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19th Hole

Scott Van Pelt’s take on renewed fan appreciation for Tiger Woods. Do you agree?

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Tiger Woods has been the most popular and widely rooted-for golfer since turning pro in 1996. This holds true among golf fans and general sports fans alike. And despite what his detractors might say and their arguments as to why this should not be the case, it is. Overwhelmingly so.

In the course of Woods’ latest comeback from injury, beginning at the 2017 Hero World Challenge, we’ve seen a little different flavor to fan adoration, and a little different response from Woods himself.

Michael Williams, speaking with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on the 19th Hole podcast, asked Van Pelt for his perspective on the Tiger love.

Van Pelt offered an excellent reply.

“Here’s why in my opinion. At 21, or 25, or 28 whatever stage you want to pick when he’s truly this Superman and he’s flying above everyone else and he’s destroying people, we can’t relate to any of that. None of it is part of the human experience that we know, but at 40-something with a bald spot and with some kids and with some miles on the tires and some bumps in the road that you’ve hit and some other things you’ve run into that were your own mistakes, we can relate to all of that.

“We can relate to the frailty of human condition and we can relate to being fallible, and we can relate to being imperfect and I think that we … When I say we, I mean what I presume we are seeing in golf fans. With golf fans turning on their televisions in record numbers and who bought record numbers of tickets in Tampa, what those people are saying, in my opinion, are we want that guy who we know is fallible and frail and human. We want to see that guy do it again and whether it’s one more time or ten more times we want to see it again, because societally we have this really interesting habit of wanting to tear down what we built up and then wanting to see it get back to that place.

“I think the love of the galleries it’s unreal. Monday he comes out and walks onto the range and you hear this roar and it’s a Monday and he’s walking out to the range and people are cheering. They’re so excited to see him.

“Here’s the thing, I get that there’s pushback. I get that there are people who don’t root for him and that’s fine. You see it on social media, this, that and the other and you don’t have to root for him, but to those people to try to pretend like they’re not in a minority is a joke. The overwhelming majority of people that are watching, are watching to see one guy and it’s Tiger Woods.”

What do you think about SVP’s take, GolfWRX members? Has he hit the nail on the head in describing this new flavor of Tiger fandom? Is is the enthusiasm merely the product of absence making fans hearts grow fonder?

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Alex

    Apr 11, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I think SVP is right on the money. That’s not to say people should or should not be rooting for him, they just are. And the other players are fine with that because Tiger means more viewers and that keeps the prize money up. It would’ve been one of the greatest sports stories of all time if Tiger had won but it was RIDICULOUS that anyone was considering him the favorite. (I’m talking to you, Golf Channel.)

  2. Hilly

    Apr 10, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I can’t stand when people think Tigers getting too much media attention. Tigers in pretty good shape to make the greatest sports comeback of all time. Absolutely he’s going to get more coverage. Tiger is what the majority of golf fans want to see.

  3. Boyo

    Apr 10, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Shank this.

  4. A. Commoner

    Apr 9, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Welcome to the Dr. Phil and The Great Karnak Hour.

  5. Warwick Weedon

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Van Pelt is right. We all (majority) want to see Tiger playing well again and he has done amazingly well in his comeback.

  6. Dixie doc

    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Tiger beat Couples and Langer by 1 stroke. I barely saw a flicker of either of them on the screen but I saw an average Joe time after time. It gets old because as much as the media want him to win he can’t right now and there are better players who are worth watching.

    • Andrew

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Agreed. The media’s coverage was completely pathetic lapdog. They wanted so much for Rory to be the story come Sunday too. Congrats Patrick for not giving them what they want.

  7. Rev G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

    If your a person who only watches golf when Tiger is on or only goes to a tournament when Tiger is there, then you are not a golf fan – you are just a Tiger fan. There’s nothing wrong with that it’s just true. There are many many golf fans who don’t want to watch golf when he’s in a tournament because he gets all the attention and the announcers seem to talk about only him and the coverage of the tournament is decreased to focus on him. Yes this group of people is probably a minority – but it is still a large amount – and they are golf fans. I love watching Tiger because he is a great golfer, but I want coverage of all the other golfers too. And it can get very annoying when the coverage is solely on him. Many people, particularly older, more conservative people – turn off the TV when the coverage becomes Tiger only. Part of that is the annoyance of Tiger centered coverage and part of that is because they don’t like him because of his personal life mistakes. These people would much rather watch Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.

