If you’ve been sick of flipping around the dial on Sunday afternoon and finding a PGA Tour leaderboard cluttered with the likes of Nick Watney and Pat Perez, take comfort: golf just got relevant again. Tiger Woods has announced on his Web site that he will be returning to the PGA Tour at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Arizona, this coming Wednesday - his first rounds of competitive golf since his left leg fell off during the US Open last June.
The news comes just one day after the first public pictures of Woods’ new son Charles were published & less than two weeks after the kid’s birth. Obviously, things are going pretty well since Tiger’s going to be heading out for a week-long tournament, but I suppose the likely small army of nannies, housekeepers and assistants that his wife Elin has will lessen the burden somewhat.
“Elin and our new son Charlie are doing great. I’ve enjoyed my time at home with the family and appreciate everyone’s support and kind wishes. I’m now ready to play again,” Woods said.
Needless to say, the news couldn’t come soon enough for PGA Tour officials, which have seen TV ratings nosedive in Tiger’s absence. A story on PGATOUR.COM estimates that Woods’ financial impact on a tournament is pretty incredible. Just by entering a tournament, Woods causes:
- A minimum of $250,000 in walk-up ticket sales
- A tenfold increase in exposure for the title sponsor
- A 58 percent increase in TV ratings for a non-major tournament
So it’s probably not surprising that PGA Tour President Tim Finchem is “delighted” that Woods is returning next week. And you would have to think that his competitors, even with the daunting prospect of him being “much better than ever,” have to be happy to see him back. After all, what’s good for Tiger is good for everyone on Tour.