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Woods can keep golf ratings on course

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Renita Jablonski: The sport of golf has been thrown off its game a bit. Tiger Woods rejoins the PGA tour today, and for many his return comes not a moment too soon. He’s been away from the game for eight months, recovering from knee surgery. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: After Tiger Woods hobbled away from the golf course last June, the game’s television ratings fell by almost half.

Paul Swangard directs the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon:

Paul Swangard: He becomes the one-man economic stimulus package to the sport of golf.

Swangard says corporate sponsors have had to rein in their support in recent months. He says Tiger’s return will re-inject excitement into the game. And that should translate into ratings and dollars.

But what if his reconstructed knee isn’t up to par?

Swingard: I think people will still follow the story and want to share in his highs and lows and follow Tiger through this, y’know, very interesting period of his career.

Swangard says if Tiger’s performance deteriorates, fans will gradually disappear. But if yesterday was anything to go by, that won’t be a problem for a while. Spectators packed the galleries at his practice round.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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