  8. Bagger Vance

    Apr 9, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Scott Van Putz is wrong.

  9. G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Who wanted to see a guy playing at even par or worse while the leaders were -10 and better in the final round. Most golfers want to see the best golfers in the world playing not some has-been trying to make a comeback. This obsession with Woods will cost the PGA tour in the long run.

    • Paul

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Who do you suggest they show in featured groups at 11:00 on a Sunday? Keep in mind everyone teeing off at that time is +4

    • Boyo

      Apr 10, 2018 at 6:40 am

      Wahh wahh wahh

    • Anser

      Apr 10, 2018 at 8:50 am

      The answer to your question… is most people that aren’t hardcore golf fans. He’s still the one who moves the needle.

      Jordan and Justin could walk down any mall in America and people would be clueless who they were.

  10. Illin'

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:02 am

    No. Eldrick will always and forever be a sick adulterer. We should all let his kids know that so that they suffer for his ills.

    • Common sense

      Apr 9, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Why would you make his kids suffer for his discretions? How does that even make any sense?

      • Way

        Apr 9, 2018 at 7:02 pm

        Why not. It’s a sick world out there that lets these sickos live just because they have money and the law wrote down who can and will shut up

        • Tim

          Apr 9, 2018 at 7:10 pm

          Your a complete ignorant buffoon and I only pray to God you are not a parent. If u are it’s your precious kids that everyone needs to worry about!

    • Boyo

      Apr 10, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Let ye who have no sins cast the first stone, you pos.

    • TigerJr

      Apr 10, 2018 at 7:04 am

      I hope I meet your daughter some day ;o)

  11. Joe A

    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t care if Tiger is playing or not, but it’s all the media hype that goes with it is impossible to get through for people who want to enjoy golf for golf’s sake and not be inundated by Tiger news 24/7. How many players who were 16 shots out of the lead got interviews on a Sunday? How many people got multiple replays and coverage for being that far out? None but Tiger.

    It’s just too much. Not knocking his contribution to the game, but seriously.

  12. Jacko

    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Scott Van Pelt is an annoying person. Tiger was great in his day but now he is more an older journey man golfer. TV should focus on players playing well not some guy 18 shots back with a hit or miss back.

    • Warwick Weedon

      Apr 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      You don’t get it Jacko. The world wants to see the 2nd greatest golfer that ever lived!

      • RS

        Apr 10, 2018 at 5:25 am

        Jack Nicklaus hit the first tee shot, so there’s #2 still in action. Tiger is #1 without question.

    • Boyo

      Apr 10, 2018 at 6:43 am

      Jacko me off.

  13. Joe

    Apr 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I think golf is fine with or without Tiger there is no denying his popularity and I would be happy to celebrate his winning the Masters again- the hard work it takes, the nerve it takes, we should all be happy with whoever wins this great(est) tournament.

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19th Hole

Pat Perez: The R&A “do it right, not like the USGA”

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Pat Perez opened The Open, as it were, with a 2-under 69, and at the time of this writing, he’s 4 under for the second round and tied for the lead.

Clearly, there’s something Double P likes about links golf. And when he was asked whether he was surprised by how receptive the greens at Carnoustie were after his opening round, Perez shook his head with conviction and said.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA…They’ve got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you’ve got the greens receptive. They’re not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn’t. The course is just set up perfect.”

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Pat Perez has no problem speaking his mind. While it has gotten him in trouble in the past, you have to respect his candor. The interesting question, as I asked in the Morning 9, is how many Tour pros agree him?

Sure, it’s unlikely any of Perez’s compatriots will join him publicly in his “R&A does it right, USGA does it wrong” stance, but it’d be very interesting to know what percentage are of the same mind.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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19th Hole

Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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19th Hole

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