Can Tiger Woods win The Masters?
THE MASTERS 2008 | Can Tiger Woods win all four majors?
By Golf World
03 April 2008 14:11
It's the question on everuone's lips as we head towards The Masters 2008 - 'Can Tiger Woods win the Grand Slam of golf?'
Wit The Masters 2008 just days away now the hype behind Tiger Woods has never been greater as he attempts to win all four major championships in a single year; a feat that has never been achieved before.
Tiger Woods may have held all four majors at once but not all of those were from a single year's play - He won all except the Masters in 2000, but then won the 2001 Masters title to bring all four together for the first time.
So will this years Masters event be different. Here's what some of the biggest names in the game think of his chances of winning all four:
Can he win the modern Grand Slam? Yes. Can he win more tournaments than anyone in Tour history? Yes. Can he be the greatest player of all time? Yes. Other players have come to see me, but they've done it after they turned pro. Tiger came to me when he was still an amateur. H covered every aspect of the game and personal matters that might be obstacles that could affect his game. Now he’s hitting the ball better, and his confidence is better. Some players play their best when they're 40. If he continues to do all the training he does now, there's no telling how long he can go. He's 32. He could go another 30 years.”
“Let's take away the ‘could’. This will be the year when Tiger does the Grand Slam. He looks so solid compared to anyone else. It's been a quite unbelievable display here. The message he sends to his fellow competitors is a bit of a bolt.”
“When I went into every season, that was my goal. From about 1965 on, I felt like I had the ability and the potential to give it a run. I remember there were years I didn't win the Masters, and I felt like my year was shot. And that's sort of ridiculous. I got over that because I knew there were a lot more tournaments to be played. And more realistically, the Grand Slam was possible but not likely. And yet it was my goal to start every year. I started preparing in January for the Masters, and that's what I looked at. I think Tiger looks at in much the same way, but Tiger is probably more attuned to it because he’s held all four of them at one time. That's a pretty lofty goal, but for a guy like Tiger, I wouldn't put it past him.”
“He’s just much better. It’s fun to see. I've been on tour for 28 years, and I've never seen this stuff.”
The fact of the matter is that when Tiger plays well nobody has beaten him. I donlt think he has ever played well in a tournament and lost. The times he has lost have been the times he's played poorly. I think people realise that if he plays well in all four majors he will win all four. That is just being honest and most players would admit that. We all have to up our game. Everybody has the shots he has, there are people who hit further, people with better short game, Mickelson probably does, there are guys who are better putters. But nobody has the complete game that he does, he is exceptional in every aspect of his game and until someone steps up it won’t change.
“It doesn't matter if Tiger is odds-on to win the next 12 events, I am still going to play my very best game every time. There are 155 guys out there every week and I can't control that. The only person I can look after is me and I will endeavour to play those events, those majors, as well as I can. If Tiger wins the next 12 as somebody said earlier, then fair play to him. my goal is not to worry about it. It is up to the media to create a story of the grand slam, but as a player I stay away from that. The prediction is that he is going to win the Slam but three other people won majors last year. He may the best there has ever been and in the best form of his career but there is enough quality of players out there to stand up to him. But if he does manage it, I'll shake his hand and say well done.”
ROB LEE, GOLF NIGHT
Augusta, Torrey Pines, Birkdale and Oakland Hills look good for Tiger, but to be honest any course does. He could win the grand slam this year but I don’t think he will. His rampant form right now won’t keep going and as he gets closer to 18, Jack’s total, he will put more pressure on himself and he may find them harder to come by.
DI STEWART, GOLF NIGHT
Sure he can - he's won five events on the bounce including that dramatic back nine in Dubai. In fact he's won seven of his last eight events and was runner up in the other. His game and mentality are there to completely dominate this season. His passion is as powerful as ever and the intimidation factor he poses means he's already a couple of shots ahead before teeing off in any tournament. Tiger winning the Grand Slam in ’08? It wouldn't surprise me.
I know there were probably moments last year with Elin having the baby, a lot of things, the fact that he lost his dad the year before. Sometimes people's focus can vary at different stages of your career. But I had Hank Haney down a couple weeks ago and we were playing golf, and we were just kind of talking, and I talked to Tiger a couple times this winter, not very much but a little bit, and I reckon he's as focused as ever and fired up and ready to go. And knowing that he's, what, 32 now, something like that, 31, whatever he is, I'd say he's very prepared for this year. He very easily could win all four majors.
"If Tiger Woods thinks he can win something, I don't know if anybody is going to argue with him."
The way he's playing right now is pretty spectacular. A lot of guys can hit it like Tiger power-wise but mentally he's second to none. Tiger is on another level. If there is someone who comes along and they're kind of neck-and-neck and pushing him, Tiger then raises his game even further. The challenge is going to be there but it's going to be brief and he'll just keep going.”
"He's obviously a very confident player and he should be. He's won countless events and double-digit majors so he should be confident."
I don't think courses are an issue for him anymore. He showed at Hoylake without bringing a driver out of his bag -- I just think he'll find a way to get it done. He loses a few shots every once in a while, but he'll get it under control it looks like a little quicker nowadays. Before it seemed like he continued throughout the course of a round he struggled, but it doesn't seem that way anymore. He'll struggle through a couple shots here and there but then find it real quick again. I always think he's capable of winning all four. I think it would be very difficult to do, but if anybody can, he's probably the guy to do it. I don't think courses are an issue, either, for him. But the depth of field is a factor. He's human, too. He's going to have to play his best in every one of them to win, and maybe not quite his best, but he's going to have to play pretty darned good, and he can't make any screw-ups coming in. Not that he does that very often, either. Everything has got to go right. There could be one or two guys through the course of the week that -- look at Angel Cabrera last year at the Open, they just catch fire and play great down the stretch. It's tough to come back on some of those courses if he doesn't have the lead or whatever. Yeah, I think it's just tough to do. I mean, he's done it. Not all in one calendar year, but he's had them all. It looks like it's possible.
“Obviously whenever Tiger plays, he's the man to beat. Especially with his career in majors right now, he's going to be very tough to beat.”
"Tiger is so good that he can find a way to win even when he's uncomfortable with his swing. But he kept getting more and more comfortable with each new move we added and gained more command, which led to confidence to trust without worrying about the bad shot. He's been at that point for a while now."
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