Tiger Woods often gets criticized for playing such a limited domestic schedule. The Tour mandates 15 starts, and it’s all he can do some seasons just to get across the finish line. However, those same folks who hammer him for not playing enough should be taking notice after he not only showed up for the final staging of the Buick Open, but put on a performance fans will remember for a long, long time.
By now, we all know Woods’ schedule by heart, filled with the majors, the WGCs, a few playoff events and the usual appearances at such stops as Memorial, Bay Hill and the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines. Very rarely does an event not listed on the Top Entree portion of the Tour menu even get a sniff.
Frankly, the Buick Open doesn’t necessarily represent one of the year’s more upper-tier events, and no longer does he have an endorsement tie to Buick. Nor does the event fit that conveniently into his major preparations. By playing this week, it means the PGA Championship will be his third in a row, and we all know how fresh Woods likes to be for the big events.
Just by showing up at Warwick Hills this week, though, Woods gave a greatly needed boost to the event; everyone knows the Motor City was in need of a good B-12 shot. If this was the final Buick, then it went out in style after 51 years, and Woods was the man who sent it out in proper fashion. Only one other player in the top 20 even bothered to show up to thank Buick for its incredible run of support.
Take Woods out of the picture, and what you would have had was a Buick finale that featured a Senden/Chalmers/Letzig showdown, no cause for champagne in the New York offices of CBS. But Woods not only thanked the good fans of Detroit, but gave good reason to cheer. You’ve got to give the man credit for that.