Tiger Woods’ return to golf will likely be the prestigious Masters tournament in April, the Associated Press reports, citing "two people with knowledge of his plans."
If so, it would certainly mean increased ratings for the TV coverage of the tournament, which is by CBS and ESPN. The Masters generally have good ratings anyway; with Woods’ return they would certainly spike.
How much the networks could take advantage of the higher ratings is problematic though, since the folks behind The Masters limit the number of commercials allowed to be shown per hour during coverage of the tournament.
According to the AP article, "Woods has been practicing at Isleworth near his Orlando home the last two weeks, and swing coach Hank Haney flew there during the weekend to work with him. That led to speculation Thursday he was close to playing again."
The last time Woods played in a tournament was Nov. 15, 2009.
Separately, the New York Post has reported that Woods has hired the former press secretary to President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, to give him PR advi
sce as Woods returns to the public spotlight.
Fleisher has sports experience advising Bret Favre and Mark McGwire college football’s Bowl Championship Series.
ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski has written a commentary detailing why he thinks Fleischer is the wrong guy to give Woods PR advice.
Wojciechowski writes, in part, "Woods doesn’t need to be managed, especially by someone who appears to think the BCS is a brilliant idea. He doesn’t require advice from the same person who signed off on McGwire’s delusional steroids-didn’t-help-me-hit-home-runs explanation."