• PGA Tour

'Sensitive guy' Woods won't overtake Nicklaus - Faldo

ESPN staff
September 8, 2011
Tiger Woods has slumped to No. 44 in the world rankings © Getty Images

Tiger Woods' fragile mental state means the American will not overhaul Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, according to Sir Nick Faldo.

Woods has not added to his 14 major titles since the 2008 US Open and has since plummeted down the world rankings, with problems off the course and a string of injury woes not helping the 35-year-old's cause.

In November it will be two years since Woods' last PGA triumph and, with the likes of US Open champion Rory McIlroy leading a new breed of golfing superstars, Faldo - a three-time Open winner - believes Woods has now missed the chance to surpass Nicklaus' achievements.

"I do, personally, believe that," Faldo said in the Daily Mirror. "I was one of the few guys that said it right after this all happened and he was trying to get back to the Masters last year. It's now two seasons. It's not like it's been two months. Two seasons of golf have gone by. He hasn't been in a comfortable mode for two years.

"Even when he comes back for the Presidents Cup (in November), he won't be comfortable because he'll be under the questions and spotlight - should he be there or shouldn't he be there?"

Faldo believes a chink in Woods' armour is his sensitivity to criticism, insisting that his concentration has now been "shattered" by the unrelenting scrutiny he is under.

"Mentally, he's actually a pretty sensitive guy," he said. "He's very sensitive to any comments or criticisms that we have. It's just about global communication. Something like that, trying to deal with that, I thought it was going to really affect him. Plus, there's probably a lot going on in his life that we don't know about. It's just having that peace of mind.

"There's nothing nicer for a golfer to go to the golf course all day long and you do what you want to do, practice-play or play-practice, and then you look at your watch and say: 'I'm going home - it's 6pm'. Now, I know what it's like. The phone's always going; people are texting, emailing. I can't concentrate like that. That's the first thing I thought: 'His concentration will be shattered'.

"He had this amazing ability to go away from a tournament and then go on and practice as close to tournament-mode as anybody could do, or better than anybody else could do. Now, I think that's been shattered. I can't imagine what it's like. The phone is ringing off the hook and there are all sorts of things to talk about.

"That's one of the simplest things that can affect you. Once you break that concentration, it really does affect you."

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