What is the impact of Tiger playing in a tournament? At least in terms of television ratings, it is huge:
That is demonstrated by the television ratings. On Golf Channel’s first- and second-round coverage, the ratings were .6 for the Sony Open and Bob Hope Chrysler Classic; they were .9 for the Buick Invitational ” Woods’ only PGA Tour appearance of the year. The numbers were back down for the next two events, minus Woods. Source
AP’s Doug Ferguson points out the best part of the Accenture comes early. After that, the really interesting matches have usually already happened:
This is the only tournament where the most excitement comes in the first round, not in the final round. When it begins Wednesday, 32 guys will go home losers. And some of them will have to cross eight time zones to go home losers. There is only one game “ two players “ left on the course by Sunday. Source
If the Tiger effect is such a potent factor, Golf Digest’s Ron Sirak’s pick for the Accenture World Matchplay will prove beneficial:
…. setting up a semifinal Saturday afternoon of No. 1 Woods versus No. 2 Els and No. 1 Furyk taking on No. 4 Casey. Source
Sirak thinks Woods will prevail over Els, and Casey will take out Furyk, setting up a Woods-Casey final.
My picks: Watch out for Charles Howell, who has had a stunning start to the year, Chad Campbell, who has played well in the event in the past, and Justin Rose, who will take out Michael Campbell in the first round.
And where is Phil in all of this? Apparently still getting his head around throwing up on himself at Sunday in LA. Gary Vansickle at SI has coined a new term for Phil Mickelson’s awkward flubbed chip on the 9th green at Riviera on Sunday:
A Phili dip is when you do it on the green, the way Phil did on Riviera’s 9th hole during the final round of the Nissan Open when it appeared as if he was on his way to his second victory in as many weeks. Source