Friday, July 29, 2011

The Largest Sporting Event in the World just got Larger: Tiger Warning

The PGA Championship is the largest sporting event in the world, drawing fans from countries across every continent. It is the year’s final major and is an event with storied history and tradition. Sixty-three individuals have had the opportunity to hold the Wanamaker Trophy. Past winners include: Walter Hagan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, and former number one in the world, Tiger Woods.

Woods has had numerous issues that have kept him from returning to golf in the dominant form that he once had over the field. He played in the Masters this year and made a Saturday run to put himself in contention to win another Green Jacket. Tiger was unable to close out the tournament and the golf world was left with no Tiger for the next two majors.

The U.S. Open and British Open belonged to the country of Northern Ireland. Twenty two year old Rory Mcllory won the 2011 U.S. Open in historic fashion over the field in Washington. Fellow countryman Darren Clarke won the British Open.

Recently Tiger Woods fired his longtime caddie Steve Williams. This was a decision that came as a surprise to many, including myself. After showing years of loyalty to Woods, Williams feels disgusted by the way it happened. Yesterday Woods announced he would be returning to the golf circuit of his twitter account: “Feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out there!”

With this return it seems that a healthy, focused Tiger will be making a run at the 2011 PGA Championship; his last win at the years final major came four years ago in 2007. Tiger’s return adds a new variable to the equation. When Wood’s was at the peak of the game he was the most intimidating player in golf. His dominance of the game and ability to win major after major was one of the most incredible feats in sports history. There is no doubt he is a contender in my mind. He is the most focused golfer in the world.

Who will lift the Wanamaker Trophy on the 18th green on the Highlands Course at the Atlanta Athletic Club? Will Rory Mcllroy win his second major of his young career? Will Phil Mickelson win his first PGA Championship since 2005? Does Martin Kaymer defend his 2010 Championship and win this year? Or, will Tiger Woods win the years final Major and mark his real return to golf?