Golf can roar without Tiger
Golf can roar without Tiger
It may seem a bizarre statement to make considering the American ace has brought a sport once seen as staid and bland into the consciousness of millions around the globe. But Justin Rose claimed that a new generation of young superstars has emerged in his absence — and that even without the big beast, they now have the ability to drive the popularity of the sport.
Woods’ agent set the golfing world abuzz this week after revealing the 14-time major-winner had been cleared by his doctor to begin full practice as he prepares for yet another comeback from injury.
But Rose, who won the US Open in 2013 and came runner-up at this year’s Masters, said the group of 20-somethings now claiming golf’s top prizes had already eclipsed Woods’ (pictured) absence and illustrated life on the fairways can be exciting without sport’s main man.
“I think golf has found itself in a really healthy spot without Tiger at the moment,” former US Open champion and current Olympic champion Rose said.
“So many young players have come through and filled the void. I think to have him back is just a bonus. I don’t think golf is desperate for him back.”
Woods, 41, has not won a tournament in four years, and his Major drought stretches back to 2008, when miraculously he won the US Open with a broken leg. After undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April he said he may never play at the top level again.
But Woods, who has also been plagued by personal problems and pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in August, recently posted a video of himself using a driver, captioned “Making Progress.”
“Everyone just wants to see a healthy Tiger Woods,” said Rose. “It’s almost gone past the point of thinking ‘Oh we all really want to see Tiger win 18 majors’.”
The Englishman added: “I think that we want him back, just because of what’s he’s meant to the sport for the last 20 years.”
Besides Rose’s loss to 37-year-old Sergio Garcia in a thrilling playoff at the Masters, this year’s other men’s majors were won by Americans Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, all in their early- or mid-20s.
In a sport that traditionally favors comparatively older athletes, other heavyweights in the current world top 10 such as Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day are also yet to turn 30.
“It was definitely a year dominated by the young guys on tour,” said Rose, who will join Garcia next month at Fanling for the Hong Kong Open.
Rose, a Hong Kong winner in 2015, said he was still disappointed to have missed out on Masters glory so narrowly to the Spaniard this year, but added that he was looking forward to the rematch.
“It was great to see him breakthrough and win his first Major — but unfortunately it was against me,” he said.
“It’ll be fun to have us both in the same field again (in Hong Kong). Sergio and I, we’ve joked all year long, had some fun with it all year long, so it will be a continuation of that.”
Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards
- Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
- Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award
LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.