Norman: Woods has become mentally 'unraveled'


The entourage of players willing and able to offer their analysis of the plight currently facing Tiger Woods continues into a new week. This time it is former world No. 1 Greg Norman, whose assessment of Woods' situation was less than optimistic.

Norman appeared on NBC's "Today" days after celebrating his 60th birthday and spoke with host Matt Lauer about Woods, who announced earlier this month that he would be taking a break from competition. According to the two-time major champ, it's unlikely that Woods will return to the heights he achieved earlier in his career.

"Not top form, not to where he was from 2000 on for that period of eight or nine years," Norman said. "His body is starting to show a lot of let down. He's hit a lot of golf balls, he has a lot of power and flexibility and when you add power and flexibility, something's got to give. Your little joints, the facet joints, you know he has Achilles' problems, he's got back problems.

"Quite honestly," Norman added, "mentally he is a little unraveled."

Woods announced last week that he would skip the Honda Classic, and while his next PGA Tour start remains unknown a popular theory calls for Woods to tee it up next month at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as his lone start before the Masters. Norman - who knows a thing or two about the demons that can often lurk around the fairways and greens at Augusta National - believes that Woods' short-game woes will continue to plague him at the season's first major.

"Imagine with what we've seen since December of last year, with his short game, chipping," he said. "Imagine standing over the back of the 12th green at Augusta National, you've hit it over the back and you've got to chip it down there and Rae's Creek right in front of you. Or the back of the 15th green at Augusta National. All of those gremlins are going to be sitting in his head."