Shark scarier than Tiger

Inside Golf - - PGA - David­new­bery

FOR­MER Aus­tralian Open cham­pion John Sen­den has ad­mit­ted that Greg Nor­man is a far more in­tim­i­dat­ing op­po­nent than Tiger Woods.

Sen­den, who has played along­side both play­ers on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, said the Shark’s aura was ex­tremely pow­er­ful.

“I al­ways thought that Greg Nor­man had more of an aura than Tiger,” he said.

“Maybe that’s got some­thing to do with age be­cause I was still quite young when we played to­gether.

“When I played with Tiger he had that aura as well, but I didn’t feel as in­tim­i­dated play­ing with Tiger than I did with Greg Nor­man.”

Sen­den has enor­mous re­spect for Nor­man, who he looks up to as a “fa­ther-fig­ure” in golf.

“Per­son­ally, I haven’t had a lot to do with Greg, but I feel he has looked after me and he al­ways asks ‘how’s your game – how are you look­ing’.

“When I have played with Tiger in 2007, I looked at him on the first tee and saw how fo­cussed and quiet-minded he was and thought, ‘this is the guy to beat’.

“I knew he had won ev­ery­thing else be­fore that, but I had a re­ally good day on the first day and beat him.

“He beat me by a cou­ple of shots on the sec­ond day, but I was two in front of him after two rounds and then he shot some­thing like 66-65 on the week­end to win the tour­na­ment.

“I played with him again at the Deutsche Bank in Boston last year and he looked very dif­fer­ent.

“He wasn’t per­form­ing as well on the golf course and was get­ting frus­trated with his short game and putting.

“He was still great to play with – very friendly and al­ways great to watch whether he’s play­ing good or bad.”

Sen­den said play­ing along­side Woods can be daunt­ing be­cause of all the com­mo­tion go­ing on around him.

“He is not the dis­trac­tion – it’s his en­tourage, the crowd and the noises you hear be­cause of the num­bers of peo­ple fol­low­ing him,” he said.

The lanky Queens­lan­der be­lieves Woods has the abil­ity to one day dom­i­nate the golf world again.

“He has got to get his body (and mind) right first, but I think it’s pos­si­ble that he could dom­i­nate the game again,” he told In­side Golf.

“But no-one re­ally knows what is go­ing on with his life­style.

“We have all seen what’s hap­pened so he’s got that hur­dle to take care of as well.”

Sen­den, who won the John Deere Clas­sic in 2006, is search­ing for his sec­ond vic­tory on the US PGA Tour and hopes it will be enough to cat­a­pult him into the In­ter­na­tional team for the Pres­i­dents Cup.

“To be recog­nised by Greg Nor­man I re­ally need to win be­fore the Cup,” he said.

“ The ul­ti­mate goal would be to play in the Pres­i­dents Cup on home soil.”

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