Tiger's back tomorrow. You can return to caring about golf.
The last time we saw Tiger play golf was at last year's US Open, a win that Tiger regards as the finest of his career. I'll go one step further. For me, to play as he did on (basically) one knee, was one of the finest performances in what was arguably sport's greatest ever year.
Yet his absence from the sport has been noted. To say he's been missed would be an understatement. Television ratings and attendances were both down while the sport's biggest star (or is that sport's biggest star?) was away. Tim Finchem (PGA Tour Commissioner) said on PTI recently that the sport used Tiger's absence to promote lesser lights and up-and-coming names such as Anthony Kim though the media in Tuscon this week haven't been paying too much attention to him.
I guess there are upsides in having one of the world's biggest stars in your sport. There are downsides, but they are a small price to pay for the sponsorship, ticket and television money that Tiger brings to the table. But other sports should take note of what golf has been through, and the pitfalls of relying on such stars. Swimming (Phelps), athletics (Bolt) and track cycling (Hoy) are among those with most to gain from having global stars but they also have much to lose if those stars are to shrink away.
I hope governing bodies take note, and golf fans... enjoy the return of Tiger.