Speaking ahead of the second annual Gary Player Invitational event at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, Player gave a grave outlook on Woods’ future in the game after he withdrew ahead of the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with back spasms.
To see him chipping the way he does, there's no way he can win
But the 81-year-old believes it’s the yips – more so than his back troubles – that is holding the 14-time major champion back.
“The thing that concerns me about Tiger’s comeback, which nobody is saying much about, is when he was playing a little while ago, he had the yips very badly with the chipping,” Player told Gulf News.
“He was hitting a chip shot in front of him or hitting it over the green. I am so used to seeing him having a chip and he puts the ball two feet from the hole. To see him chipping the way he does, there’s no way he can win. No way at all.
“If you look at Ernie Els, he had this beautiful golf swing, but he got the yips. Look at him in the past 40 tournaments. He’s really struggled to make the cut.
“The yips is a destroyer; it’s the cancer of golf. Everybody I know got it. Only Jack Nicklaus and I didn’t and I don’t know why. I can’t explain it.”
The yips is a destroyer; it’s the cancer of golf
“I don’t think he’ll win another major, but I sincerely hope he does. Nothing would give me a greater thrill than Tiger winning another major, but it’s an awfully big task. He has a monumental challenge ahead.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg insisted that his client’s withdrawal in Dubai was purely precautionary and that he hopes to tee it up in the Genesis Open at Riviera in less than two weeks’ time.