Lefty Gives Tiger His Dues

Phil Mickelson paid an unlikely tribute to absent rival Tiger Woods during the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts, thanking the injured world number one for the state of golf and the state of Mickelson’s bank account.

Lefty won the tournament last year, beating Woods by two strokes. The two players have not enjoyed the best of relationships in the past but Mickelson, during a press conference, hailed Woods’ impact on the game.

Tiger is out until at next season after undergoing surgery on his knee, which he aggravated while winning the US Open at Torrey Pines. Mickelson said in a Reuters article:

“I think we’re lucky to have the most recognisable and largest icon in all of sport playing ours. If Tiger was not around …. and I was able to be the number one player in the world, I’d be making half as much (money) as I am now because of him. I am very thankful for the fact that he’s in our sport and he’s had the success and the charisma and the lure to attract corporate America as well as fans to the game. We’re all fortunate.”

Indeed, the article reports that television audiences for golfing events have dropped sharply since Woods’ absence and that attendances at golf courses have also experienced big falls.

Woods, with his African-American and Thai background, as well as his charisma, has been a sponsor’s dream since he won the 1997 US Masters in his debut major.

He has also fanned the popularity of golf as a spectator sport and many people tune in on TV or trek to the courses only to watch him.

The Deutsche Bank tournament at TPC Boston is the second event of the four tournament FedExCup play-offs.

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