Why is the tiger the most important athlete of all for sports

When you look at all the legends we’ve seen help grow their respective sports – achieving massive victories and taking championships along the way – some names immediately come to mind. Jordan. Gretsky. Mays. LeBron. pellet. Brady. Top athletes can only use one name.

But none of these individuals have done for their sport what Tiger Woods has done for it. Tiger has single-handedly taken golf from one idea after another in the back section of the sports page, to the front of newspapers across the country. In short, Tiger has brought golf back into the mainstream media world.

You can go around the world and ask someone who might not even be interested in golf and will know who Tiger Woods is and the sport he plays. When it comes to the money he brings to the sport, the global popularity he has gained, and the success he has had, no one comes close.

We all know Tiger Woods is still chasing Jack Nicklaus for the mantle of most winners, but he’s already ruined everything else golf has put in his way.

From 1998 to 2003 he cut 142 in a row, a record he almost certainly will never break (the previous record was 113). His uncanny ability to deliver clutch hits when it matters and withstand the pressure – he has a 93% win percentage when he’s up at the 54-hole mark – is unmatched.

The general intimidation factor he used on the course also left countless opponents wither like a dying flower.

It changed the way players approach the game from a far perspective as well. His impressive leadership – especially so early in his career before injuries took their toll – was absolutely stunning to watch. Unlike other one-dimensional golfers, there has never been a single aspect of the game that I have been forced to rely on either. His wedge game is surgical, his ability to scramble is Lamar Jackson-esque and his setting is more buttery than factory land-o-lakes.

The money he made not only for himself, but for golf is amazing to look at as well. He broke into the scene by signing a $40 million deal with Nike and $3.5 million with Titleist. To put that into perspective, when he signed the Nike deal, no golfer had ever made $5 million a year on this tour.

Another amazing number: In 1996, only 10 golfers made $7 million during their careers. In 2016, thanks in large part to the importance Tiger has helped bring to the sport, there were 218.

Tiger made golf cool and refreshing. His celebratory disposition – at a time when golfers usually showed restraint – was adopted not only by middle-aged men playing with their buddies on the weekends, but also by young golfers around the world. Many of the tournament winners have recently been credited with wanting to play golf to see Tiger Woods. Help transform the sport from an old man’s game into a young adventurer.

We know Tiger has faced his own suffering. Believe it or not, he’s human. His divorce was messy, and the stories about feminization and the abuse of certain pills weren’t a great look, but no one could question his leadership in and out of the tee box.

Tiger will play in Augusta this weekend and who knows how he will. But in fact, it does not matter – he did enough and more.

The opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Jake Crane is the host of Daily Wire’s “Crain & Company.”