Golf’s saviour needs to save his US Open title

The golf industry’s financial situation is similar to the one Tiger Woods finds himself at just past the half-way stage of the US Open – both need a major comeback.

He is the man who can save both himself at Bethpage Black, and the industry. At least this is the opinion of Pete Bevacqua, the United States Golf Association’s chief business officer.

Woods finds himself 11 shots behind the leader, American Ricky Barnes, after two rounds of the Open. Barnes overcame difficult conditions, including a rain stoppage on the first day, to post an fantastic eight-under-par 132 with rounds of 67 and 65.

Defending champion Woods is with a group of golfers tied for 34 on 143. He recovered from his first round of four-over 74 to shoot 69 in the second round and make the cut.

Golf is looking for a similar recovery, as Bevacqua said in a Bloomberg article:

“He (Woods) is our own TARP money. If Tiger weren’t in golf, what would the impact really be? You can’t even measure how important he is to the game. He’s a Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby all rolled into one for us.”

TARP refers to the US government programme to save financial institutions and Woods is seen as similar to a bailout for golf.

Although golf is still in a healthy position compared to other industries around the world, which are feeling the effects of the global financial meltdown, it is still suffering.

The PGA Tour has not lost any tournaments but prize money has gone down. The US Open also failed to sell out all of its 42,000 tickets for the first time since 1986. The availability of tickets was mainly because of the lack of corporate sponsorship.

While Woods is playing an unwitting role in golf as a whole, his mind is more focused on winning his 15th major tournament.

He needs a huge effort, though, as qualifiers Barnes and Lucas Glover head the leaderboard. Glover is one shot behind Barnes after rounds of 69 and 64.

Canadian Mike Weir is alone on third at 134, one stroke ahead of Sweden’s Peter Hanson, Japan’s Azuma Yano and former British Open champion David Duval, who appears to be on a comeback trip of his own.

One Response to “Golf’s saviour needs to save his US Open title”

  1. Fred Williams says:

    This article is right-on! Although there are worthwhile favorites in the field, Tiger Woods is the gold standard, period! Although strong sentiment points to past greats (deservedly understood), a qualifier winner of this event will not have the spectacular effect . . . or tremendous boost that the game would get from a seemingly unlikely Tiger come back from the abyss!

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