Just coming in over the wires: AT&T has dropped Tiger Woods. Its likely AT&T has a separate contract with the PGA Tour to sponsor Tiger’s AT&T National Tournament that’s being held June 28 – July 4. No doubt that’s in jeopardy, too.
I’ll bet the Tour now is regretting killing the popular International Tournament so that Tiger could have his own event. It’s an undeniable truth of life that you don’t abandon reliable old friends for glitzy new ones. The Tour was built on steady, community based tournaments, but in recent years Finchem’s pursuit of Tiger has led the Tour to make what I think is a series of bad decisions.
I’ve been saying it for years. In the long run, Tiger is bad for the Tour. I’ve always had him pegged as a basically selfish individual, and recent event have borne this out. Here’s a couple of paragraphs from a 2007 post on Tiger killing the International:
Tiger does only what’s good for Tiger. You can see that in his absence from this past weekend’s (and indeed, nearly every year’s) Pebble Beach Pro Am. He took a fat payoff from some rich oil sheik to play in a no-name ego driven event, and thus missed the Pebble Beach. That’s good for Tiger’s billion dollar bank account, but bad for the Tour. The Pebble Beach is the place where corporate executives—the sponsors and lifeblood of the PGA Tour—get to hobnob with the players they support.
Now, Tiger apparently will—for the first time—miss the Nissan Open. That’s the tournament that gave him his first PGA Tour exemption—at age 16.
So why is he missing the Niissan? I think it’s because he’s never won there. Tiger tends to win on the same courses over and again—forty percent of his wins have come on just six courses. He’s never won at Riviera, and thus playing there would not maximize his chances of extending his run at Nelson’s record. His holiness is in search of just two things: records and checks. And Riviera doesn’t offer enough of either.
In other words, it’s not good for Tiger.
The PGA Tour should start right now preparing right now for life without Tiger.