Tiger Woods announced Tuesday that he will return to competitive golf at The Masters in April 8-11.
Want a little side dish of hyperbole to go along with that bit of news? Sean McManus, the president of CBS Sports and News, told Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch in this story that Woods' return would be "the biggest media event other than the Obama inauguration in the past 10 or 15 years."
McManus (whose CBS network holds the TV rights to The Masters) said that even before Tuesday's announcement. He based his claim on the fact that Tiger's 13-minute apology for his sex scandal generated enormous interest and live coverage by multiple outlets.
I say there's no way this is No.2. That's way too high. Second to Obama's inauguration?! C'mon, Sean.
If you stick simply to the sports side of things, I'd say about half the Super Bowls over the past 10 years, the 2008 Olympics' opening ceremonies in Beijing and several other things I haven't thought of all will eclipse Woods' return to golf at Augusta, Ga., after his embarrassing exile.
Nevertheless, this will elevate The Masters, which doesn't really need the boost, but will certainly take it.
Will Woods win? His game has always been uniquely suited for that course, where he burst on the scene with a 12-stroke victory in 1997. But I'd say no, not this time. I think Tiger will be in contention long enough, though, for CBS to squeeze every bit of ratings juice it can out of Woods' return, and I'm going to pencil him in for a Top-10 finish.
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