Tiger Woods is back, and golf is exciting once again

The past few years have seen Tiger Woods in awful pain, giving terrible performances on the course. I’m sure we are all aware of the Woods’s disappearance since the early part of this decade, and the effect it has had on the game of golf as a whole. There’s a Saturday Night Live skit from 2009, where Jason Sudeikis plays a lost PGA commissioner trying to find a solution to their Tiger Woods problem: golf doesn’t know what to do without him. Golf has been lost without Woods. Television ratings went down after he started doing poorly, and eventually, tournament attendances went down because of there was no draw for casual fans of the game seeking a character to deify.

This summer, however, has seen Woods claw his way back into the hearts of golf lovers everywhere.

During the Open Championship, golf fans and casual viewed alike saw Woods climb his way towards the top of the leaderboard, accompanied by thunderous applause and the best ratings the Open has seen since 2000. Last weekend, the PGA Tour Championship had a 206 percent growth in ratings from the year before. Tiger Woods is finally back, with a two-stroke victory at eleven shots under par last weekend at the Tour Championship. He controlled the leaderboard throughout the weekend, so despite shooting one over par on Sunday, Woods was still able to win by two strokes. Now that he has returned and is crushing the game, golf fans have a lot to look forward to.

Despite this weekend’s Ryder cup, it’s probable that Woods, in spite of his charisma, talent, and character, won’t reach the full capacity of his game like he did in his prime. He is 42 years old, and a few back surgeries, a dozen years, a car accident, and a divorce will take something out of one’s athletic ability. We may see flashes of the brilliance we once saw on the course, but Woods is aging, along with his game. It’s possible he might even put a few shots short of the green in coming tournaments because of his aging body.

As for the future of golf in the next spring and summer, we may see another consistent contender at the top of leaderboards; Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and once again, Tiger Woods are going to be names we see every weekend. Usually by the time one of the all-time great golfers is ending his career, a new one springs up to control the game. Woods’s career was seemingly cut short by injury, so we thought it might have been McIlroy. We might have thought it was Spieth.

But Woods isn’t done yet. We have a couple more years to watch one of the greatest to ever play the game, and we have a couple more years before a new kid sprouts to take over his old position. One of my final hopes for Woods’s career is that he can take his game seriously this winter and don a green jacket one last time come April. Maybe it will have to wait another year or two, but Woods, just for what he means to the game of golf and the gold community, deserves to win another Masters.