Mar
28
2014
G-Mac clarifies his comments regarding Tiger’s aura (or lack thereof)
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods
G-Mac speaks truth on Tiger

G-Mac speaks truth on Tiger

Following his pre-tourney press conference at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, Graeme McDowell held court and spoke about Tiger Woods with a scrum of reporters. And God forbid, McDowell told the truth, saying Woods had lost his former aura, according to a report on PGATour.com:

“He’s lost that sort of force field of invincibility around him,” Graeme McDowell told a group of reporters. “The aura is not as strong. He’s still Tiger Woods, still the greatest player ever in my opinion.

“I don’t remember the first time I played with him but there was a real ‘wow’ factor. He was playing a different sport than me. But guys get older, stuff happens.”

Naturally, since McDowell spoke the truth — in that, Tiger has lost his aura of invincibility he once had — his comments were blown up and made headlines across the planet. Now I wasn’t present for the scrum where he alleges his words were taken out of context, but that’s usually code for “back-tracking.”

McDowell took to Twitter to defend himself and clarify:

Oh, great. One of the best quotes in the game has placed a self-imposed gag order on himself when it comes to Tiger talk. Just what we needed!

Now, G-Mac, who is playing in the inaugural EurAsia Cup this week, said the following during his presser:

Q.  Looking back, when you beat Tiger in 2010 at the Chevron World Challenge, just the way you did it, how much do you think that helped not only yourself belief but everybody’s self belief that he wasn’t beatable, even when ahead?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  I’m not really sure if what I did that tournament was an example of Tiger being beatable or the fact that guys can hole putts against him.  I just happened to hole two miracle 25‑footers in a row to get the job done after he’d hit a Tiger‑esque approach shop at the 72nd hole.

So that was‑‑ I’m not sure if that was just me ‑‑ 2010, me, at the‑‑ not really too worried about what was going on.  I’d achieved my dream of winning a Major championship and then holing the winning putt at the Ryder Cup.  So come Tiger’s event I was just kind of enjoying life I have to say and obviously playing very well.  And had a huge amount of belief in myself.
Like I say, I’m not really sure if that one moment was a sign that Tiger was beatable or it was just the fact that the stars seem to be aligning for me a little bit that year and some fun stuff was happening to me.

Like I say, I mean, no doubt he was invincible for a long time there.  Is he less invincible or has everyone got more belief and is everyone just better?  To me there’s so many more Jordan Spieths and Hideki Matsuyamas, and kids coming out in the low 20s and late teens that are ready and ready to get going, ready to take on anyone, it doesn’t matter if the bag says Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson.  I think everyone is getting better, not necessarily that he’s getting less invincible.

So, either he kind of contradicted himself or his words were taken out of context. It’s unclear. I usually like to give my fellow journos the benefit of the doubt…