By Scott Hicks: Sir Nick Faldo believes that Tiger Woods much publicised private life have ruined his chances of becoming the best golfer in history, Woods had been tipped to beat Jack Nicklaus record of 18 major championship wins. Although Tiger’s career got off to a flying start which saw him win 14 majors by 2008, things had changed for the worst since revelations about his private life emerged almost three years ago and Tiger Woods has since struggled to find his previous form.
Woods took a four-month break from golf after admitting cheating on his wife, and he has struggled to impress after returning to action, since the sex scandal came to light the former world no 1 has failed to add to his 14 majors.
When Faldo was asked about Woods’ chances of winning 18 majors or more, Faldo told Sportsweek programme: “I think it’s slim. “I would lean towards ‘no’.
“It has been four years since he last won at the US Open.”
Faldo thinks the psychological strife caused by the news of his affairs continue to haunt Woods three years on and he believes they will continue to do so for the rest of his life.
“(The revelations) have done more damage than people would give them credit for,” Faldo said.
“People thought he would deal with it and then get back on the golf course.
“It’s wrecked that wonderful tranquillity you get of going to a golf course, tipping out a bag of balls and hitting them from 9-5 and just thinking of golf.
“When you’re a golfer that is great. But now… he has shattered that peace. He won’t get that back. Once you lose that concentration and that ability to become completely engrossed in your golf… then slowly things have changed for him.
“His swing… physically, technically, mentally, karma… it’s a harder climb right now. Sure, he could come back and do things, but he won’t be dominant like he was.”
Woods who will be turning 37 next month, Faldo thinks age is catching up with the American.
“As you get older in this game, the little demons start to sit on your shoulders because you have seen one too many bad shots at the wrong time and it starts to eat away at you and I think he has a little bit of that going on,” Faldo added.
Since Woods had started dropping from the world rankings, Rory McIlory was excelling which eventually saw him become world no 1.
“I have been very impressed with Rory. He is a special kid,” Faldo said.
“There has only been Jack (Nicklaus), Seve (Ballesteros) and Tiger who have won two majors before they were 25, and now there’s Rory.
“It puts him in a very special category.
“There always will be pitfalls for him. He is already feeling it. He is in demand. You can’t please everyone.
“You have to be your own boss. He has to pace himself and do all the right things himself. He has 20-odd years left in the game.”