Tiger’s tired and wishes he could find way to bow out, says Jor­dan

Bas­ket­ball icon tells US mag­a­zine his friend would quit if he won an­other ma­jor

The Herald - Herald Sport - - GOLF - BRUCE LANGHOLM

TIGER WOODS “wishes he could re­tire” and would do so if he won an­other ma­jor, ac­cord­ing to his friend and for­mer bas­ket­ball star Michael Jor­dan.

Woods has not played since Au­gust af­ter un­der­go­ing three back oper­a­tions in the space of 19 months and won the last of his 14 ma­jor ti­tles in 2008.

The for­mer world No.1 has re­port­edly been hav­ing lengthy prac­tice ses­sions ahead of a pos­si­ble re­turn to ac­tion and was caught on cam­era hit­ting shots dur­ing a clinic at a ju­nior event on Thurs­day.

But Jor­dan be­lieves the 40-year-old is “tired” af­ter a long ca­reer in the spot­light and told ESPN the Mag­a­zine: “I think he re­ally wishes he could re­tire, but he doesn’t know how to do it yet, and I don’t think he wants to leave it where it is right now.

“If he could win a ma­jor and walk away, he would, I think.”

Ac­cord­ing to the mag­a­zine, Woods has told his friend and for­mer PGA Tour player No­tah Be­gay that he “knows” his next comeback will be his last, while Jor­dan does not sound op­ti­mistic that it would be a suc­cess.

“The thing is, I love him so much that I can’t tell him, ‘You’re not gonna be great again’,” Jor­dan said.

Jor­dan also re­vealed that the sex scan­dal sur­round­ing Woods, which broke af­ter he crashed his car into a fire hy­drant and a tree in Novem­ber 2009, “looms” in the mind of the only player to hold all four ma­jor ti­tles at once.

“That both­ers him more than any­thing,” Jor­dan said. “It looms. It’s in his mind. It’s a ship he can’t right and he’s never go­ing to.

“What can you do? The thing is about T-Dub, he can­not erase. That’s what he re­ally wants. He wants to erase the things that hap­pened.”

Woods ap­peared ear­lier this week at the Ju­nior In­vi­ta­tional Tour­na­ment at Sage Val­ley Golf Club in Gran­iteville, South Carolina, to stage a clinic. He was filmed hit­ting balls, spark­ing spec­u­la­tion that he may be close to a re­turn. “It was amaz­ing to be able to see ar­guably the great­est golfer to ever play this game,” said US Ju­nior ama­teur cham­pion Philip Bar­ba­ree Jr.

“Ev­ery­one was so pumped up and ex­cited that we got to the clinic site 45 min­utes be­fore it started. It was also a great ex­pe­ri­ence to be able to hit balls along­side him be­fore the clinic.

“He shared ad­vice about how he prac­tises and I think that is in­valu­able to us. Com­pared to Rory McIl­roy (who held a clinic there last year) there was so much more hype af­ter we saw Tiger. It seems there is no way Sage Val­ley can top it next year.”

The Wells Fargo Cham­pi­onship (May 5-8), Play­ers Cham­pi­onship (May 12-15) and Me­mo­rial Tour­na­ment (June 2-5) are events Woods usu­ally plays, but there re­mains no con­crete timetable for his re­turn.

Jack Nick­laus ad­mits he would love to wel­come Woods to his course Muir­field Vil­lage in Dublin, Ohio, for the Me­mo­rial Tour­na­ment, but is not plac­ing any pres­sure upon him.

“All I would do is tell him I would sup­port him,’’ said Nick­laus. “If he wants to play, I would love to have him. If he doesn’t think he’s ready to play, he shouldn’t play.

“It would be a nice sur­prise for the tour­na­ment, but I would say the chances are no bet­ter than one in five. That’s not bad. It’s bet­ter than zero”

Mean­while, Ry­der Cup per­former Luke Don­ald has re­vealed that he came close to walk­ing away from the game af­ter fail­ing to reg­is­ter a ma­jor tour vic­tory for four years.

The for­mer world No.1 has dropped down the rank­ings since his last Euro­pean Tour suc­cess at the BMW PGA Cham­pi­onship in 2012 and was ready to look for new chal­lenges be­fore fin­ish­ing joint sec­ond in last week’s RBC Her­itage, two shots be­hind South Africa’s Bran­den Grace.

“It’s been very tough and at times I even thought: ‘Do I want to con­tinue work­ing this hard and not get­ting much out of it?’,” said the Englishman. ““I hope last week was a big step in the right di­rec­tion for me.”

POP­U­LAR: Tiger Woods caused a stir when he staged a clinic at the Ju­nior In­vi­ta­tional Tour­na­ment at Sage Val­ley Golf Club

OLD PAL: Michael Jor­dan is a close friend of the 14time ma­jor win­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.