NASSAU, Bahamas – Adam Scott was a senior in high school when Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters. Jordan Spieth was 3 years old. Both men – a former world No. 1 and the current world No. 1 – spoke Wednesday about the effect Woods has had on their careers.
Scott and Spieth are competing in the Hero World Challenge. Woods, the tournament host, spoke on Tuesday and gave a less-than-glowing appraisal of his physical status and had no answer as to when he might return to Tour.
Scott and Spieth wished Tiger well and discussed his personal influence.
“He inspired all of us to play golf like he did and it was kind of at that point (Tiger’s ’97 Masters win) a transition from having a wardrobe full of Shark (Greg Norman) clothes to Nike swooshes when I played, and every kid was buying the shirt he wore when he won the Masters or his hat or something like that,” Scott said.
“I was really lucky then to work with Butch [Harmon] when Butch was still working with Tiger. I feel so fortunate to have played practice rounds with Tiger at majors in the year 2000, 2001 and really see up close what is the best golf I've ever seen, just head and shoulders above the rest. It's hard to explain to Jordan coming out now how he was just so much better than everyone at that point. We're all quick to forget that sometimes.”
Said Spieth: “There's nobody who had more influence in my golf game than Tiger. … The way that he was able to bring it in the majors. Really, he brought it in every tournament. He didn't play 25 events a year and the ones he did play he often won or almost won. So just kind of the way that he was able to get into contention and be in contention and be at that highest kind of mental part of the game week in and week out and major in and major out. What we were able to do kind of this season he did for 15 years straight. It took a lot out of us this year, and to imagine doing that, which is obviously the goal, it's really special.