Pacific Palisades, CA …
Adam Scott is not for one minute down-playing Tiger Woods enormous contribution to the game of golf.
However ahead of this week’s Genesis Open the Masters winning Australian believes Woods on-going issues with his back is doing little to allow the gloss to shine on his legacy to the game.
“Tiger’s clearly going through a hard time in getting back out here to play but hopefully it can get things right with his back and return to competition,” said Scott.
“It’s just making it not only harder and harder physically but it must also be taking a mental strain on him.
“But if you are asking me if Tiger can get back to playing good golf again, and playing the golf we all know he is capable, I’m not sure.
“What he’s been going through these last few weeks has spoilt Tiger’s legacy a little bit.”
And while very sympathetic to Woods plight, Scott was asked, if like many, he misses the ‘buzz’ that Woods generates when he’s at a golf tournament.
“I understand where you are coming from with that question but I honestly think, and what he did in his career was amazing, the standard of golf is better now while the golf that is being played nowadays is of such a high stature, and that’s testimony to how far Tiger pushed himself in this game,” said Scott.
“Tiger’s a pretty unique person to create that kind of buzz you are talking about but the game now is more about a whole and not just one guy as there are these younger guys out there collectively all playing well rather than having someone being such a dominant force as Tiger was”.
Scott enjoyed the unique buzz during the Pro-Am in partnering boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard
The now 60-year old Leonard is regarded as one the greatest boxers of all time, having competed from 1977 to 1997, and winning world titles in five weight divisions.
“Well, it was a real treat to play with him today and anytime you get to spend, I mean, some really good quality time around a champion of their sport, you’ve got to take advantage of that,” said Scott.
“You know, talking about peaking for events is a big thing. Obviously they have to peak for a fight, but I’m glad he enjoyed it out there. It looked like he was having a good time. I’m thrilled he enjoys playing golf and I’m sure it’s a lot less stressful for him than what he used to do.
“He may not have played his best today, but we joked that there’s always one or two shots that bring you back in golf even on your not‑so‑good days. He played a great par on the 14th hole and there was a fist pump there, so looks like he’s still got it.”