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  Monday, 9 April, 2001, 22:44 GMT 23:44 UK
Tiger's threat to golf
Tiger Woods is handed his winner's jacket by last year's champion Vijay Singh
Tiger has reached a new plateau with his win in Augusta
BBC Sport's Tony Adamson expresses worries that without a decent challenger, Tiger Woods' success could make the sport suffer.

Woods' win in Augusta and fourth consecutive Major title has confirmed him as, undisputedly, the best golfer at the moment.

In fact, his performance at the Masters proved that the young star is in a league of his own.

Despite this abundance of success, it appears the American will not rest on his laurels either.


There is a danger that the game will become monotonous if Tiger continues to dominate the field
Tony Adamson
Woods is driven by a fierce desire to overtake golfing legend Jack Nicklaus' total of 18 Major titles.

The question is what are the rest of the field going to do about it?

There is a danger that the game will become monotonous if Tiger continues to dominate the field.

In the past, every champion has had a genuine challenger.

Arnold Palmer had Nicklaus, who was later challenged by Tom Watson , and after that there was Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo.

But at the moment, nobody seems to be coming out of the pack to take on Woods.

Possibilities

There are exceptionally good players around, but as Woods proved at the Masters, he is way ahead when it counts.

He did not play in the swashbuckling style of his 1997 win, but he managed to knuckle down and thrash it out, putting the pressure on his opponents reach him.

It makes me wonder when will the chasing pack take their game to a level that can challenge him.

Ernie Els looked as though he might be a worthy challenger a while ago, but he seems to have gone off the boil recently.

Some people have mentioned a threat from Europe's number one Lee Westwood, but he still has not won a Major.

David Duval in action at the Masters
Duval could be a possible contender in the future
There is also the Australian pair of Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott.

Baddeley does not look capable yet, and though Scott seems to be the player with a swing and temperament similar to Woods, we will have yet to see if he can really do it.

David Duval seems to be the most ambitious, and it will be interesting to see how his career progresses in the next two years.

But overall, there is a big question mark over where the game is going at the moment.

Major star

No doubt, Woods has done wonders for the sport so far.

The Tiger seems to be almost bigger than the game itself.

In fact, it is the first time that golf has produced a player that can be regarded as one of the greatest sportsmen in the world.

He is up there with Pele, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali, which is something not even Jack Nicklaus could achieve.

He has the attributes of a superstar, and is one of the most recognisable faces in the world.

But, while he has helped golf to enjoy an unprecedented boom, how much longer will it last?

At 25-years-old, he still has much of his career ahead of him, and the only thing that might stop him playing would be boredom.

Woods' dominance will be eventually challenged, but not for a while, and by that time it could be too late.


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