Tiger Woods’s travails can be compelling as a decline-and-fall drama, but they’re no match for the pure excitement gripping the world of golf - yes, golf - as Woods’s decline allows a new generation of champs to take center stage. Hopkinton native Keegan Bradley joined that pantheon with an unforgettable three-hole playoff win in the 93rd PGA Championship in Atlanta this weekend. Bradley is no Cinderella to fans in Massachusetts; in high school, he was the Division 2 golfer of the year. But he is now the first player since 1913 to win an American majors event on his first try.
The last 13 major tournaments have produced 13 different winners – and 10 were first-timers. Names like Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel don’t bring the TV ratings that Woods did in his prime. Perhaps Bradley, who showed what can only be called New England grit by persevering after he trailed by five shots with four holes to play, will be more than a one-hit wonder. Great golf is out there, and soon enough a new star player will get Americans to tune back in.