Jack Nicklaus has a message for Greg Norman. Well, it's more of a command: "Down boy."
The Golden Bear said as much on ESPN Radio 980 on Wednesday, when asked about Norman's well publicized claims that Tiger Woods is intimidated by Rory McIlroy, and in bad decline.
Quiet Greg, quiet. Down boy. I think Tiger had a pretty darn good year this year. It’s the first time he has gotten himself back into contention in the majors, he didn’t finish them and I think by his own admission he said he had a hard time finishing them. That’s like anything else. He had a pretty big event in his life that changed a lot of things and he has to learn how to go back and play again. I think he’s learned how to play again, now he has to learn how to finish again. I think Tiger has a lot of wins left in him.
Nicklaus went on in his usual, measured way to praise this new (post-Norman) generation of golfers, who he sees as willing to go toe-to-toe with anyone, Tiger or no Tiger:
He does have a lot more competition. During the couple of years when Tiger wasn’t really there all of the sudden you have Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and I could probably name a half dozen other guys that have all won and learned how to win in Tiger’s absence. They’re not scared of him anymore. Before Tiger just showed up coming down the stretch and everybody said ‘oh there’s Tiger and I wilt.’ They don’t do that anymore. Tiger’s got his work cut out for him, but I don’t think Tiger is by any means finished. I just think Tiger is too good of an athlete and too good of a player.”