Woods' former coach Harmon: Tiger may not be able to regain former form

Butch Harmon and Tiger Woods worked together for years, including Woods’ most dominant. (Getty Images)
Butch Harmon and Tiger Woods worked together for years, including Woods’ most dominant. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods’ former coach didn’t paint a rosy picture of what he thinks is in store for the 14-time major winner’s future golf career.

Butch Harmon, who worked with Woods up until 2003, told Sky Sports that he doesn’t expect Woods to get anywhere near his once dominant self.

“Are we ever going to see him playing at the heights he did back in the early 2000s? Probably not, but the main thing he has to do right now is somehow get himself healthy,” Harmon said. “He’s been off for almost a year-and-a-half, and now he’s come back but he still can’t finish a tournament. To me, that’s not a good sign.”

Despite Harmon’s banality, his view confirms what a lot of golf fans have seen in Woods’ three-event run in 2017. He shot 76-72 to miss the cut in his official PGA Tour return at the Farmers Insurance Open near San Diego. Then he hopped in a jet and flew to the United Arab Emirates, where he shot a birdie-free 77 to open the Dubai Desert Classic before withdrawing from the tournament the next morning. In all three rounds, Woods looked uncomfortable walking and struggled with some major facet of the game.

Woods said he hasn’t ruled out competing in the Genesis Open in Los Angeles in two weeks, and that would put him on track to still play at least one round in the aggressive four-tournaments-in-five-weeks stretch he set for the start of 2017.

While the 79-time PGA Tour winner said he didn’t feel pain, including in the face of visual evidence to the contrary in Dubai, the early exit from Dubai seems to suggest Woods’ back may not be as cooperative as hoped with his competitive plans.

Harmon cut to the chase with Sky, saying that he has real concerns if Woods even has the physical capability to compete at the highest levels of tournament golf.

“We all want to see him playing well again,” Harmon said, “but right now I’m concerned that someone I have admired for so long, and who I believe is the best player who ever lived, might not be able to play at any kind of level again.”

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.