Golf

5 Reasons Why The 2014 Masters Will Suck Without Tiger Woods

5 Reasons Why The 2014 Masters Will Suck Without Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods Phil Mickelson
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The most disheartening news to come out of golf in some time occurred on Tuesday when world No. 1 Tiger Woods announced he had back surgery and would not make it back for this year's Masters, which begin Apr. 10. As the most polarizing athlete in the game, his absence will be felt everywhere from the storylines, to Butler Cabin, to the television ratings.

Here are five reasons the 2014 Masters will suck without Tiger Woods.

5. Tiger Missing the Chase for Jack Nicklaus' 18

Tiger Woods Jack Nickluas
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5. Woods Missing the Chase for Jack Nicklaus' 18

Tiger Woods Jack Nickluas
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Woods hasn't won a major since the 2008 US Open, at which point we all thought the then 32 year old would break the record of 18 majors held by Jack Nicklaus. Woods' best performance since was the 2009 PGA when he lost a playoff to Y.E. Yang, and since his infidelity outbreak became public at the later end of 2009, Woods' top finish was third at the 2012 British Open. His current injury could shelf him into the summer, putting the chase on hold.

4. One Less Chance for an American To Win the Green Jacket

Tiger Woods Fred Couples
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4. One Less Chance for an American To Win the Green Jacket

Tiger Woods Fred Couples
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I do not root against the foreign competitors (except at the Ryder Cup), but I do pull for the Americans in the majors. In the last 20 majors, Yanks have won just eight. Without the world's No. 1 golfer, America's best chances (according the the World Golf Rankings) focus to the play of Phil MIckelson (No. 5 and nursing his own injury), Zach Johnson (No. 9), Dustin Johnson (No. 10), Matt Kuchar (No. 11) and the "Golf Boy" Bubba Watson (No.2).

3. Competitiveness

Tiger Woods Adam Scott
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3. Competitiveness

Tiger Woods Adam Scott
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The Masters is the biggest event in golf, and when all the top golfers gather, you do not want the top golfer not there. Flash forward a decade or so, to whenever this year's winner gets asked what year he won The Masters in -- "2014," says the winner. Response: "Oh, 2014. Oh yeah, that year Tiger didn't play." Bottom line is, you want the best of the best there to avoid potentially awkward situations like that.

2. No Lindsey Vonn Shots

Tiger Woods Lindsey Vonn
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2. No Lindsey Vonn Television Shots

Tiger Woods Lindsey Vonn
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We already missed out at one of the marquee sporting events of 2014. Now, sports' favorite couple hits us with another haymaker. I was so excited for NBC to spot Woods sitting on the frigid stands of Rosa Khutor, drinking hot cocoa out of a Thermos while his love skied down features like "The Bear's Brow" and "The Lake Jump." Once she pulled out of Sochi with a knee injury, us observers turned to The Masters for the significant other shots.

1. "The TIger Effect"

Tiger Woods
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1. "The Tiger Effect"

Tiger Woods
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Woods is so love-hate. You either root for him to win, or root for him to lose; there is no middle ground, but that is what makes Woods the most influential athlete in any sport.

Here is proof -- in the last seven years, the ratings for the final round of The Masters was at its lowest (8.0) when Woods had his worst finish (tied for 40th in 2012). Expect that number to dip in a few Sundays, when there is no Woods to show.