Earlier this week I posed the poll question about the state of Tiger's game since reality understandably hadn't set in that it'll be a long time, if ever, before we see him play. And if he plays, it won't be anywhere near his once incredible level. And I understand the denial. It's lousy to not get to see someone making history, especially when juxtaposed with leaderboards infiltrated by Hermans and Strebs.
To recap your views (with nearly 1200 votes), 36% of you think we might see Tiger again but it'll just be more of the same (WD's, leaves of absence). 30% of you thought he'll come back and compete at a high level. And 29% feel he'll return but it'll be general mediocrity to weirdness from here on out for the former world No. 1.
With Jack Nicklaus set to make his traditional Honda Classic booth appearance Sunday, the Augusta Chronicle's Scott Michaux begs the press to stop asking Mr. Nicklaus the question because "Tiger Woods is not going to catch Jack Nicklaus on the major scorecard."
There might come a day – perhaps when Woods is 50 and still stuck on 14, 15 or (if he’s really lucky) 16 major wins – when an 80-something Nicklaus admits Tiger doesn’t have a chance. But for now there’s still no other acceptable answer for the legend to give. To answer any other way would be undignified.
Deep down, however, we all know that Nicklaus doesn’t really believe Woods can catch him. Nobody who has seen Woods chip and putt like a 20-handicap golfer when he’s not wincing and withdrawing with another back twinge or deactivated glute can possibly believe that he is capable of winning, starting at age 39, as many majors as Phil Mickelson and Seve Ballesteros have in their whole careers.
Frankly, it’s time we all accept it and stop forcing Nicklaus to be disingenuous by asking him the same question over and over again almost seven years after the parameters last changed.
Greg Norman was more blunt in his assessment of Woods during a Today Show appearance, saying he doubts we'll see a comeback. Ryan Ballengee at Yahoo with the quotes and video.
"Mentally he's a little unraveled," Norman said.
“Imagine with what we’ve seen since December of last year, with his short game [and] chipping," Norman continued. "Imagine standing over the back of the 12th green at Augusta National, and you’ve got to chip it down there, Rae’s Creek right in front of you, or the back of the 15th of Augusta National . . . all those gremlins are going to be sitting in his head.”
Jon McCarthy in the Toronto Sun talked to Sean Foley about all things tour instructor, and the Canadian teacher suggested in the nicest possible way that Tiger just doesn’t work that hard at his game because he loves his kids.
“The golf world doesn’t want that, but he’s my friend, and to watch him with his kids, he’s easily one of the most patient fathers I have ever seen,” Foley said.