Blog Entry

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:18 pm
By Shane Bacon

The ratings for the Accenture Match Play finals between Hunter Mahan and Rory McIlroy were the highest non-Tiger final since the tournament started in 1999. The numbers could have been for a few reasons (no real sports competitor with the rainout at Daytona and the NBA being on All-Star weekend), but what if it was simply because we've found the next Tiger Woods? 

Now I'm not one of those guys that sits here and searches for that person. Rory McIlroy will never be 100 percent of Tiger Woods. Tiger changed the game of golf forever, and his ability to transcend sports was exactly why he was such a big deal. But eventually someone was going to come along to be the successor of Woods. A talent that wins early, wins by a lot, and does so in the big events. 

Sure, McIlroy has fallen on his face as many times on the big stage as he has won (see 2011 Masters and the Accenture), but that many people coming to watch Rory play means that something is up, and it's a great thing for the game of golf.

If Rory can bring that many views to something like the Accenture, playing against Mahan, imagine what would happen if he found himself going head-to-head with a HUGE name in golf on the biggest stage? If Rory was to face Tiger, or Phil, or Lee or Luke in the final round of the Masters, we'd really see what the McIlroy movement would do. 

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Since: Feb 28, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:56 pm

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

I will say that one thing is common with almost all of these posts and that is that TW brought non-golf fans to the sport, either as new golfers or fans or both.  Like him or not he is the talk of most every thread.  One day he will retire and we will never forget his impact on the game - like him or not.  Until that happens every golf fan and analyst is in the prediction game - is Tiger done? If not, when? Why?...his swing? his mental game? And everybody wants to be the first to say what WILL happen - who is the next TW.  Well, what if there is never another Jack or Tiger?  Will that make the sport less fun to watch? Personally, I watch for three reasons...1. I admire the skill and marvel at what can be done when done properly...2. I liked the TW era (not suggesting it is over) because it is dominance which and brilliance is amazing to watch...3.  I also like a great underdog story (i.e. Gainey).  In other words, I pretty much can't lose.  If somebody, like RMac can dominate, perfect...I would like to see TW come back because, in a way, it is a bounce-back and almost an underdog situation, given what he has gone through...I'd like to see him, like any other player written off, shut everybody up - even if it is for one tournament here and there.  And my one comment on the abolition of Q-School is that it probably removes more underdog stories than anything - pity, but the almighty dollar is screaming at the PGA and they will listen.  As a spectator and long-time fan of the sport I wish my voice was louder.

Since: Oct 27, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:49 pm

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

I agree with RowdyCowboy. I only tuned in to see Mahan kick that Euro's ass. Euro's are so pompous and full of themselves. I absolutely love it when the American's put them in their place. I'd say GO BACK HOME but I hate it when the rack up all those points in Europe and become #1 without playing on the TOUGHEST TOUR IN THE WORLD, The PGA TOUR of AMERICA! What a joke. Points earned in Europe, China, Japan, Abu Dhabi, and wherever else people play on the other side of the pond, should be worth 1/10th of what the points are earned over here. PERIOD! How hard is it to beat guys that would have a scoring average of 74 if they played over here. GIVE ME A BREAK!


Since: Aug 17, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:17 am

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

LannyH,  You say 'Woods fans simply don't want to hear about anything golf related other than Woods' . You perhaps mean 'Woods only fans'? Do not make the mistake of lumping golf fans who root for Tiger Woods together with the 'Woods Only' fans who don't watch/follow golf if TW is not involved. Like I said elewhere, and like you agreed, they are in different categories. I would categorise anyone who makes comments involving only Tiger Woods as 'Woods Only Critics' as opposed to 'Golf Critics'. For the former, commenting is an ego trip, capitalising on Tiger Woods' draw to get attention. Unfortunately amateur golf commentary is in a bad place right now.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:58 am

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

Teres, do you not read other people's comments? 

"There is no way Rory McIlroy can drive the ratings like Tiger Woods can, especially in the US.  Besides, he's 13 majors behind Tiger."

Nicklaus won his 18th major in 1986 at Augusta.  That event had lower ratings than Faldo in 1990 and Mize in 1987.

I want to say another thing about golf ratings: sheer numbers is not what golf advertisers seek.  They want primarily (1) people who buy a lot of golf gear, and (2) corporate honchos who control the purse strings at large companies.  Accenture ads don't mean much to kids saving up to buy iPhones, nor do fast food ads resonate with CEOs and CFOs.

Oh, well, Woods Only fans are like soccer moms.  They won't go to the games as soon as their kids stop playing.  The golf media seems to be hoping they can retain those Woods Only fans if they continue to talk about "their kid."

