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Commentary: Golf fans want, need Tiger in the hunt for Masters title

Courtesy of MCT

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Jim Nantz said the Masters are “a tradition unlike any other.” But let’s face it, if Tiger Woods isn’t at his best, the Masters tradition is just like any other.

The two-and-a-half year disappearing act of one of the greatest athletes of all time left a void in the life of sports fans everywhere. He was dominant. Like Michael Jordan to basketball, Wayne Gretzky to hockey, or Muhammad Ali to boxing. Without them, the sport isn’t what it could be.

His absence has been painful. But that pain seems to be subsiding a little bit this week, because Tiger is back hoisting hardware and heading into a major championship with confidence. The five shot win last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational made this years Masters a little more interesting – at least more interesting than the countless stories about the infamous Augusta azaleas dying.

We’re tired of a cycle of different winners on the tour. We need a Tiger in our golfing lives.

Tiger shot par during Thursday’s opening round at Augusta, and trails leader Lee Westwood’s first-round 67.

When was the last time a kid did a Martin Kaymer fist pump after a good shot? And if you’re wondering who Martin Kaymer is, he is currently No. 6 in the World Golf Rankings. One spot ahead of the guy who kids actually model their fist pump after.

We were happy when everyone was gunning for Tiger, when other players were playing for second place.

Golf is just not as entertaining when Justin Bieber look-a-likes and kids in orange jumpsuits are running the show. This week gives golf fans a feeling of familiarity, a chance to see Tiger making that Sunday charge we were so accustomed to seeing years ago.

But don’t expect an easy win for Tiger this weekend. The Master’s field still boasts a field of significant competition including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell and golf’s top-ranked player, Luke Donald.

We know what Tiger is capable of, and so does his competition. And you can expect everyone to be at their best with Tiger back in the mix.

And regardless of your opinion of Tiger, even you have to admit, it would be interesting to see that Sunday-red draped in a green jacket again. 

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