07/21/14 by Rennie Detore
No one can argue the facts when it comes to the legendary golfer who is Tiger Woods.
He sells tickets.
The ratings for PGA tournaments always gets a boost when Woods is playing.
Advertisers of the PGA Tour love him and certainly don't mind hitching their products to his star power.
But even though Woods name value still remains, he's not exactly setting the golfing world on fire on the course. He's been battling injuries, granted, but his game is way off, and his play is getting to the point where even Woods has to question how much longer he wants to play as a shell of his former self.
Athletes within any sport typically are the last ones to realize or come to the conclusion on their own that their best days are behind them. A lot of what ails them truthfully is the love they have for their profession.
A bumbling Willie Mays might not be what fans and viewers alike want to see, but he undoubtedly loved the game of baseball to a fault. Watching Joe Montana play for the Kansas City Chiefs in the mid-1990s running for his life and suffering a concussion in the 1994 AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills isn't exactly the defining moment of his career, either.
Montana and Mays, of course, walked away from their respective sports, but golf takes a bit of a different perspective given its relatively demure nature and slower pace. Hanging around the links and living off what you've done is a lot easier at an advanced age.
But here's the dilemma about Woods: He's not exactly an old man, even in golf years. His arrival on the PGA Tour at such a young age almost makes the masses forget that he's not 50 years old and realistically shouldn't be on the downside of his career.
The thing is, however, that he just might be at that point. Woods is playing as though he's winding down when in actuality he should at least be playing competitive golf. At the moment, he seems lost, out of sync and hardly the guy the entire fielder of golfers once feared to face.
Chance are Woods will at least find his form to the point that he can put a charge into a career that deserves a better ending then the one he's headed for at the moment.
When the marquee says Woods will be playing, everyone will continue to take notice.
As time passes and if his play continues to erode, the luster and love affair with Woods will wane.
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