can add to 14 majors if he's healthy: Kaymer
Send a link to a friend
[September 14, 2016]
By Tony Jimenez
LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number
one Martin Kaymer believes back injury victim Tiger Woods can add to
his haul of 14 major championship wins as long as he returns to golf
with a clean bill of health.
Woods said last week that he hoped to make his comeback at next
month's Safeway Open in California after spending more than a year
on the sidelines.
The 40-year-old American has a long-standing ambition to eclipse
Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major victories and Kaymer told Reuters
in a telephone interview that he would not rule anything out for one
of the greatest players of all time.
"At the end of the day it all comes down to Tiger's health," the
German said. "If he can practice the way he wants to practice, as
hard as he wants, then I think he can win any golf tournament in the
"He's proved it before so I don't see why he can't do it again. The
competition now is obviously a lot harder but I think it would be
very disrespectful to take him out of consideration for winning any
tournament in the world."
Woods, who has undergone multiple back operations, last played
competitively at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina in
If all goes well at the Safeway Open, the former world number one
also plans to feature at the Turkish Airlines Open in November and
the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge in December.
Double major champion Kaymer, who spent eight weeks at the top of
the rankings in 2011, said the American must take things step by
"His return is great for golf and we all look forward to welcoming
him back," added the winner of the 2010 U.S. PGA Championship and
2014 U.S. Open.
"We all know he can win tournaments the way he plays. I think it is
more about the mental challenge for him over the next few months,
not trying to want things too much, to be patient and calm about
[to top of second column]
Tiger Woods of the U.S. stands on the 12th green during a practice
round ahead of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool
Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan
"All the attention he will get, that will be a lot to handle, and
make it very, very difficult for him to prepare. I think people
shouldn't expect him to win right away," said Kaymer, a brand
ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, official patron and vehicle of the
Ryder Cup 2016.
Woods has spent a record total of 683 weeks at the top of the
rankings but, blighted by his injuries and poor form in recent
years, is now down at number 726.
He missed all four majors in a calendar year for the first time this
season and made just 11 tournament appearances in 2015.
Kaymer, a European wildcard pick for this month's Ryder Cup against
the United States at Chaska, Minnesota, said however that an event
involving Woods always had a distinct feel to it.
"His return is great for us players because when he plays there's a
little bit of a different buzz to a tournament," added the
"We have missed him because he defined golf for the last 10 or 15
years. No one wants to see him play poorly and I think for the fans
the last few tournaments for him were quite disappointing."
(Editing by Toby Davis)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.