Two of the newest inductees into golf’s Hall of Fame went off on one of the game’s greatest players. Writer Dan Jenkins wondered about the heart of Tiger Woods while BBC broadcaster Peter Alliss pondered his brain and pointed to his thunking coming from his pants.
“I do not understand the thinking of Tiger Woods,” Alliss told Randell Mell of Golf Channel. “I think his golfing brain, for some reason or other, is completely addled. Perhaps the good part of his brain for a period drained from here, down to here. And that caused him great distress, probably a modicum of enjoyment at the time. But he’s gone.”
Alliss believes Woods is getting too many instructions and compares it to Pavarotti going from tenor to baritone for no reason.
He says in 30 minutes he could fix Woods game or “I’d go home and stick my head in a bucket of ice water, because it’s so simple. You stand and you swing.”
Jenkins says if Woods wins another major “he’ll be the first guy that ever did it with three swings,” and doesn’t believe he’ll catch Jack Nicklaus.
“…The thing I always thought, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but everybody wants to win and everyone says they want to win, but the great champions absolutely despised the idea of losing. I think that’s what Ben Hogan had, what Arnold had, Jack certainly had it. I frankly don’t know whether Tiger Woods has it or not because he has never had to come from behind. Every major he won he was in front and everyone, most of them, dropped dead.”
According to a book about Tiger Woods that’s about to be released by his former coach, Hank Haney which he co-authored with Sports Illustrated’s Jaime Diaz entitled Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods, hea writes that Tiger at one point had an obsession about the military.
“Tiger was seriously considering becoming a Navy SEAL. I didn’t know how he’d go about it, but when he talked about it, it was clear he had a plan . . . I thought, Wow, here is Tiger Woods, greatest athlete on the planet, maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime, basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.”
“Tiger did two tandem parachute jumps, engaged in hand-to-hand combat exercises, went on four-mile runs wearing combat boots, and did drills in a wind tunnel. Tiger loved it, but his physical therapist, Keith Kleven, went a little crazy worrying about the further damage Tiger might be doing to his left knee . . . One morning I was in the kitchen when he came back from a long run around Isleworth, and I noticed he was wearing Army boots. Tiger admitted that he’d worn the heavy shoes before on the same route. ‘I beat my best time,’ he said.”
And by 2007, Haney writes, the job of coaching Tiger became more difficult because of the burden of trying to break Jack Nicklaus record for most majors won
“There was more urgency and less fun . . . He never mentioned Nicklaus’ record, but it started to weigh more heavily at every major. And Tiger’s actions indicated he believed he had less time to do it than everyone thought.”
Jack Nicklaus said Tiger Woods can still beat his record of 18 major championships provided he can stay in control of his mental game. Nicklaus said that Woods can achieve the feat “if he gets the five inches between his ears squared out.”
“I mean Tiger has a great work ethic, he’s a great competitor, the most talented kid on the planet right now,” Nicklaus said. “He’s not going to go away.”
Woods has 14 major titles, but has not won any tournament since revelations of infidelities in 2009 led to the collapse of his marriage and a break from the sport. This season has been partly derailed by injuries, but Nicklaus also praised the decision by U.S. captain Fred Couples to include Woods in the 12-member Presidents Cup team that will take on non-European players in Australia in November.
“How could you not pick him,” Nicklaus said. “I mean he’s Tiger Woods, he’s the best player in the game. He may not be playing his best today, but he’s still Tiger Woods.”
Nicklaus made the comments while in South Korea to attend a Champions Tour event played on a course he designed.
Jack Nicklaus is “The Golden Bear” and of course royalty when it comes to golf majors. While everyone is bowing to Rory McIlroy after his U.S. Open performance, Nicklaus says pump the brakes.
“Don’t anoint him as the crown prince yet,” Nicklaus told the BBC on Sunday. “He has won one major. When he starts to win two, three or four, then you can say he’s the guy we’ve got to watch, period. But until that time comes, he’s one of a group of talented players that have got an opportunity to win.”
Not that McIlroy doesn’t have Nicklaus respect.
“I think Rory will add a lot of majors,” Nicklaus said. “Rory is a very talented young man who’s been a factor in every one of the majors over the last year. He could have won the Masters and (last year’s) U.S. Open, he could have won the British Open last year. He’s a talented young man we’re going to see on the scene for a long time.”