Norman weighs in on Tigers run at Jacks record
Norman also sees Woods’ quest to break Jack Nicklaus’ record for major championship victories growing more difficult.
Norman’s opinions came out in answer to questions during the Shark Shootout media day today in Naples. Here are excerpts:
Norman on whether Woods will return to the dominant form he showed before his accident last year led to revelations about his marital infidelities:
“I don't think it's going to be as easy for him as what it was in the past. I think his confidence level has been completely dented a little bit. Not on his private life side of things, but more in his golf game. I'm sure when he walks to the tee now, he doesn't have the same adulation that he had before. . .
'I was an international player, so you get this. When you walk from green to tee, and there are 30,000 people, and 1,000 of them between the green and tee, you get things thrown in your ear that you cannot block out, no matter how strong your mind is. So Tiger has probably experienced a little bit of that, and it's going to be tough because he's gone through 10, 15 years of his career where everybody was just yelling great things to him . . .
'Technically, he'll get his game back to where he'll be able to hit the ball the way he likes to hit the ball, and he'll get his confidence back that way, but he has to deal with the other issues, as well, and they just compound a little bit, and make life just a little bit more difficult.'
On the competition Woods is facing:
'Each year that goes by, Tiger gets a year older, and these kids get a year younger, and now the kids are not as intimidated by Tiger Woods as they used to be. The group of guys that grew up with Tiger are still Tiger's age, so they're moving on, as well. So now you have this fresh pool of young talent coming through who is saying, give me the reins, I'll go take it on any time, which is great.'
About Woods’ longevity:
'The sustainability for a player to be at the top level for a long period of time is tough, because, hey, he's under the microscope more now than he's ever been . . . You get put on this pedestal so everybody wants to know what you're doing, and the more you keep yourself out there, the harder it is to keep all that stuff away.'
'So eventually it gets through. So when it gets through, the concentration level and the application level and the commitment and dedication are probably the same, but it's probably not the way it used to be within himself. He'll come back. He'll come back and win golf tournaments, but he won't be as dominating as he used to be, is what I think anyway.'
On Woods' chances of breaking Nicklaus’ record for major championship victories:
'I think he still has a chance to catch Jack. I think the chances are getting slimmer and slimmer, though. Like I said, the younger players are getting better and better and he's not as intimidating on the golf course as much anymore, and he's not winning. So winning breeds success and confidence.'
'As he goes into Augusta next year, if he hasn't won a golf tournament, that's going to be nearly a year and a half maybe. That's going to be really tough on him, because now you start doubting yourself and you think, `OK, when will I ever win again?' And then you've got to think about winning majors to break Jack's record.'
“He's a good enough player to do it, there's no question about it. It's just that as more time goes on, those chances start to dwindle more and more.”
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president