Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Tiger Woods, please come back!


The Professional Golfers’ Association, like everyone else who’s world depends on business, is teeing off into what executives like to call headwinds. While the PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem seemed pretty confident about the state of play at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, he didn’t shy away from being perfectly clear about life without legendary pro Tiger Woods — now out with a bum knee.

“There is always a silver lining in everything, but it’s largely bad… To have him out is a variety of negative factors.”

Woods arouses a ton of interest in golf from casual fans, and when they tune in to watch him on TV, it usually results in a big ratings spike, though Finchem said that the base where the spike begins is already pretty good. “When he’s in, he dominates the coverage,” Finchem said.

If there is a silver lining, it’s that Tiger downtime means that other nascent players might come to the fore, perhaps making them tomorrow’s stars. To understand how the PGA views Woods in this respect, Finchem pointed out that President-elect Barack Obama *might* be the first person in a very long time to knock Tiger off his perch as the most-recognized American.