The US PGA Tour has endured the weight of the global economic crisis, despite the rough patch for Tiger Woods that has lasted for over 22 months.
Despite the deterioration of the form of the once-world No. 1 golfer, sponsors chose to stay with the PGA Tour. The Tour signed a nine-year $280 million deal with US television networks, which is $80 million than in 1997 when Woods was on a roll.
Thirty players will start vying for $10 million in the season-ending PGA Tour Championship, with no Tiger participating. The fourteen-time major champion has long yielded his world No. 1 position to Luke Donald who recently told that Tiger Woods’ era was over in his interview to PGATour.com.
A new group of talented players has emerged, including reigning US Open champion Rory McIlroy. Moreover, the new No. 1 player, Luke Donald, is not like any other golfer.
What distinguishes Donald from Tiger Woods is that he has not won a major yet and hits a medium distance off the tee. But, despite being at No. 147 in the driving distance list, he tops the European Tour money list and is second best on the on the PGA Tour money list, miraculously managing to combine the American and European tours.
Ten years ago, when Tiger was reigning, nobody would have thought that Luke Donald could ever become No. 1 with his kind of game. However, in the golf world without Tiger Woods, everybody has equal opportunities, which has made this game even more interesting.