Column: PGA Tour gets a new version of Tigermania

From FOX Sports - December 5, 2017

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP)The latest comeback by Tiger Woods, this one following a 10-month absence from a fourth back surgery in three years, was sure to cause some disruption in the workforce with the weekday television coverage.

That included the commissioners office at the PGA Tour.

I would consider myself to be among the highly distracted as Tiger played his first round, Jay Monahan said Tuesday.

Monahan was at the Hero World Challenge the day before it began and stayed for the pro-am dinner, where he said Woods spoke from the heart about his foundation, thanked the other 17 players for coming and reminded them they had a chance to compete against a player at No. 1,199 in the world ranking.

That broke up the room, Monahan said with a laugh.

Indeed, its rare for a player to tie for ninth and move up 531 spots in the world rankingWoods now is all the way up to No. 668but such were the circumstances. The field featured eight of the top 10 in the world, and it included one guy who had earned ranking points at only two tournaments over the last two years.

Theres no way to go but up.

Thats what Monahan took away from the holiday exhibition, only he wasnt talking about the world ranking.

We had such a strong year with great, young players stepping forward, he said. You add Tiger back in the mix, and we all go away from it with a lot of excitement.

How much Woods is in the mix remains to be seen, although this was as strong as he has looked in four years. Next up is figuring out a schedule that Woods said would be geared around the four majors. He hasnt played all four since 2015, and he hasnt made the cut in all of them since 2013.

Most of the young players at Albany Golf ClubJustin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Daniel Bergerknow more about the legend of Woods than what its like to have him at tournaments.

Thomas got a taste of it.

He is the FedEx Cup champion and PGA Tour player of the year after winning five times, including his first major at the PGA Championship. He started the new season by winning the CJ Cup in South Korea.

And when he sat down for a news conference, his first six questions were about Woods.


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