PGA Tour

Grace: Golf still needs Tiger

2017-02-13 14:27
Tiger Woods (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South African star golfer Branden Grace has called Tiger Woods "one of the best" and believes that the game of golf needs the 14-time major champion.

Woods, who has been plagued by injury in recent times, has struggled during his latest attempted comeback after returning from a 16-month layoff following back surgeries in 2015.

Whether or not Woods wins another major, Grace says he'd like to see the American get back into the winner's circle.

"It's a tough situation, for me growing up Tiger was one of my idols," Grace told Sport24.

"He is still one of the best who has ever played the game, I think golf is in a good space at the moment, but golf still needs Tiger.

"If he can come back and make a strong comeback it would be great, maybe if he doesn't even win a major but just gets back in the winner's circle then I think it would be really, really good for golf.

"I don't think there is any doubt that's what he wants, but I think we all need him and I would thoroughly enjoy seeing him back in the winner's circle."

Woods, 41, withdrew from this week's Genesis Open at Riviera and next week's Honda Classic after suffering back spasms at the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this month.

The 14-time major champion has not won a major title since his 2008 US Open title, with his last tournament win coming at the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

However, Grace believes that Woods could possibly match Jack Nicklaus' 18 major titles and that he should take some inspiration from Roger Federer's Australian Open victory last month.

"It is obviously a big ask to reach Jack's (Nicklaus) record with majors, but you never know," said Grace.

"Just look at (Roger) Federer a couple of weeks ago, everybody said it wasn't going to happen and he wouldn't win again but if you find that inspiration and belief in yourself these things can happen so who knows we may see something similar with Tiger going forward."

Grace had no hesitation in naming Woods in his 'dream fourball'.

"It would definitely be Tiger, my dad and then the final one would most probably be one of my best friends in South Africa," said Grace.

Grace, at 17th in the world is the highest ranked South African golfer, will compete in the PGA Tour's Genesis Open in Riviera Country Club, starting on Thursday, February 16.

Read more on:    pga tour  |  branden grace  |  tiger woods  |  golf


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