We’re past the midway point of the PGA Tour season and to me it’s been an interesting year. Both majors have been essentially blow outs, but have had underlying stories and drama to give them a boost. Tiger Woods has been gone with injury, or out of contention when in tournaments. The vital youth movement within the Tour is thriving, but not converting the big opportunities they’ve been given.
What has really helped the majors this year is that last point. At The Masters, Bubba Watson played outstanding and was never in serious jeopardy down the stretch. However, Jordan Spieth came out swinging and immediately set a great tone for the final 18 holes. The same can be said about Rickie Fowler at the US Open. While he didn’t get close enough to put Martin Kaymer on serious notice, the reps he got being close to the top on a major Sunday is more valuable than any coaching he can get.
I still feel like the Tour is missing something and while the usual answer in this scenario would be Tiger Woods, I’ve realized a significant change in my golf views over the past year. I don’t care if Tiger is there anymore, and I don’t take him seriously when he is. That used to be like saying you had no reservations throwing an 85 MPH fastball down the middle of the plate to Babe Ruth. It’s like saying you’re going to double-team Scottie Pippen and leave Michael Jordan wide open for the final shot.
That may seem like exaggeration but it’s true. Woods was just as dominant as Ruth and Jordan in his prime, but he’s not there anymore. It’s sad, but we may be seeing Woods in the “Jordan Playing for the Wizards” stage of his career. There are absolutely no signs pointing to Woods being anything like what he was.
For me personally, I’m okay with that. I’m over waiting and wanting Woods to be what he was. I’m much more invested in what Spieth, Fowler and Rory McIlroy can do in the coming years than what Woods might do. It took me a few years to get to this point, but I think a lot of others are turning this corner or already have.
Outside of Spieth, Fowler and McIlroy, you've got players like Watson and Kaymer who are head and shoulders above the rest, and many others who are really starting to show they might have what it takes to win majors.
It’s great for the PGA Tour.