PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods isn't in the field for this week’s Honda Classic, but he received some support Wednesday from a player who is – Martin Kaymer.
Kaymer’s decline earlier this decade was not as precipitous as the one Woods is experiencing, but the German sympathizes with Woods’ plight. After reaching No. 1 in the world in early 2011, Kaymer fell to No. 63 before rebounding with wins at The Players Championship and U.S. Open last summer.
Now back inside the top 10, Kaymer believes some of the criticism surrounding Woods’ slow start is overly harsh.
“I think people should not forget that he’s as human as we are,” Kaymer said. “When he’s out here, everyone is watching him. And if you have some problems with this or that, like everyone else has, he’s so under the microscope. You hear it everywhere, you read it everywhere, you can barely watch TV without seeing your name. You know, we are all just humans.”
Woods has not played since withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open after 11 holes. He announced on Feb. 11 that he would take a break from competition until his game is “tournament-ready,” and the subsequent days have been filled with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Greg Norman offering their views on Woods’ woes.
“It must be very, very difficult to try to avoid listening and seeing all those things, because it’s a lot of negative,” Kaymer said. “Obviously when you don’t play well, people exaggerate even more and they find reasons, and they make up reasons, and that must be very difficult for him.”
“He’s not a machine. He’s not a robot,” Kaymer said. “He’s a human, as well, and I think we should never forget that, and we should give him a little bit of space as well. We all want him to play as good as he can.”