About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2008 Archive >


Tiger Woods always a factor, even when absent

The injured Tiger Woods is a conspicuous absentee from this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship but his influence on the game weighs heavily on the mind of title-holder Phil Mickelson.

The American left-hander treasures memories of his two-shot victory over Woods at last year’s tournament and on Thursday he paid tribute to the world number one’s role in golf.

“I think we’re lucky to have the most recognizable and largest icon in all of sport playing ours,” second-ranked Mickelson, 36, told reporters at the TPC Boston.

“If Tiger was not around …. and I was able to be the No. 1 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.”

Woods, already widely regarded as the game’s greatest player, has ushered in an era of multi-million dollar endorsements and lucrative appearance money since turning professional in 1996.

His Afro-American-Asian background has spread the sport to an audience far beyond its traditional image of male, white and middle-class and he trails only Jack Nicklaus (18) with his tally of major victories.

Despite nursing a knee injury and double stress fracture, Woods clinched his 14th grand slam title at the U.S. Open in June before ending his season to have reconstructive knee surgery.

In his absence, television ratings have plunged sharply on the PGA Tour while tournament attendances have also dropped.

“The game of golf suffers when he’s not in the field,” three-times major winner Mickelson said after reflecting on his two-stroke triumph at the TPC Boston 12 months ago.

“It was a fun tournament last year. I loved the opportunity to have won the tournament but I also love the way it happened, with the opportunity to play three rounds with Tiger.

“The opportunity to have one of the best fields in golf for these FedExCup events and to be able to come out on top was a lot of fun.”

Mickelson, who has yet to become world number one mainly because he has played in the Woods era, fired a closing five-under-par 66 to win last year’s Deutsche Bank Championship.

He survived a double-bogey at the 12th hole and a late challenge by Woods to clinch his 32nd PGA Tour title and third of the season.

Short-game genius Mickelson has triumphed twice on the 2008 PGA Tour but accepts he has not taken advantage of the absence of Woods for the last two-and-a-half months.

“I’ve played the same way I’ve played throughout the year, I just haven’t been scoring the way I would like,” said the Californian, who has not won since the Colonial Invitational in May.

“Even though I feel like I’m playing better, the little shots around the greens have cost me. But I’m starting to get that turned around and I expect to have a much better week this week.”

The Deutsche Bank Championship starts on Friday.


August 29, 2008

Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014