Monday, March 30, 2009

Tiger-woods-bay-hill-18  For almost 40 years, anytime someone was asked, "Who would you want putting if your life depended on it," the obvious answer was Jack Nicklaus. But over the years, Tiger Woods has earned a reputation as one of the greatest clutch putters of all time. On Sunday, as the skies in Orlando grew dark, Woods drained a 15-footer to win the Arnold Palmer invitational on the 72nd hole for the second consecutive year. This time his victim was Sean O'Hair. Last season Woods broke the heart of Bart Bryant on the same hole.On Monday afternoon, I spoke with Greg Norman, who like Nicklaus and Woods knows what it's like to be No. 1 in the world. I couldn't resist asking The Shark where he falls in the clutch putting debate — Nicklaus or Woods?"He and Nicklaus are even inside eight feet," Norman said after some consideration. "I think Woods is better than Nicklaus 10 feet to 20 feet."Norman, who will compete this week at the Shell Houston Open in preparation for next week's Masters, said that while Woods' ballstriking is good, his putting is better."If his ballstriking matched his putting, oh my God," he said with a laugh. "If you took what he was like in 2000 — I think he swung the golf club and hit the golf ball the best when he won at Pebble Beach by 15 shots — with his putting ability now, then you would expect the guy to win every golf tournament."So where do you stand on this debate? If your life was on the line, would you rather have Tiger or Jack putting? Write your answer in the comment area below.(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

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