Tiger Woods Intimidated?

By Kelsie Royal

Recently, the biggest golf buzz seems to be a he-said-she-said talk rather than about the actual game. This all started when Hall of Fame golfer, Greg Norman, made a comment stating that Tiger Woods is intimidated by Rory Mcllroy. “What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory. When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never. But I think he knows his time’s up and that’s normal; these things tend to go in fifteen-year cycles. Jack took it from Arnold Palmer. I took it from Jack, Tiger from me and now it looks like Rory’s taking it from Tiger,” said Norman in a Fox Sports interview. The interview took place a short time before the first round of the Tour Championship started. Tiger was actually paired with Mcllroy in the first round; Tiger shot four-under 66, while Mcllroy shot one-under 69. I think Greg Norman’s comment got everyone thinking. Is Tiger intimidated by the new athlete? Is it even possible for Tiger Woods to get intimidated?

It may be plausible that Tiger is intimidated by Mcllroy’s youth, his hairline, his seemingly clean personal life, but his golf game? Tiger’s stats far outweigh Mcllroy’s history in the game, but Tiger has also been around significantly longer. Woods and Mcllroy have also become close friends in a short period of time; could Tiger be keeping his friends close and his enemies even closer? Who knows?

Many have speculated on Norman’s comment since the interview, and it seems that the general consensus is that Rory Mcllroy may indeed be the next “big thing,” but that does not necessarily mean The Tiger Woods is intimidated. Jealousy is one thing; Mcllroy is at an age and point in his career that Woods may never have the pleasure of seeing again, but Tiger Woods has made a name for himself in the history of golf that will never be compromised. There is a difference in wistfulness (which Tiger may feel in reflection towards Mcllroy) and wilting in someone’s presence, which Tiger Woods certainly does not do when he steps on the same course as Rory Mcllroy.

I think Norman realized the depth of his comment when he received an influx of backlash. I think he quickly realized that to claim someone intimidates the greatest golfer in the game is a very bold statement, one that not many people agreed with. Norman made a formal post on his Facebook page attempting to explain his comment. He claimed in the post that the headline and byline of the article stating his comment was a poor reflection of the actual content of the article. The post seemed like Norman was somewhat trying to backpedal, while maintaining his stance that Mcllroy currently has a better grasp of the game than Tiger.

At the end of the day, Tiger is Tiger, and I think it is safe to say Tiger Woods is hard to intimidate. Like discussed in our Sports Journalism class, Tiger is a machine. Golfers as respected as Greg Norman can speculate all they want, but simply having the name ‘Tiger Woods’ is enough to bet against any real intimidation.

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