Melbourne - Former world No 1 Greg Norman has said he feels sorry for Tiger
Woods' position as a fallen idol but believes the American's travails showed
even the greatest individuals would have their "weaknesses" exposed.
In an interview published by News Ltd media, Norman also said golf needed to
do more in the anti-doping fight and expressed doubt that the game's
re-introduction at next year's Rio Olympics might do much for the sport.
Norman, who swapped the world number one ranking with Woods several times in
the late 1990s, suggested the 14-times major champion went "off the
rails" after the death of his father Earl in 2006, and had lacked a firm
hand to guide him.
"You do need somebody to slap you across the face, and realign
you," said the 60-year-old Australian.
"You don't need your minders to say 'It's OK, do whatever you want to
do, we will cover up for you'.
"Unfortunately it shows you no matter how great an individual you
become, our weaknesses get exposed."
Following revelations of extra-marital affairs in 2009, Woods has suffered a
string of injuries and is currently competing at the U.S. Masters ranked 111th
in the world, his lowest ranking in over 20 years.
"I do feel sorry for Tiger, where he's sitting at the moment. I hate
seeing someone who, at the pinnacle, can fall off and look so disgustingly
bad," Norman said.
"I don't know Tiger, but he is a public figure, and you have to accept
that. But do it in the right way, do the right things."
Norman said he hoped he might one day get involved with the World
Anti-Doping Agency and that golf needed more blood testing to root out
"And have an open policy. If someone gets caught, release it to the
public," he said.
"If you are going to protect the game, forget about the institution. I
don't care if it's a name player, someone mildly famous or an unknown, everyone
has to be treated the same."
Golf returns to the Olympics at Rio next year for the first time since the
1904 St Louis Games.
Norman said players would buy into the tournament but was worried about how
it would be perceived and televised.
"As the Olympics are in Brazil, I don't think golf would get the same
shake as if it was at Augusta," he said.
"I think there are a lot of unfortunate question marks still about it
all, and if we miss the mark this time, it may not get back in next time
Third round scores in the Masters on Saturday at par-72 Augusta
200 - Jordan Spieth (USA) 64-66-70
204 - Justin Rose (ENG) 67-70-67
205 - Phil Mickelson (USA) 70-68-67
206 - Charley Hoffman (USA) 67-68-71
210 - Kevin Streelman (USA) 70-70-70, Kevin Na (USA) 74-66-70, Tiger Woods
(USA) 73-69-68, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71-71-68, Dustin Johnson (USA) 70-67-73
211 - Paul Casey (ENG) 69-68-74, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 71-70-70
212 - Jonas Blixt (SWE) 72-70-70, Zach Johnson (USA) 72-72-68, Bill Haas
(USA) 69-71-72, Jason Day (AUS) 67-74-71, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 72-69-71, Ian
Poulter (ENG) 73-72-67
213 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 68-74-71, Ryan Moore (USA) 74-66-73, Hunter Mahan
214 - Russell Henley (USA) 68-74-72, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 71-70-73, Ernie
Els (RSA) 67-72-75, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 72-69-73
215 - Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 75-70-70, Adam Scott (AUS) 72-69-74, Bubba
Watson (USA) 71-71-73, Cameron Tringale (USA) 71-75-69, Rickie Fowler (USA)
216 - Webb Simpson (USA) 69-75-72, Patrick Reed (USA) 70-72-74, Brooks
Koepka (USA) 74-71-71, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 73-73-70, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR)
70-74-72, Lee Westwood (ENG) 73-73-70
217 - Bae Sang-Moon (KOR) 74-71-72, Morgan Hoffmann (USA) 73-72-72, Chris
Kirk (USA) 72-73-72, Ryan Palmer (USA) 69-74-74, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 74-70-73,
John Senden (AUS) 71-74-72
218 - Mark O'Meara (USA) 73-68-77, Matt Kuchar (USA) 72-74-72, Keegan
Bradley (USA) 71-72-75, Danny Willett (ENG) 71-71-76
219 - Jimmy Walker (USA) 73-72-74, Steve Stricker (USA) 73-73-73, Jason
Dufner (USA) 74-71-74, Erik Compton (USA) 73-72-74
220 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 71-75-74
221 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71-74-76, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 74-71-76
222 - Darren Clarke (NIR) 74-71-77
224 - Vijay Singh (FIJ) 75-70-79
225 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 75-70-80