I think its time to finally talk about this Tiger issue now that it has gambling implications. ML has a great post breaking down when Tiger will return to golf. I threw my thoughts on in the comment section, but here is main theme:
-In my opinion this break will be shorter, rather than longer.
-He’s not skipping Majors for this.
-This break is every bit the publicity stunt that much of Tiger’s public life has been up to this point.
-I would not bet on him coming back at Torrey Pines. He no longer has sponsor connections and if he skips and event he historically dominates it looks like he is making changes.
-For Darkhorses, I like Dubai(huge appearance fee, Golf course design business, out of the limelight, relatively) and ATT(US Open at Pebble, ATT is a sponsor.
The other thing that keeps pissing me off is certain members of the media insisting Tiger needs to do the sit down interview schedule on 60 minutes, Oprah, etc. and issue his heart felt apologies to everyone. From a PR stand point, this strikes me as just wrong. Tiger’s brand appeals to well off middle aged white guys and lets be fair, there opinion of Tiger after this incident probably didn’t change too much.
To be honest, I think Tiger would be better off going full Don Draper and just start crushing cocktail waitresses, strippers and club hostesess across the country as well as dominating the Pete Campbell’s(Phil Mickelson and Co.) of the PGA Tour. Sure, every now and then a Conrad Hilton(Steve Marino? Alex Noren?) might come along and beat him, but it would be a hell of a lot more entertaining if Tiger embraced his inner Don Draper.
South African Open
This event may be the worst fielded major tour event all year. I’m surprised they couldn’t at least get Els or Goosen or Clark or one of the other big name South African’s to play, but there isn’t much out there in this event.
I won’t be playing anyone to win right away, but I’d say Soren Hansen is my pick to win. He’s basically equal(actually slightly ahead of A Hansen) and those guys are the top two players in the field. Other than that, Oliver Fisher is probably the most tempting other player in the field as there is something strangely attractive about an 80-80 showing the previous week. Maybe at 250-1 I might try that.
Soren Hansen +100 v. Richard Sterne(2)
Soren Hansen +110 v. Anders Hansen (1)
Sterne won this last year, but is nowhere close to as good as Soren Hansen overall. I’d set Soren as about -105 to +100 against Anders, so coming off Anders high finish last week, I think it’s a good price for basically a toss-up against a golfer you don’t really fade too much.
This crapfest will do it for Golf for 2009.