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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Important Was Tiger's Win?

Tiger's win at the Chevron World Challenge on Sunday "catapulted" him up the OWGR to #21 in the world. But was it really important? After all, it was only an 18-man field and you could argue that Lee Westwood's win at the Nedbank carried more weight. After all, there were more Top 10 players at that limited-field event.

For Tiger, I don't think it was that important. Sure, after struggling for so long he relishes any win, but I don't think he really needed it to validate what he was doing -- at least, not to himself. Maybe he'll get a bit more peace at his pressers now.

As for that jump up the world rankings, it's really no big deal. When he was at #52, his points average was 2.694. At #21 that number leaps all the way up to 3.74 -- a little over a point. You do realize that Matt Kuchar, at #10, has only a 5.00 points average? One quality win could easily put Tiger back in the Top 10. Catching Luke Donald's 10.20 points average is what will take some work, especially if Luke can rack up another win or two before Tiger hits Dubai.

For Tiger, the win is probably more important from a business standpoint. This may cause some of those more cautious sponsors to come out of the woodwork. Things just got a little easier for his agent Mark Steinberg.

Let's face it, though. The big winners here are the PGA Tour and the TV networks. A winning Tiger is a ratings getter. As John Hawkins said, Tiger doesn't move the needle -- he IS the needle.

And for the rest of us... well, it means very little until late January. That's when Tiger plays next. Until he actually tees it up against a good field again, it doesn't really change things for us at all.

So while I'm happy for Tiger, I'll be a lot happier when he starts playing again. Until then, his win was just a teaser.

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