Thursday 19 July 2018

Michael Jordan: Tiger would walk away if he won another Major


Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

William S Callahan

Golf goes on without Tiger Woods, and despite the 14-times Major winner practising hard to return after three back operations in the space of 19 months, his friend Michael Jordan says the time to quit is looming for Woods.

The former world No 1 has reportedly been having lengthy practice sessions ahead of a possible return to action and was caught on camera hitting shots during a clinic at a junior event on Thursday.

Former basketball legend Jordan believes the 40-year-old is "tired" after a long career in the spotlight and told ESPN the Magazine: "I think he really wishes he could retire, but he doesn't know how to do it yet, and I don't think he wants to leave it where it is right now.

"If he could win a Major and walk away, he would, I think."

According to the magazine, Woods has told his friend and former PGA Tour player Notah Begay that he "knows" his next comeback will be his last, while Jordan does not sound optimistic that it would be a success.

"The thing is, I love him so much that I can't tell him, 'You're not gonna be great again,'" Jordan said.

Jordan also revealed that the sex scandal surrounding Woods, which broke after he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree in November 2009, "looms" in the mind of the only player to hold all four Major titles at once.


"That bothers him more than anything," Jordan said. "It looms. It's in his mind. It's a ship he can't right and he's never going to.

"What can you do? The thing is about T-Dub, he cannot erase. That's what he really wants. He wants to erase the things that happened."

Meanwhile, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh and Louis Oosthuizen, all of them Major champions, have led the pack in high-profile withdrawals from possible selection for the Olympics Golf tournament at Rio in August.

In the short term, criticism from some quarters seems an inevitable consequence, particularly for Scott.

Dawn Fraser, 78, a four-time Australian Olympic swimming champion, posted on Facebook, saying: "Well done, Adam. Great to put your country on hold so that you can fulfil your own schedule.

"How much money do you want in life? Not showing much for your country."

Scott, 35, the recent winner of the Honda Classic and WGC-Cadillac Championship, had issued a statement saying his decision was taken "as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional."

However, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Shane Lowry are all enthusiastic about the Games.

None of them are playing in the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio where overnight leader Brendan Steele of the USA continued to set the pace.

Steele, whose caddie is Christian Donald, brother of Luke, shot 64 on Thursday and held the early clubhouse lead yesterday on ten-under par following a 70.

On the European Tour, Ireland's Paul Dunne was happy to complete 36 holes in the weather-battered Shenzhen International in China.

His 68, 69 for seven-under par 137 left him in joint third place, six shots behind tournament leader Soomin Lee, who led by three from nearest challenger Joost Luiten.

A total of 35 players were unable to start their second rounds yesterday.

Headfort's Rory McNamara shot a level-par 72 to remain at eight-under after round three of the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge in Suez. England's Jordan Smith leads on fifteen-under.

Shenzhen International

Live, Sky Sports 4, 12.0am

Valero Texas Open

Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.0pm

Irish Independent

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