Tiger Woods — Still the Best Golfer in the World?

I was beginning to think about my 2011 Masters predictions post this week, when I woke up this morning to see this interview with Tiger Woods on ESPN. When asked “Who is the best player in the world?” Tiger could only respond with a smirk and another question, “When I get me swing dialed in?”

As much as Tiger now has his doubters, even given the fact that he hasn’t won a tournament since November 2009, I tend to agree with him. He’s had some pretty significant extracurricular activities to distract him and he changed his swing coach, both of which are in fact pretty good excuses for his performance as of late. But the guy is as hungry as ever — he’s just 4 measly little majors away from Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 (4 majors and measly can only be used in the same sentence because of Tiger) and clearly still believes that he will bring that record to his feet. Not to mention he’s still got more talent in his pinky finger than anyone on tour (although I do see that extra gear in Rory McIlroy as well).

As for the Masters, I’ve already predicted a breakout win for Tiger a few times over and missed, so I’m hesitant to do it again. Tiger is playing next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill — let’s just say that tournament will have a lot to do with my prediction. Stay tuned.

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5 responses to “Tiger Woods — Still the Best Golfer in the World?

  1. There are two parts of this interview which are important. First, that Tiger still believes he is the best golfer in the world. It’s inconsequential whether or not Tiger actually is the best (or could again be the best) in the world. What is important is that Woods’ believes that no one else has a game which is superior to his. Second, and this goes more to the point of Tiger breaking Jack’s record, Woods’ is continuing to state that his children/family hold a great priority to him than golf. When Tiger first made this statement back on Mike & Mike last Nov. or Dec. (the brain is failing me) my immediate reaction was that Woods would fail short of achieving 18+ majors, principally because Tiger was giving greater priority to something in his life than golf. I guess you could argue that Woods gave a similar priority to banging pornstars and restaurant hostesses, but we know that Tiger had success doing this and it’s speculative at best to say that he will achieve any degree of similar success with his kids as a greater priority than golf. I just believe that what we are witnessing is a new Tiger Woods and someone who we don’t yet understand. In this sense it might be better if we forget who he was and judge him by his performances on the golf course going forward.

    Lastly, no offense to howiGit…but golf predictions are completely worthless. Here’s my take on that: http://sports-glutton.com/2011/01/05/forget-those-yearly-golf-predictions/

    • As I said, I agree with Tiger that he’s still the best in the world. You make a good point about his priorities shifting, and the fact that the new Tiger Woods is a person that we don’t yet understand. He should be judged by what he does going forward — and I do believe that will include winning 5+ majors. Golf predictions are tough, no doubt about it, because one or two loose swings, weather, and or just the finicky nature of golf performance (no matter how good you can be) make it incredibly tough. That said, a little known fact to many howiGit readers is that I am completely golf obsessed. My athletic passions lie primarily in (in order) 1) Pitching 2) Golf 3) Basketball. I’ve now got a bum arm so that leaves me playing a hell of a lot of golf — and I can’t resist the predictions. Especially at the Masters as it’s the beginning of the golf season.

      • We share a similar story in athletic passions, with the exception of basketball…always been more of a football freak myself. Golf is arguably the greatest mental challenge in sports. I’m also consumed with the playing the game and at not too long along competing professionally.

        I do agree that for all intensive purposes the Masters is the start of golf season.


  2. Torin D

    Tiger has shots in his bag that no other golfer before or since would ever even dream of attempting (as does Phil with the wedges). He is the most talented golfer to pick up sticks. Yes, he is the best player. Anyone that has stepped on the links knows that 80% of hitting that shot is the confidence that you can. Is there anyone out that more confident that Tiger? I am starting to think that this is the “Tiger Blood” that Charlie Sheen is talking about. Tiger will again be the #1 golfer in the world at the end of this season.

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