It has become clear that Tiger Woods's personal handicaps have become golf's -- at least so far as ratings -- and therefore advertisers -- are concerned. Without Woods on the links two weeks ago, the inaugural Greenbrier Classic could only draw a tiny 1.2 rating, according to Nielsen Research. A year ago, Woods won the Buick Open (Greenbrier took its place on the tour schedule this year) and pulled a 3.5 rating. Woods did reappear at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, OH this weekend, but clearly viewers tuned out in disgust as he put in what some sports writers described as the worst showing of his career. "Used to be that TV ratings suffered when Tiger Woods did not play in a golf tournament," the New York Post commented today (Tuesday). "Now, things are so bad for the onetime superstar golfer that ratings go down when he does play." Commented Washington Post sports columnist Leonard Shapiro "If you think Woods might be just a tad concerned about the state of his once majestic game, how do you think the networks, the tour's corporate sponsors and its tournament directors around the country are feeling at the moment watching him flail and fail miserably, looking dismally dispirited and seemingly uninterested?"

10/08/2010