Add Butch Harmon to the growing list of people who believe Tiger Woods has not yet won his last golf tournament.
Harmon, who coached Woods to the first eight of his 14 major championship victories, said he was ‘encouraged’ by the former world No.1’s return to competitive golf at the recent Hero World Challenge – so much so that he is refusing to rule out the prospect of the 41-year-old winning again on the PGA Tour.
“I learned a long time ago never to say never when it comes to Tiger Woods,” Harmon told the Golf Channel. “He’ll prove you wrong. I think he can win again. Whether or not he can win a major championship again, we’ll have to wait and see.
“I think he can win on the regular tour and when he does that, I think he’ll have confidence when he comes to a major. We know that Tiger tees it up thinking he can win every event he plays in.”
Woods made his return to golf after a ten-month injury lay-off in the Hero World Challenge just under a fortnight ago and confounded many of his doubters by finishing in a tie for ninth in the 18-man field.
Harmon admitted that his former pupil’s performance in the Bahamas left him ‘pleasantly surprised’ but was quick to guard against getting too carried away on the basis of one tournament.
“I think we have to temper our optimism because we see him play and we say, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s going to be like he was in 2000 and 2001’,” he added. “But these kids are pretty good these days that he’s coming out against. The beauty of what we saw with Tiger there is how much they’re into Tiger Woods.
“All of these guys – the Rickies, the Justin Thomas’s, the Spieths – they are in the game today because of Tiger Woods. For them to have had a chance to go head-to-head with him, they were loving it.”