As Tiger Woods’ career continues to sink from his one-time dominant status, a superstar on his level is convinced that Woods will never again reach stardom and probably wants to retire.
Basketball icon Michael Jordan, a friend of Woods, issued the strong comments in an article in which ESPN.com detailed Woods’ deep decline after the death of his father in 2006.
“I think he really wishes he could retire, but he doesn’t know how to do it yet,” said Jordan. “I don’t think he wants to leave it where it is right now.”
Woods is recovering from multiple back surgeries and hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Jordan theorizes that Woods would probably like to land one more big accomplishment before walking away from the sport.
“[If he] could win another major and walk away, he would, I think,” Jordan said.
“The thing is I love him so much that I can’t tell him, ‘You’re not gonna be great again.,’” he said.
The article also touches on other aspects of Woods’ life in the years after the passing of his father, Earl, identifying the death as the starting point for other issues Woods experienced.
Woods’ marriage with Elin Nordegren fell apart after it was revealed in 2009 that he had affairs with numerous women.
Jordan said the fallout still affects Woods, and he occasionally calls Woods “Rabbit Ears” because of his sensitivity over the subject and the fact he is obsessed with seeing what is written and said about him.
“That bothers him more than anything,” Jordan told ESPN.com. “It looms. It’s in his mind. It’s a ship he can’t right and he’s never going to. What can you do? The thing is about ‘T-Dub,’ he cannot erase. That’s what he really wants. He wants to erase the things that happened.”
About the time his father died, Woods developed an obsession with the Navy SEALs.
After an initial visit, Woods returned to see the SEALs in training action near the Mexican border east of San Diego.
Eventually, he was asked why he had come to participate in training.
“My dad,” Woods told Petty Officer 1st Class John Brown. “My dad told me I had two paths to choose from.”
Woods took part in simulated hostage situations and the instructors set up targets. Rapid decisions had to be made over who gets shot and who lives.
As targets of terrorists and civilians flashed in front of Woods, suddenly he saw a photographer. He fired.
Some of the SEALs asked Woods why he shot a civilian and the golfer joked that he has always hated photographers.
But Woods’ time with the SEALs became a punchline in another way.
Woods and several other SEALs went to have dinner and the waitress brought the check. Woods didn’t say a word and neither did anyone else until one of the SEALs looked at the waitress and said, “Separate checks, please.”
“We were all baffled,” a veteran SEAL told ESPN.com. “We are sitting there with Tiger [expletive] Woods, who probably makes more than all of us combined in a day. He’s shooting our ammo, taking our time.
“He’s a weird [expletive] guy. That’s weird [expletive]. Something’s wrong with you.”