Now, the man is suddenly found, and brought back to reality. He doesn't know a lot, but he knows this: "I could have been on that island for a decade and Tiger Woods would still be the most intimidating athlete in existence." Sadly, as we know, that is far from the truth, and it has come so far as to bring the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Martin Kaymer, to the microphone on this issue.
Kaymer, who has won more major championships in the last two years than Woods, told the Daily Record that the Masters was a perfect example of the new-age player not worrying about what one golfer is doing on the golf course. While it seemed in the past that the second Woods' name started creeping up the leaderboard, everyone would wilt like a daisy in the middle of a Phoenix summer, that just isn't the case anymore, and exhibit A is Augusta National.
"You could see it a couple of weeks ago at The Masters. Tiger was playing fantastic the first nine on Sunday but there wasn't really somebody who was scared of him any more.
"In the last round they were playing fantastic golf - Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Jason Day - so the fear has gone. Obviously you still have a lot of respect for him but you're not scared any more."
While Tiger lovers could obviously point to the fact that Kaymer is speaking about a tournament he didn't even make the cut in, the point is well taken, and said appropriately; the name "Tiger Woods" just doesn't carry the same boom that it once did.
If Tiger is coming up the leaderboard, everyone that plays golf knows that now, after all he's been through, he could tank on the final holes just like any other talented golfer. It seemed back in the day, when Tiger needed to make a putt, it went dead center, but this is 2011, and that just doesn't happen.
So while it may seem like a dig from Kaymer, it really comes across as just a truth now in the golf world. He's just another pro now, not the stalking Tiger that wore the intimidating red shirt and always went home with the biggest trophy during the most important tournament.
- Tiger Woods
- Martin Kaymer