Tiger's fellow Tour pros predict how Woods will play in 2011

Tiger’s fellow Tour pros predict how Woods will play in 2011

Most Tour pros believe Woods will return to form, just as he did during the 2010 Ryder Cup singles matches at Celtic Manor when he dismantled Francesco Molinari 4 & 3.
Robert Beck/SI

Ricky Barnes
“He’s still the most feared golfer in the world. He’s probably not as intimidating to some of the guys who have gone toe-to-toe with him [in 2010] and succeeded. But he showed a bit toward the end of the year, and he’ll come out with a vengeance. I’m sure he’s pissed off, and when he’s been pissed off he plays pretty well. Whether it’s one tournament or a major, I think he will win this year.”

Heath Slocum
“Just look at what kind of player he is. You have to feel like he’s going to play well again. More people will be shocked if he won zero-to-two events than if he wins five or six again. But who knows what he’s going through mentally. I say that he will win multiple events. I say yes to a major, too. Physically and mentally, last year was a tough year for him. I don’t want to say time heals everything, but it has been a year. After his performance at his own tournament [Chevron], he looks to be back closer to Tiger-mode.”

Brad Faxon
“I think he’s going to play great — he’ll win an event and also a major. He played well at the end of the year, and he had a chance to win a couple of times. It would be more of a shock if he didn’t win. He might win early and not win again. It’s definitely harder every year, not just because he’s getting older but because there are better players out here and guys that can play against him. It used to be guys didn’t want to play him, and now more guys are stepping up.”

Brian Gay
“I think he’ll play better and start winning again. He’s been the best player for a long, long, time, and obviously had some other things going on and was distracted last year. And he’s going through swing changes, so I think he’ll just get better the more he gets those changes down. I say he wins a few times: one major, several wins.”

Stewart Cink
“No matter what’s happened off the course, he’s still got skills, and he’ll come back out with a lot of confidence. There was another year where he played kind of poorly and everybody thought, ‘Ooh, what’s wrong with Tiger?’ And he won about nine tournaments the next year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do that. But it’s going to be hard because a lot of players are more confident than they used to be when facing Tiger Woods. We’ll see. I would say yes, he’ll win this year. The parts of his game that were causing him fits, like wild driving, seemed to be under control at the end of last year. He’s definitely in better shape to win a major this year than last year.”

Paul Goydos
“He’s way too talented to not be ultra-competitive. But his biggest obstacle is not himself. It’s everybody else. He’s got a large group of players who have filled the void. Graeme McDowell, obviously playing great, Dustin Johnson is potentially the best player in the game. The depth that he’s going to have to overcome today seems greater than ever. Yes, he will absolutely win an event this year. I’d say a major is 50/50. He’s a dominant player, he’s won 71 times, and 14 majors. Once he gets out there and stares a couple of guys down and wins a couple tournaments, he’ll be right back to where it was.”

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