The Bear doesn’t need to watch a Tiger play anymore.
Millions of golf fans may still be interested in whether Tiger Woods can come back to play competitive golf, but one of them isn’t Jack Nicklaus, whose record of winning 18 major championships is no longer in jeopardy of being matched.
The sports world is still fascinated with Woods, ever since his career crashed with a nine iron through his windshield on the night of the famous fight with his former wife. At that time, Woods was still considered capable of catching Nicklaus.
Since then, Tiger has been in various forms of rehab more than he has been in contention on the back nine on Sunday. He’s been treated for sex addiction and pain pills addiction, undergone one surgery after another on his back and various other body parts. He’s restarted his career, then withdrawn from tourneys and, finally, set no time table for his full return, if ever.
The 41-year-old Woods finished in the top ten in a minor tournament recently, setting the golf world a dither to see if he can play in more events and perhaps the Masters this April. Nicklaus isn’t one of them and said so this week.
“Not interested at all,” the Golden Bear barked. “Do I wish Tiger well? Yeah, but I’m not interested in watching him. I’ve watched him play golf for 20-something years, why would I want to go watch more? I don’t watch anybody play golf.”
Tell it like it is, Jack. Frankly, if you were 77 and had won 73 PGA tour events, including those 18 majors, and were still considered the greatest golfer of all time, would you care about watching someone whose personal life has made as many headlines as his on-course heroics? Nicklaus cannot control how often he is mentioned in the same story or conversation with Woods, but he doesn’t have to participate.
Woods watching seems kind of silly anyway, considering the plethora of great young players who have emerged while Tiger has been chasing his tail. Besides the various injuries, Woods has lost the one element that made him so dominant – the fear he put into every other player in the tournament. Young guns may still respect his game and want to compete with him, but they are no longer scared of him.
And the retired Nicklaus, whose career and personal life were exemplary, doesn’t have to do either.