Golf Looks for a Tiger Bailout

Sport struggles economically without its biggest star
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2009 12:37 PM CST
Tiger Woods blasts a tee shot during a practice round at the Accenture Match Play Championship yesterday in Marana, Ariz.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Professional golf is looking to Tiger Woods’ return today as a stimulus package for the sport, which has seen recession undermine sponsorship deals and Woods’ 8-month absence siphon off fans, USA Today reports. Even fellow competitors are juiced ahead of the Match Play Championship outside Tucson, Ariz. “He’s carried this Tour,” says Kenny Perry, “and this is a huge boost.”

Says one TV analyst, “He brings the casual viewer back. There’s a buzz he creates that is just not the same as with anyone else.” The business side of the sport is surely hoping for Woods, finally injury-free, to do well. The president of NBC Sports crows, “To be able to feature America’s arguably greatest athlete is a godsend.”