In recent months, Tiger Woods’ golf mortality has never been more apparent. From a career-worst 82 during the Phoenix Open to chipping woes in three tournament appearances to a nagging back that forced him out after 11 holes at Torrey Pines, Woods has arguably never looked worse.
Everyone has a diagnosis and answer for Woods, who said Feb. 11 that he won’t play again until his game is “tournament ready.”
Martin Kaymer knows the struggle. The former world No. 1 dropped all the way to 63rd in the world ranking as he was making changes to his game. Kaymer heard similar, albeit not as loud, chatter when he was looking for answers and was quick to point out Wednesday that golfers are human beings, too.
“He’s not a machine. He’s not a robot,” Kaymer said at The Honda Classic. “He’s a human, as well, and I think we should never forget that, and we should give him a little bit of space as well. We all want him to play as good as he can.”
There hasn’t been a lack of high-profile names to weigh in on his problems, either. Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Johnny Miller have, as well David Duval and all three of his former swing coaches — Butch Harmon, Hank Haney and Sean Foley.
“When he’s out here, everyone is watching him, and if you have some problems with this or that, like everyone else has, he’s so under the microscope,” Kaymer said. “You hear it everywhere, you read it everywhere, you can barely watch TV without seeing your name.”
He continued, “Obviously when you don’t play well, people exaggerate even more and they find reasons, and they make up reasons, and that must be very difficult for him.”