by Jeff Skinner
So who made out better in the Tiger/Stevie split? Steve Williams is still gainfully employed and Tiger is without his trustworthy sidekick. Maybe the caddy that takes over for Williams will be the biggest winner when Woods comes back healthy and hoists another major championship trophy. That leads us to the question: Who wins a major first, Tiger Woods or Adam Scott? Contributor G. Rennie and I take a shot at predicting if we’ll see Tiger or Scott claim a major first.
G. Rennie: Is Tiger cleaning house so he can get so new mojo working for him? Who knows but it’s premature to say that his jettisoning of long time caddie and “friend” Steve Williams signals a new direction for the Woods camp. After all he’s still in bed with Steiny and if anyone in his entourage was an enabler for Tiger’s infidelities you have to think it was him.
So who wins the first major after this change- Tiger or Adam Scott? It’s Tiger. Even though he seems a light year away from his former self my money is on him. Let’s remember that Tiger possessed the all-time killer attitude in a sports figure. His mind was unique and it made him an irresistible force from his ’97 Master’s triumph (12 shots clear) up until his totally unexpected loss to Y.E.Yang at the PGA.
Tiger is a competitive shark – sharks know how to swim and kill. Tiger knows how to golf his ball and win. He will remember how to get it done, and he’ll win a major again.
Adam Scott will not win a major. I like this kid a lot but he’s given up on greatness, I think. He is plagued by doubt on the greens and is now wilding a broomstick. No one has ever won a big tournament, let alone a major with one of these “alternative putting methods”. Someone will break through some day and do it but I think it’ll be a guy who was weaned on the long putter and not someone who latched onto it like a drowning man clinging to a life preserver.
A good caddie is worth a lot on the pro tours. But I don’t think a caddie ever won a tourney for his player.
Skinner: There were rumors about Tiger and Steve splitting before but they always were denied by both parties so this may have been brewing for a long time. I think it’s odd that Woods would let go such an apparently loyal and trusted caddy as Steve Williams. After all, when the press was hounding Williams for info on Tiger’s “other life” he remained mum and just said Woods would be back. You never know what goes on between caddy and player, I guess.
One thing is certain: Expect the unexpected from the Woods Camp. It’s a two man show for now with Woods and Steinberg and neither of them is on top of their game right now.
There are a lot of “ifs” in this scenario: If Woods gets healthy, if he finds a new swing or even an old one. There are rumors now that Sean Foley and Tiger have split. Will Tiger come back with that same fire? The Tiger we have seen of late looks to lose interest unless he is hitting on all cylinders and is in the hunt.
As for Scott, he’s had an up and down run the past years but has found a new game. As for that broomstick that he carries, he is still looking to master that wand.
I’ll have to agree with you, that Woods has a better chance of winning that major before Scott. Woods used to know how to win. He could fall out of bed and beat any takers. I don’t think it will take long before he finds that again, if he gets healthy. It won’t be anywhere near as easy for Woods this time out. The field has learned to win majors now. Since Tiger’s absence plenty of players have found the major formula.
It will be a battle for Woods but a healthy Tiger is better equipped to win a major than Scott. But I won’t discount Scott as easily as you do. He has time enough to find “it” and contend in the big one. But if Woods comes back healthy and gets his head straight he’ll be a greater threat than Scott. But, like I said there’s always that “if.”