The chatter over Tiger Woods’s future has reached a fever pitch in recent days with opinions registered by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Luke Donald, and Greg Norman. (Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad weighed in, clearing the floor of the U.N. with his bold prediction that Tiger would win 40 majors and reunite with Elin.) Next on the podium? Johnny Miller, of course! In a chat with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miller was surprisingly upbeat about the state of Tiger’s game.
Miller also offered up a brief psychoanalysis of Woods:
"If Tiger sticks with it, stays patient, he’ll have a second career. It won’t be like the first. It could be like a Phil Mickelson career. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win three, four more majors. I don’t see him winning a fifth one, the big one."
Less optimistic about Woods is former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, who pulled out his tarot cards for Reuters and proclaimed that if Tiger’s poor play continues, the World No. 49 might soon head for the hills:
"Tiger’s intellect is such, that he’s so curious you can tempt him into trying something that might be the nirvanic swing. If there’s a weakness for Tiger, he’s looking for that pot of gold. Well, he’s had that pot, but he can’t resist trying new swings. If he had stuck with his Adam Scott swing, he never would have had a lull."
UBS follows trading scandal with Pebble Beach boondoggle Four years after Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal was pilloried for playing too much golf while Wall Street burned, banking behemoth UBS is under attack this week for descending on Pebble Beach for a golf boondoggle in the wake of losing $2.3 billion in a trading scam. As the New York Post put it: “Nothing washes away the tarnish of a $2.3 billion rogue trading scandal like fine wine, ocean vistas and a few rounds of golf on the legendary links of Pebble Beach.” Bloomberg Businessweek procured this defense from the bank:
"I've got huge respect for Jack and he thinks Tiger will come back (to form) and has a good chance of beating his record. Frankly I think it's 30-70 against him getting back to the level he was at.
I can see a possibility of Tiger packing it in. I can see him getting to the point where he is fed up. If he doesn't feel like he can win majors any more then he might just pack it in and concentrate on his foundation and try to redeem himself to the public by doing good work for his foundation.
If he is outside the top 50 and doesn't qualify for World Golf Championship (WGC) events and the FedEx Cup he might say, 'I'm hitting my head up against the wall and might not bother."
Relaxed and informal? Van Cortlandt Park wouldn’t do? On the flipside...
“The 2011 Invitational is a long-standing tradition at UBS where clients of our investment-banking practice have an opportunity to confer with one another and their advisers in a relaxed and informal setting,” Peter McKillop, a bank spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.
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The advantages of hosting the annual golf event may outweigh any “negative” publicity for the Zurich-based firm, said Steven Kaplan, a professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
“If it made business sense a month ago, it makes business sense today. There's a benefit to getting in front of your clients. Given what happened, there's an additional benefit to reassure them.”