Originally Published: Jul 7, 2010 4:8 PM CDT
I don’t know if I believe myself. Because anyone who claims to know golf should know better. Was I nave when I pegged on our Playing the Percentages portion of Sunday’s Blitz that Tiger has only a 30 percent chance at breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of winning 18 major titles? What can I be thinking? Do I need a mulligan?
Woods has won 14 majors, and at 34, has maybe ten more years of good golf left in him. But the qualities that made Tiger almost unbeatableabsurdly skilled and unabashedly bulletproofhave slipped from his grasp faster than you can say “Stevie made me do it!”
After his T48 finish yesterday against the so-so field of the AT&T, Tiger jetted off to Ireland for two days of charity golf. But it didn’t go as swimmingly as planned.
Tiger goes 79-69 before some testy Q and A from the British press. Seeing Tiger squirm at some of the queries was as awkward as watching Charles Krauthammer at an Al Gore Global Warming Summit.
Not a jolly day for Tiger, recently dubbed by the inimitable Dan Jenkins as a “silicone collector,” who was distraught after his “debutantes” started turning up in the news and his “indoor athleticism” became public.
We’re about to get a good indication if Tiger will go ahead and waltz past the Nicklaus record. The British Open begins next week. Having won twice at St. Andrews shows that there is good reason Tiger is such a prohibitive favorite to win the Open, despite his recent stinkers.
A third T4 in a 2010 major will give Tiger apologists ammo to fight off critics. But, nothing but a “W” works for Woods in this one. Right now, the silicone collector is locked in only on trophy collection.
But that focus could get shifted if there is any truth behind what I’m hearing. If my sourcewho is deep into the golf loop and not in the business of rumor mongeringis right, Tiger’s worst days may not be behind him.
My friend told me there’s an elephant in the room when it comes to the ridiculously large amount of settlement money Tiger is reportedly set to pay Elin for her silenceanywhere from $100-$833 million. We all know Tiger is very concerned about his reputation and does not want his ex to write a tell-all book or reveal some of the juicy facts about his “indoor athleticism.”
My friend says that’s not all Tiger is insisting she not disclose. My friend believes Tiger took steroids and that Elin has proof. He claims that’s why Tiger is willing to basically write a blank check to Elin. As desperate as Tiger is now, imagine how bad things would get if it were proved he won all those tournamentsincluding the 14 majorswhile juiced?
The myth would be exposed. Tiger would be exposed as a complete fraud. He would have lied to his wife about sexual indiscretion and lied to the world about PEDs. Hard to get any worse than that. Tour players tell me that they believe Tiger will never return to his intimidating self. And that was before steroids were added to the equation.
So that’s my logic behind predicting that Tiger has only a thirty percent chance of winning at least five more majors. If I knew for sure that the steroid issue was about to become reality, I’d drop that number much lower than 30. But it’s far from fact.
If the steroid element is added to the already dysfunctional state Woods finds himself in, the golfer who once had the world in the palm of his hand would have gone from the penthouse to the outhouse at a world record pace. Unfortunately for Tiger, that would be the only record he would set.