• "He's a man of colour. We need a black champion," he said
• Is unsure whether Woods will be considered the greatest ever
GARY PLAYER | TIGER WOODS
As we saw most recently in his public assassination of US Open course Chambers Bay, nine-time major champion Gary Player has never been one to keep his opinions to himself.
And now the 79-year-old has admitted his sadness at the decline in form of Tiger Woods, as he believes that golf ‘needs a black champion’ to help boost participation figures in the sport across the globe.
Woods’ demise has been somewhat remarkable over the past two years, falling from world No.1 to world No.258 after a series of injuries, a swing change and a clutch of poor performances, the most recent of which came at the Open Championship, where only seven players in the 156-strong field carded a worse 36-hole score.
"He’s a man of colour. We need a black champion" - Gary Player
“We need Tiger Woods,” Gary Player told Omnisport. “Why? He’s a man of colour. We need a black champion.
“Go to Africa, where we’ve got all these young black kids used to seeing a white guy as the champion. Now they’re getting inspired; they’re sitting in front of their TV sets. It inspires them; it gets them interested in golf.
“Asia wants to see a man of colour. So there are many reasons, besides being so charismatic. I don’t know if anybody in the world today can play like Tiger Woods did.”
The South African said he was ‘sad’ to see Woods struggling so badly as it looks increasingly unlikely that he will ever overhaul Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles, despite Woods disputing that claim before the Open saying he ‘wasn’t buried and done’.
“Tiger Woods won the US Open by 15 shots ,” Player said. “He was on the way to breaking every record, he was on his way to being the greatest player that ever lived. Whether he will do that now and fulfil his dream, I don’t know. Only the Lord above knows. But it’s sad to see him shooting 85 and missing the cuts and not hitting the fairways.”
Gary Player on Tiger :: Your thoughts
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