by Jeff Skinner
It’s strange how things can change in life. Not too long ago Tiger Woods was untouchable. He had a gold plated life. There wasn’t much he did wrong and if he did, certainly no one ever called him on it. Now it seems that Tiger is everyone’s punching bag.
The latest high profile pundit to take a swing at Mr. Woods is Sir Nick Faldo. After years of never saying a word to anyone while he was playing, now Faldo rarely hesitates to offer his opinion on anything. I guess being knighted gives Nick a bit more confidence.
Faldo thinks that Tiger may not be able to regain his focus and may have missed his chance to catch Jack Nicklaus’ record of eighteen majors.
“I do, personally (believe that),” Faldo said. “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. He’s very sensitive to any comments or criticisms that we have. It’s just about global communication. Something like that, trying to deal with that, I thought it was going to really affect him. Plus, there’s probably a lot going on in his life that we don’t know about. It’s just having that peace of mind. There’s nothing nicer for a golfer to go to the golf course all day long and you do what you want to do, practice-play or play-practice, and then you look at your watch and say, ‘I’m going home – it’s 6 p.m.’
“Now, I know what it’s like. The phone’s always going; people are texting, emailing. I can’t concentrate like that. 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. The phone is ringing off the hook and there are all sorts of things to talk about.
“That’s one of the simplest things that can affect you, whether it happens for business reasons or personal reasons. Once you break that concentration, it really does affect you.”
“It’s now two seasons. It’s not like it’s been two months. Two seasons of golf have gone by. He hasn’t been in a comfortable mode for two years. Even when he comes back for the President’s Cup, he won’t be comfortable because he’ll be under the questions and spotlight – should he be there or shouldn’t he be there?”
Faldo knows a bit about dealing with off course issues and how it can affect you. He went through three wives while playing and even had a girlfriend beat up his Porsche with a golf club.