Is Tiger Woods now a spent force or do you expect him to come back with a vengeance?
One thing we forget with Tiger is that he’s been at this game for nearly 20 years now. For any athlete, you’re eventually going to tail off at some point. For him to find consistency, with the latest injury, it's tough for him. All these injuries he's endured in recent times, they all stack up. When you look at the stats, I think he's been off the course through injury 31 months in the last six years. It’s got to all add up with the wear and tear on the body and the wear and tear on the mind.
Tiger will probably re-group and get all determined again but it’s a tough thing to come out and play on such a limited schedule. If I had one true criticism of Tiger, I'd just love him to play a week and then have a week off to assess it, then come back and do it again. Do that for a couple of months. He talks about playing reps, and saying that is his priority, and then doesn’t play.
The WGC at Akron with four rounds and no cut might help him considerably before the PGA Championship at Valhalla, but when you see the standard of the guys that are fit and strong right now, he must be looking at that and thinking it’s not how it once was out there. Tiger didn’t have to look at anybody when he was in his prime. Now he’s thinking ‘wow there’s half a dozen guys out here playing really well right now’.
So I assume you're still holding onto the notion that Tiger will fail to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors?
I’ve always said he won't break the record ever since what happened to him off the course some five, six seasons ago. Back then I thought there was just too much going on off the course and that it would affect his concentration in practice.
Who knows if he will win a 15th major when you think he’s got to beat the likes of Rory and people like that. It will be unbelievable if he can win a 15th major, though. I personally think it will be the greatest achievement in Tiger's career if he can win a 15th major.
If you were Tom Watson and Tiger wasn't automatically in the US Ryder Cup side come deadline day, would you give him a wildcard pick?
Tom has a lot of ifs about Tiger. If he’s playing well, if he’s performing well and if he’s got some results. Those are three big ifs.
If Tiger doesn’t do something crazy, as in he desperately needs two top-5 showings at the WGC and PGA Championship just to make the top 125 cut off point for the FedEx Cup, then he's not going to be playing competitive golf a month before the Ryder Cup.
I think, again, who knows, that’s really the bottom line. If Tiger plays great the next two weeks and makes the FedEx Cup then he probably makes the side. If Tiger plays poorly the next two weeks then it will probably be an easy decision for Tom.
Which side do you believe is favourite for the 2014 Ryder Cup right now?
On paper as it stands, Europe look really strong. Rory's obviously playing great and Martin Kaymer is back playing great again. G-Mac [Graeme McDowell] is in top form, too. Who knows, our Ryder Cup specialist [Ian] Poulter may even need a pick, so might Lee Westwood, when you consider the recent performances of [Stephen] Gallacher and [Jamie] Donaldson. So yeah, right now, we are looking really strong and I see us as the favourites.