With Tiger Woods' major championship losing streak at 9 straight, there's a ton of talk about golf desperately needing something to re-energize the game. As the final round of the 75th Masters begins, which player, if he wins, presents the best and worst outcomes for the sport that can happen at Augusta today?
Masters Sunday: The Best and Worst Outcomes for Golf
THE BEST SCENARIOS
1. WOODS WINS - If Tiger can come back from 7 down (especially if he won in a playoff), golf interest would skyrocket. Love him or not, there's no doubt this guy singlehandedly raised golf to unprecedented levels since he exploded on the scene at the 1997 Masters where he won by a record margin of 12 strokes.
A Woods' victory on Sunday would draw more attention to the game than it's ever seen -- even greater than it's been during his era of dominance.
2. MCILROY WINS - If Rory can hold on, he becomes golf's rock star - the Next Big Thing. There will be a major shift in the sport's fan base. It will officially signal the start of golf's new era and kickstart questions like: Can he dominate like Tiger did? If McIlroy's the new Woods, then who are the new Phil, Ernie, Vijay, Sergio? Kaymer? Fowler? Graeme? Dustin? Kim?
3. ADAM SCOTT WINS - Let's face it, if golf's Sexiest Man slips on the green jacket it's a big win for the game. It would mean a lot more women in the audience which would be perfect for all the TV networks and the PGA Tour. At 30-years-old, Scott is hitting his prime as a player, and unlike McIlroy, he's a member of the PGA Tour which means he's playing in the U.S. more often.
4. K.J. CHOI WINS - It would be special and historic if South Korea's K.J. can become the first Asian golfer to win at Augusta. (Although from the jammed-up tee-times at my local course, I don't think Asian golf interest is suffering.)
5. LUKE DONALD WINS - Who wouldn't want to see arguably "the best player to never win a major" make the Masters his first? He's certainly more than deserving and incredibly well-liked.
THE WORST SCENARIOS
1. ANGEL CABRERA WINS - Personally, I love Cabrera. He's funny to watch. He's a great golfer from Argentina with a great story. But good grief...he's about the last man the game would want to win this year's Masters. Angel is rarely in contention on Tour these days; he's not a fresh face; not the best interview; and unfortunately if he wins, it'll torpedo interest in golf outside of Argentina.
2. CHARL SCHWARTZEL WINS - This 26-year-old South African is one of the games rising stars...maybe. Schwartzel's never won in the U.S. although he has won Europe's Joburg Open twice. So he's got that going for him. A win would be huge for Charl and sweet for his mentor Ernie Els but for everyone else...not so much.
3. BO VAN PELT WINS - Unfortunately, nobody outside of hardcore golf fans know anything about Bo Van Pelt. And I get the distinct feelings nobody really wants to get to know him better. He's an American version of Europe's Louis Oosthuizen.