Top coach says nobody knows true extent of damage done
By Bryce Ritchie
Leading British golf coach Kevin Craggs says he’s excited to see Tiger Woods return to full-time golf but is unsure of what the 14-major winner can achieve next year on the PGA Tour.
Craggs, who recently returned from a spell in the United States, says questions remain over the former world No.1’s ability to step back into the winner’s circle – but he’s adamant he’s still the top draw in golf. Woods has been absent throughout much of 2017 following back surgery, punctuated by a DUI arrest in May.
“When you look at Tiger, irrespective of what people say, the game is worse of without him,” Craggs told Scottish Club Golfer.
“Back in 2000, he was contending with his C game, winning with his B game, and dominating with his A game. The difference with this comeback is: where’s his C game, where’s his B game, and does he even have an A game? Those are the key questions.”
Craggs said that Woods’ time out of the game will have massively impacted his confidence and, though US coaches such as Hank Haney have watched Woods’ swing teaser videos on Twitter as evidence that’s he got a swing that can win, Craggs is more cautious.
“Tiger isn’t feared anymore,” said Craggs. “I’d like to know how much of his confidence has been damaged and how much of that is irreparable because golf swings don’t win tournaments, people win tournaments.
“When you look in the eyes of Tiger Woods, he’s not the human being he once was. But if you look at the real picture, potentially he’s got another 20 majors. If he’s physically able and he doesn’t get distracted, he could potentially contend - he certainly knows how to win more than anyone. The question is; has his desire and confidence taken such a hammering that even the smallest wobble will stop him in his tracks?”
Craggs also took issue with those who have analysed every detail in Woods’ recent teaser videos online.
“I see these parasites analyse his chipping and whatever. You can analyse how his swing has changed from 2000 but we’re all different from back then. We’re not comparing the same body or person.”
Craggs added: “If I saw Tiger, I’d ask him what his ambitions are and what his confidence is like. I’d want to know how fragile his confidence is. Winning a golf tournament takes more than just hitting the ball close. It takes something special. To cross that line requires a lot of mental strength and I’d question his robustness in that sense.”