The Shark just took a bite out of Tiger Woods.
Hall of famer and former world No. 1 Greg Norman told Today Show host Matt Lauer that he didn’t think the struggling Woods would ever make it back to top form.
“Quite honestly, I doubt it,” Norman said. “Not the way he was in 2000 on for eight or nine years.”
Woods announced his hiatus from golf Feb. 11, citing his eagerness to work on his game and get back to the sport as soon as he felt it was ready. He has already decided to sit out the Honda Classic, and is ineligible for the WGC-Cadillac Championship March 5-8 because he’s out of the Top 50 world-ranking. Currently ranked 70th in the world, Woods is only five spots away from his lowest ranking ever in 1996, two months after he turned pro.
Norman said he speaks from personal experience when he identifies with what appears to be Woods’ chief struggle — his mental game — not to mention his chipping yips.
“Imagine standing over the back of the 12th green at Augusta National, and you’ve got to chip it down there, Rae’s Creek right in front of you, or the back of the 15th of Augusta National,” Norman said. “All those gremlins are going to be sitting in his head.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN that Woods would be “shocked” if he was not able to play the Masters, which he’s won four times. He missed the Masters for the first time in his career last year after having back surgery.
You can watch the full Greg Norman interview here.