Greg Norman says Tiger Woods won't win another major

Greg Norman, August 2011
Angus Murry
Greg Norman will captain the International team at the Presidents Cup in November.

Greg Norman said Tiger Woods has too many distractions now to maintain the focus he had when he won 14 majors in 11 years, and he doesn't think Woods will win another major championship.

Norman, who held golf's No. 1 ranking for a total of 331 weeks between 1986 and 1998 and won two British Opens, made the comments in an interview in the November issue of Golf Magazine. Woods's last major win was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, and he has not won a tournament since his Orlando car accident in November 2009 and the ensuing sex scandal.

"Tiger, when he dominated, had a single-shot approach," Norman said. "It was only about the golf."

That's just not the case anymore, Norman said.

"Now there are so many distractions, and people are looking for things that are wrong with Tiger now, so he's got to deal with that on a day-to-day basis, like every other mortal has to do, right?" Norman continued. "In our lives, in our business, we all have to be responsible for our actions. It's very hard for him to have that focus. And the more he shuts people off, the worse it gets."

Norman is one of the game's most popular and outspoken players. While many people in golf have been careful not to write off a slumping Woods — current world No. 1 Luke Donald issued a clarification after he was quoted as saying "the Tiger era is over" and Jack Nicklaus recently said Woods could still pass his record of 18 majors — Norman said Woods lacks the "street smarts" to recover his game and his life.

"He thinks everything's OK because his world is so cocooned," Norman said.

Prior to Woods's arrival on the pro scene in 1996, Norman, 56, was the game's biggest star. Woods, of course, eclipsed Norman and held the No. 1 ranking for a record 623 weeks before surrendering it last year. Woods also hired Norman's former caddie Steve Williams, who was with Woods for 13 years before being fired this year. After Woods let him go, Williams said that he "wasted two years of my life" standing by Woods during his scandals and injuries. Norman said that Williams's anger over the split points to "underlying issues" between Williams and Woods.

"I've known Stevie Williams since he was 15 years old," Norman said. "I know the DNA of the guy, how morally and ethically straight down the middle he is with things. I think there's more to it."

Norman advised his former caddie to hold his head high during Woods's scandals, something Woods has been unable to do, he added.

"Well, just look at his body language," Norman said of Woods. "He doesn't keep his head up anymore, he's got his eyes down, he's trying to keep his eyes away from the camera, right?

"It's like I said to Steve: 'Keep your head up, walk around proud of who you are,'" Norman continued. "Tiger can still play, and I think he'll win again. But he's not going to do what he did before."

No stranger to the gossip pages after his messy divorce with former stewardess Laura Andrassy and his brief marriage to tennis star Chris Evert, Norman said he thinks his experiences could help Woods.

"I'd love to talk to Tiger about it, guy to guy," Norman said. "The president of the United States [Bill Clinton], when he came to my house, wanted to talk to me guy to guy. We all put our underpants on the same way, one leg at a time. So we sit down and have a chat until two o'clock in the morning."

Norman said he hasn't spoken to Woods recently, but he will see Woods at the Presidents Cup in Australia this November. Norman is captain of the international team, and U.S. captain Fred Couples has said he will use a captain's pick on Woods.

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