From the get-go, Tom Watson has not minced words when he’s been asked for his opinion on the post-scandal Tiger Woods. Most recently, when Tom Pilcher of Reuters asked him if Tiger’s problems off the course have affected his game, it comes as no surprise Watson continued to speak his mind.
“His life is a lot more complicated now. He doesn’t hear that absolute silence when he’s playing, and he mentioned when he’s playing his best he hears nothing,” the American eight-time major winner told a news conference on Wednesday.
“I’m sure there are things going on in his mind that make it very difficult for him.”
And it gets even better! Watson weighed in on Tiger’s decision to fly back from Ireland to Florida before next week’s British Open:
“I used to come over five or six days early, simply because I wanted to get the time change. That was the first thing. I don’t think what he is doing is risky,” Watson said at Sunningdale Golf Club where he was launching his instructional DVD on golf.
“That kid was so much better than the rest when he came out and he evolved into a golf swing that really worked for him. He has some difficulties with the golf swing now.”
Oh, ouchie. The thing is, no one except Tiger knows what Tiger is thinking, so it’s interesting Watson would speculate what’s going on in his head.
In February, Watson called for Tiger to “clean up his act” and “show more respect for the game.” Then at The Masters, he wasn’t keen on Tiger’s extra security forces, saying the “30, 40, 50″ men in black flanking Tiger was “not the way we project ourselves.” More recently, the Stanford alums had an awkward run-in at Pebble Beach, where the tension between the two was glaringly obvious. Let’s put it this way: Tiger would probably consider self-mutilation before acknowledging Watson.
It’s curious Watson continues to wag his finger at Tiger when he has his skeletons in the relationship department. I’m a big fan of him, but the thing is, couldn’t his criticisms of Tiger be construed as, oh, I don’t know, a little hypocritical?