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:29 am

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

Let's just lay it on the line.

The only reason Tiger is compared to anyone at this point is because it's the only way golf writers can keep Woods name in the headlines.  The Woods Only fans don't understand that real golf fans have had their fill of "Is Tiger Back?" and "Is This the Week Woods Wins and Turns it Around?"  Woods fans simply don't want to hear about anything golf related other than Woods.  It's a reality show to them, not a sport.

Dilemma of a golf writer:  My audience is 1. Golf fans, 2. Woods Only fans, 3. General sports fans who might chance upon links to my articles.

#3 will take care of itself if they write quality articles.  #1 will read anything about golf if it is interesting and well-written, but are no longer finding Woods articles interesting.  #2 will read only articles with a reference to Woods.

#3 will read articles but leave comments only rarely.  #1 will leave comments to most well-written golf articles.  #3 will read only Woods articles and leave "Go Tiger!" comments.  Bored #1 will respond insultingly causing a flame war in the comments section, and the comment count rises rapidly, resulting in a lot of screen refreshes, which helps in ad sales.

A lot of traffic to websites comes via Google or Bing or Yahoo searches.  So the writers include "Woods" in the title and first paragraphs for reasons of search engine optimization.

Writers realize they are pushing away #1 and #3 with the repetitive Woods stuff, but they also know that's the only way to get the Woods Only crowd.  So they write articles like, "New Golf Carts Are Faster Than Tiger Woods Stinger."  Or, "LPGA Dinah Shore Classic: What If Tiger Were a Woman."  That's their current strategy.  They get the search engines and #2 with that.  They are betting that #1 will put up with the Woods stuff for the content at the bottom of the articles, but, based on a lot of the feedback in the comments section, that's changing.  For a while #1 will be amused by those "incompetent golf writers" who "can't get over Tiger Woods," but they are even losing interest in that.  Once you realize what the golf writers are doing -- writing for the search engines -- it's not as fun to poke fun at the writers.

Like I said elsewhere: golf journalism is in a bad place right now.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:49 am

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

There is no way Rory McIlroy can drive the ratings like Tiger Woods can, especially in the US.  Besides, he's 13 majors behind Tiger.  He has already changed his swing in a year he won a major, though; that is a lot like Tiger.  

Rory is a young guy with a good swing and just enough of a pugnacious attitude for it to translate to charisma.  He's photogenic, and he has a gf who is also very photogenic and has a semi-high profile in the tennis world.  In time, he can drive a lot of ratings and get a fair amount of media coverage in the "celebrity" world.

Really, though, Rory McIlroy has a long way to go before he can be compared to Tiger Woods.  He needs to win more.  As Elling said, Tiger "changed the game of golf forever."  Tiger "raised the bar" by turning most golf courses into de facto par 68 courses.  He also took a sport which has used mostly slow-twitch muscles and amalgamated a lot of fast-twitch muscles into the traditional swing.  Most of all, though, he made physical conditioning an essential part of the tour.

Now, as he tries to come back, Tiger is a victim of the bar that he raised.  There are a lot of younger players hitting the crap out of the ball with fast-twitch muscles.  Everybody works out now.  And players expect to "go low" every round now.  The downside of fast-twitch is that it puts a lot of strain on the body, especially the knees and S/I areas.  That is why Tiger has had so many injuries.  It's also why Lefty and his traditional, slow-twitch swing will play better than Tiger as they get older.    

Tiger's most important "game" now is the one between the ears.   He seems to be "back" with a less-stressful swing.  The only thing left for Tiger to recover is the ability he once had to "will the ball into the hole" from anywhere inside of twelve feet.  If he can do that, he will get his 19 majors.  If he can't, he goes back to being the third-best golfer of all time behind Nicklaus and Snead.

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:07 am

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

I don.t know why everyone doesn.t think Roy isnt a Tiger because hes not. Tiger is by far the best golfer that has played the game of golf. Not now or will never be as he was, Roy is now my favorite golfer. Hes not the old Tiger but hes gonna be a great golfer someday. He doesn.t have the guts Tiger had so maybe Roy one day will get the guts so then he will be great. 

Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:33 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:46 pm

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

Offended by your posts? In your dreams. Your posts are infantile junk, littered with stupidity. Offended? Nope. Amused, indeed.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:32 pm

Do high ratings mean Rory is the new Tiger?

I wasn't tuned in to see Rory win.  I tuned in to see Rory lose.  Had Rory been up 3 or 4, forget it, I turn it off.  And, no, Rory won't ever be Rory.

Maybe Shane's Bacon got a little overcooked...LOL

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