Time for Eldrick to Come out of Woods

Daily Mail (London), July 20, 2015 | Go to article overview

Time for Eldrick to Come out of Woods


Byline: John Greechan

THERE goes the guy who used to be Tiger Woods. What's his name again? Ah yes, Eldrick. We should all call him that from now on. Because Tiger, that fearsome persona imposed upon the talented child by his dominating father, is extinct.

Too harsh, too damning, even too soon to make a call of such finality? It would be nice to be wrong, it really would. But the evidence is surely impossible to ignore.

If any place on earth, any week in history, was going to witness the rebirth of Woods as a potential major champion, it was over the Old Course in this Open Championship.

Even among those unable to forgive the 14-time major winner his failings as husband, father and nominal role model, there can be no real sense of joy in watching those optimistic predictions of a comeback win or even a one-off blip in a cycle of repeated humiliations fall flat.

Still, to deny the obvious simply makes no sense. Eldrick is not just an ex-Tiger. He is an ex-golfer, at least when it comes to competing professionally.

Oh yeah, out on the range, he can bash balls with the best of 'em. He looked good enough ripped, athletic, controlled and solid on the practice ground here early last week that more than a few observers rushed out to put on each-way bets.

The logic held that, quite possibly, you would never again see Woods available at odds of up to 40-1. Not for an Open Championship at St Andrews, anyway.

Now? Any bookie offering less than 500-1, the kind of price usually reserved for old-timers turning up just to enjoy a couple of rounds and pose for photos on the Swilcan Bridge, is taking the mickey.

And, in the best traditions of the profession, psychologists are already blaming the parents. In this case, the late Earl Woods, the man who taught his son how to be tougher than anyone, stronger than anyone, more determined and more capable of getting 'in the zone' than any player maybe any athlete since, well, maybe since time began, for all we know. …

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