PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 09: Tiger Woods plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 9, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
With all due respect to Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods is still the biggest drawing card in golf, and it isn’t particularly close.
Likewise, Woods’ brand may not be what it was before the infamous Thanksgiving 2009 incident, but it still holds a lot of weight in the sport. It’s still the case that tournaments with Woods see increased attendance, and his name is still a bigger player overseas.
So, the desire for most tournament directors and organizers is to lure Woods to their tournament for the publicity it brings. For instance, in 2011 Woods participated in the Australian Open and the tournament was even televised in the U.S. This year he didn’t and the tournament hardly made waves.
However, one course owner clearly feels differently, as Clive Palmer, owner of the Palmer Coolum Resort which annually hosts the Australian PGA Championship, says he would rather not have Woods’ participation — despite the tournament reaching out too Woods, McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, among others.
“Tiger Woods isn’t the No 1 golfer in the world any more,” Palmer told The Australian. “We don’t want to look backwards, we want to look forwards. So why would you get Tiger Woods here? I would prefer to have Peter Senior than Tiger Woods. I am sure Peter Senior could beat Tiger Woods on a good day. I am sure he could.
“Tiger Woods has improved a lot but he’s an emotional wreck and he’s not a good example for kids, anyway.”
For the record, Peter Senior is a 53-year-old golfer now on the Senior PGA Tour who won four European Tour titles over the course of his career.