On paper, Tiger Woods is within striking distance of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major tournament victories. At age 35, Woods is young by golf standards. We have seen a number of golfers remain successful and contend for major championship titles well into their 50s. Considering Woods has already won 14 majors, it would stand to reason that he could easily capture five more over the next 15-plus years.
As we all know, there is much more to the equation with the highest-paid athlete in the world. Tiger is no longer cold-blooded Tiger — the machine who was unfazed by cameras, tough questions, and pressure. The new Tiger no longer intimidates opponents and is no longer a lock to qualify for his own tournament. The major scandal we have all become so familiar with has thrown him out of rhythm, and Nick Faldo believes it will result in Woods never reaching 18 major victories.
“I do, personally,” Faldo told the Montreal Gazette when asked if he thought Woods’ window of opportunity had closed. “I was one of the few guys that said it right after this all happened and he was trying to get back to the Masters last year.
“Mentally, he’s actually a pretty sensitive guy,” Faldo continued. “He’s very sensitive to any comments or criticisms that we have … That’s the first thing I thought: ‘His concentration will be shattered.’ He had this amazing ability to go away from a tournament and then go on and practice as close to tournament-mode as anybody could do or better than anybody else could do. Now, I think that’s been shattered. I can’t imagine what it’s like.”
That’s a far cry from the opinion Ian Baker-Finch shared with us about Tiger just over a week ago. Personally, I’m with Faldo. A lot of golf is rhythm and consistency, and Woods has completely lost that. In order to get it back, he would have to somehow learn to ignore the media again and not care if he looks like a douche. Would that hurt his public image even more? Naturally, but the new, more friendly Tiger has not found a way to win.
Golf clap to Devil Ball Golf for the story.Google+