tiger go after the PGA Championship in 2007. In 2008, with two Europeans fighting for it, four million tuned in.
  • Without Tiger, advertising dollars drop by approximately 30%
  • Without Tiger, ticket sales and attendance (and consequently on-site food and merchandise sales) decrease
  • Without Tiger, sponsorship deal decrease
Let's be frank, from an economic standpoint the PGA wants Tiger on the course for the majors; he's worth millions to himself but millions to the sport as well. But what about for the Buick Invitational (and others of its ilk)? From the Tour Championship to a BMW Golf event, Tiger's absence from the course leads to at a minimum a 40% decline in ratings. If he's not there, if he's not in the hunt, no one watches.
Certainly, when Tiger's going after the lowly Chevron Challenge later today and on Sunday, there will be a group of golf fans that will not want Tiger to win because they pull for another golfer or, quite simply, they don't like Tiger. What golf fans of all stripes need to understand is that Tiger winning is good for the sport as a whole: viewership goes up, attendance goes up, sponsorship and purses all go up.
In other words, when Tiger wins, everyone wins.

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