The Tiger effect Woods presence boosts business excitement

Tiger Woods’ impact is expected to extend past the score card when the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer plays in the Memorial Tournament this weekend in Dublin, Ohio.When Woods announced that he would be playing in Columbus, local-area businesses and the Muirfield Village Golf club, the host of the event, raised expectations for attendance and sales.“With Tiger coming back to the tour, I see an increase in business,” said Jon Leach, part owner of the Bogey Inn bar in Dublin.The Bogey Inn normally anticipates between 6,000 and 9,000 people for Memorial Tournament parties, and Woods’ participation will increase that number by 30 percent, Leach said.Some officials at the tournament are less certain about the effects.“We don’t know what impact (Tiger playing) is going to have yet simply because it is the first year that he has been here since his off-course life became more public,” said Tom Sprouse, director of communications for the Memorial.Other employees appear more confident.“When Tiger is in the field, there are definitely more people here. There’s going to be a lot more interest,” said Dick Murray, Memorial security guard. “I would assume that, that same level of excitement will be here.”Increased attendance cannot be confirmed because the tournament does not keep track of crowd numbers, Sprouse said.Murray said he doesn’t need to see the numbers to notice a difference and is sure “that once it was announced that Tiger was going to be here, ticket sales went up.”Woods’ presence not only affects the numbers, but the attitudes of the patrons.The younger kids are always a lot more excited when Tiger is in the field, said John McKitrick, who has been working with the tournament for four years.Despite the larger galleries that will follow Woods, the tournament does not make any security arrangements for the popular golfer, Sprouse said.The Bogey Inn, however, does make adjustments, increasing its staff when Woods plays, Leach said.With each day Woods tees off this weekend, large crowds both on the course and in local bars are likely to follow.