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PGA's Grand Hopes Slammed by Tiger Tanking

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Sometimes, we PR folks tell our bosses and our clients, there's stuff you can't control.

If golf phenom Tiger Woods had won the British Open, the third tournament in the sport's Grand Slam, the hype for the upcoming PGA Championship in Chaska, Minn., Aug. 12-18, would have been unbelievable, and PR people would have been working overtime.

But Tiger couldn't do it this time, so the hopes and dreams of the Professional Golfers Association of America will have to wait until another year. Now our industry brethren will be preparing Q&A's and talking-points memos.

In case you're one of the half dozen or so people who don't follow golf now that young Tiger Woods regularly makes mincemeat of the remaining professionals on the tour, know this:

Woods has won all four Grand Slam tournaments in succession, but not in the same year, reigning as champion of the 2000 U.S. Open, 2000 British Open, 2000 PGA Championship, and 2001 Masters. He was the first player to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year since Jack Nicklaus did it in 1972.

Woods ranks with golfing greats Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Gene Sarazen in winning Grand Slam titles.

But after winning the first two Grand Slam tourneys this year, Woods shot a 10-over-par 81, his worst score as a professional, taking himself out of the competition in the British Open on a blustery day. He finished tied for 28th, with an even-par 284.

The loss won't hurt Woods' $63 million in annual endorsement and appearance income -- in 2001, he was ranked as the world's most valuable athlete -- but it sure slams PGA viewership and ad revenues.

We're glad we weren't in charge of the suicide watch on PGA executives the day Tiger logged the 81.

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