PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem does what he has to: put a positive spin on the loss of Tiger for the year.
“There’s no question it’s a negative, you can’t sugarcoat that, and there will be some negative fallout,” Votaw said.
“But, look, Tiger doesn’t play every tournament, he usually plays 17 or 18 and we have 47 events. Tiger’s impact to these events won’t be felt as much. What you hope is that other players are going to get a bigger share of the TV audience, the media’s interest and the fans’ imagination.”
Votaw suggested that some of the players who won while Woods was sidelined for the two-month period after the Masters—Adam Scott, Anthony Kim, Sergio Garcia and Mickelson—represent a mix of branded stars and a rookie with an upside who offer an appealing alternative to Woods while he is sidelined.
“If this is prologue to what we have ahead of us, we’ll see other players and their story lines come to the fore,” he said.
Actually, he’s right. Tiger has been playing in increasingly fewer tournaments. So even if you buy into the Tiger Effect on Tour revenues, it only affects about 1/3 of the tournaments. Two of those are Majors in which the PGA Tour has no financial interest. The Fedex Cup series may be hurt … or maybe not. With Tiger in the field, the outcome is practically pre-ordained. I personally have more interest in a tournament if the outcome is in doubt.