‘Why did he do that?’ – Gary Player shares controversial Tiger Woods opinion

Tiger Woods

Gary Player has weighed in on why he thinks Tiger Woods did not reach his full potential as an athlete.

Woods has won 14 majors, but Player believes he should have won more than 20 by now.

Player opined that Woods turning to coaches who were at best average players stunted his momentum and saw him go off the boil.

The South African multi-major winner says that Woods looking to coaches for guidance was a big mistake given where his game was at the time.

Player points to the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach as what he feels was the peak of Woods’ powers.

The prolific course designer believes Woods had no reason to change his game at that point.

He feels that the attempts made by Woods to tweak his game would lead to him slipping away from his peak before time.

Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and is one of the most famous athletes in modern history but Player believes that he could have an even more impressive legacy.

“The US Open at Pebble Beach, he won by 15 shots. You know what that’s like? It’s like running the 100 meters in seven seconds. The next week, he’s having a lesson from a man who, I don’t think, if he played in the Masters, could break 80.”

“And then he goes to another guy who couldn’t probably break 85 in the Masters with the pressure, or the British Open or the PGA on the final day. And he’s having lessons from them.”

“Why did Tiger do that? He was so good, but I understand he wanted to get better,” Player went on.

“If he had just gone along and never changed, he would have won at least 22. He would’ve gone down as the greatest athlete the world has ever seen.”

At the age of 20, Woods became a professional golfer in 1996 after having an exceptional junior, collegiate, and amateur career.

By the end of April 1997, he had won his first major, the 1997 Masters, by 12 shots in a record-breaking performance, along with three PGA Tour titles.

In June 1997, little over than a year after going pro, he marked his first appearance at number one in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Woods dominated golf for the first ten years of the twenty-first century. From August 1999 to September 2004 (a span of 264 weeks), and from June 2005 to October 2010 (a span of 281 weeks), he had the highest ranking of golfers in the world. He won thirteen majors in this period.

Personal problems and injuries plagued the next decade of Woods’ career and although he would add another Major when he won his fifth Masters in 2019, he hasn’t recaptured the TIGER mode that marked his early career.