The on-course plight of Tiger Woods might seem unparalleled, but according to Padraig Harrington it’s reminiscent of what we saw from Seve Ballesteros late in his career.
“When I came out on Tour in 1996-97 … I played with (Seve) an awful lot … Every time (Seve) hit it in the trees, it was like a dozen practice swings trying to figure it out on the tee box before he left the tee,” said Harrington on Tuesday, when he joined the GOLF.com Podcast. “He was a completely different person from the one I had seen growing up who never took a practice swing … just always talked about what he was going to do next.”
That’s a bit of what Harrington, who picked up a big win at the Portugal Masters Sunday, sees in Woods.
“You can probably parallel it to Tiger. Probably by the end of the 80s and start of the 90s, the media had gotten into (Ballesteros’) head that he wasn’t a good driver of the ball … I played with Tiger Woods from 1997 onwards and he was a phenomenal driver of the golf ball.
“The media seemed to get in his head around 2007. You hit a ball in the trees, ‘Oh, you’ve got to fix that.’ He didn’t have to fix it. He was so good from the trees and so aggressive off the tee. That’s what made him a great driver of the ball. Every time he stood on a par-5, Tiger hit it 330 down the middle. The big drive he hit well.
“When you’re hitting it 330 yards off the tee, you are going to miss fairways. It’s not a huge, big deal. Certainly, I think the media just harped on about it so much with Tiger Woods because it looked like he could improve in that area. It’s caused issues for him down the road. Now, he’s the guy that every time he takes out the driver, he’s trying to prove to the world that he’s a good driver of the ball. He never needed to do that early on in his career.”
Harrington also discussed his recent victory and equipment change and told us why he isn’t ready to captain the European Ryder Cup team just yet. Listen to that and more in the podcast below: