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Even Tiger Woods Can’t Save Golf All by Himself

  • A faded star draws big ratings and $37 million from sponsors
  • But young crowd considers the sport slow, costly and difficult
Tiger Woods waits on the second hole during the second round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on on April 6.

Tiger Woods waits on the second hole during the second round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on on April 6.

Photographer: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In an age of Imax action movies and Ultimate Fighting, the leisurely sport of golf faces a harsh reality: Its biggest draw remains a 42-year-old with a bad back.

That star, the inimitable Tiger Woods, returned to The Masters on Thursday. Golf fans -- and the $70 billion industry -- are thrilled that he is now a favorite. If he continues to bounce back from a decade of injury and scandal, could he revive the favorite pastime of U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Obama to Trump?