Top Aussie Golfers Talk Tiger
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

While some players have expressed that they think post-Scandal Tiger Woods is no longer a feared demigod, two of Australia’s best still consider him a threat. Well, kinda. Geoff Ogilvy, who is widely considered a voice of reason, won’t go so far to say Tiger’s aura is gone forever. “You guys want me to say that his aura’s all gone and he’s no good any more, but I don’t buy that,” said Ogilvy.

Last week Robert Allenby, not a fan favorite in his native Australia (so I’m told by, well, Australians), called for tournament organizers to pair the country’s best amateur with Woods, arguing it would be a thrill for a youngster. “For Australian golf, that’s what they need to do,” said Allenby. “Guys like me, Geoff (Ogilvy), Sergio (Garcia) and Camilo (Villegas), we all get to play with Tiger (regularly).” Instead, Allenby drew the uninspired pairing of playing with Tiger in the first two rounds. (I guess Allenby has no pull.)

Allenby got a glimpse of Tiger’s game at the HSBC Champions when he played in the group behind him on Sunday.

“Tiger is likely to come out this week and probably win,” said Allenby. “I know he’s hitting the ball really well, if he makes the putts around this golf course he is going to be very hard to beat. He’s very close, he is really, really close. He definitely showed signs of some really good golf last week … next year is going to be a great year for him.

“I have no doubt in my mind that he will win a Major next year.”

You hear that? He’s close. Tiger couldn’t have said it better himself!

Meanwhile, Ogilvy added, “Tiger’s two or three tournament wins in a row away from this whole room acclaiming him as the same he always was, it changes really fast. I think there will be periods for the rest of his career where he will dominate like he has before. Maybe not (like) the first 15 years … it might not be a period like that again and he might not win majors by 15 shots.

“But he’s going to be the No.1 golfer in the world for a lot more weeks.”

His aura may not be gone, but his era almost certainly is. That said, I’d love to see him successfully defend his title.