You gotta love Jack Nicklaus these days. Once a man of few words when it came to important issues, the 70-year-old Nicklaus has taken the aging grandfather approach to issues, commenting on just about everything in the golf world.
It's been rather refreshing to see such a powerful figure in the golf world not scare away from issues, and the latest is the Corey Pavin-Tiger Woods debate. Basically, Pavin said that Tiger wasn't a sure thing on the Ryder Cup this year, a ridiculous comment on all accounts but something most people thought was somehow all right. (Once again, must I remind people that saying negative things about Tiger only makes Camp Tiger scratch you off its list, Steve Buscemi in "Billy Madison" style.)
Nicklaus spoke up on Pavin, and the comments are excellent.
"He’d (Pavin) need a brain scan if he left Tiger out of the team," Nicklaus told local reporters at the unveiling of a project to design two courses at the exclusive La Moraleja, 10 miles from the venue for this week’s Madrid Masters, the Real Sociedad Hípica Club de Campo.
"Of course he should pick Tiger. The truth is that Tiger is going through some personal problems, which I’ve nothing to say about, and he’s also got some problems with his game, which he’s going to have to resolve himself. But Tiger will be in the team, I have no doubt."
Of course he is going to be on the team! He's Tiger Woods! Who leaves the greatest golfer off a team that is going to play golf?! That's like leaving Roger Federer off the Davis Cup team. No matter if Tiger is playing the worst golf of his life, you still want the most competitive guy in the game on your team when you go to play a format that he has dominated in the past, sans the actual Ryder Cup competitions (which I'm sure you could blame as much on his playing partners as you could Tiger).
I never totally understood why Pavin would say anything in the first place. The matches aren't until early October, and Tiger is 11th in points without having played well at all this year besides the Masters.
I'm glad Nicklaus spoke up about this, mainly because it's good to see a famous person as up in arms about such a ridiculous comment as I am. What next, Corey, the R&A not letting Tiger play in the British Open?