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Can the PGA Tour survive the decline of Tiger?

Of course. But his lack of form has the money men scratching their heads.

Among broadcast executives, it is an article of faith that Woods boosts ratings 40-60 per cent when he is within reach of victory. Ratings for the final round of last year's PGA Championship, in which Woods was not a factor, plummeted 41 per cent from the final round a year earlier, when Woods and the unheralded Rich Beem went mano a mano over the last nine holes. Hopefully, Sunday's closing round of the Masters defied the trend.

Note: the numbers I saw indicated the ratings dropped below last years' at least for Houston.

For golf and television executives, not to mention fans, the hope has to be that the stars have now come into alignment - and that Woods, chagrined by his poor showing at Augusta has been given his wake-up call. But it may also be that the game now has such depth and competitive balance that sustained dominance - by one player or several - is just not possible. And that could spell trouble for a sport that has ridden Woods's coat-tails to unprecedented popularity.

Well, for fans like me, a donnybrook among Els, Mickelson, Singh, and Woods would be compelling, regardless of what the superstar worshipers think. But that too requires that Tiger find his game. He says he close. Let's hope so.