He hasn’t had his troubles to seek over the last few years but Tiger Woods has found praise from an unlikely source – former England football captain David Beckham.
Speaking to Kirsty Gallacher on Beckham’s 25 Years of Sky Sports, a programme celebrating some of the most iconic moments to have been shown on the broadcaster since it launched a quarter of a century ago, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder singled out the impact made by former world No.1 Woods, hailing the 14-time major winner’s mental strength.
“I always had a team around me, so it was easy for me,” said Beckham. “If I had a bad game on the Saturday, on the Monday morning when you went in [to training], I was surrounded by my team.
"But with Tiger, in his individual sport, I am sure he had great people around him and amazing family around him, but you have to be mentally strong to take certain situations and, when you’re not hitting the right shot or you’re not as good as your last game, you have to take it on yourself and on your shoulders.
“Like I say, I am sure he had a team of people around him who were strong but it’s about you. You’re the one who’s being criticised, you’re the one that people are talking about.”
Beckham, who won 115 England caps, amassed a slew of honours during his 20-year professional career, including the MLS Cup on two occasions during his spell with LA Galaxy. He spent five years with the California franchise and says he has nothing but respect for Woods for the way he managed other people’s expectations of him.
“When you’re an American sportsmen, when you’ve got the strength of that country behind you – and they love Tiger, he’s such a cult hero there and he’s such a great talent – there’s going to be a certain about of pressure,” said Beckham. “But his talent is incredible. You’d pay a lot of money to go and watch Tiger [play] anywhere in the world.”