World No. 1 Tiger Woods says he is not surprised that more young golfers in their 20s have not won major tournaments on the PGA Tour. The way the tour is set up makes winning at an early age difficult, Woods said.
Woods, who has captured 12 major champsionships, said it is difficult these days for young players to gain valuable experience in big tournaments, the kind of experience that will allow them to break through to golf's top ranks.
Speaking on the sidelines of this week's Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville, Fla., here is what Woods had to say on the subject as he spoke to reporters.
Q. [By the time we get to the U.S. Open], there will be nobody under the age of 30 who has a major championship victory for one of the rare moments in history. Is there any explanation for that, and do you feel that maybe you've contributed to that gap because you've hogged so many of them?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's not easy to win. Look at the fields, how much deeper they are now. And because the fields are so much deeper, it's harder for a player to gain the experience at a younger age and it's even harder for a younger player to get out here on TOUR. Once you get out on TOUR, how many times are you going to be in contention on Sunday afternoons? You're going to fail, but when is the next time you're going to get back there? You know, that's the nature of how our TOUR has evolved. It's become that much more difficult to get yourself back in there so you can learn.
Q. You've shot a few of those guys down, Sergio and Luke and several guys that you've actually played with on Sundays and those things. Do you think that you're sort of contributing to their, either growth, or their lack of --
TIGER WOODS: Well, I've got 12; Vijay, Phil and Ernie, all three of those guys have three; and Goose has two. So basically you've got four or five guys with the majority of them. And then you look at how many times that you give other players an opportunity to win and gain that experience, and it's not easy to gain that experience. But once you're able to get one, then it becomes easier to get the others.
Q. Why do you think guys in their 40s haven't won more of them since their career seems to be a little bit longer? You've had Vijay, Mo and Payne in the last few years?
TIGER WOODS: Usually you start going downhill physically. I'm not 100 percent sure, but after your peak years, you start losing one percent of your body functions per year.
Q. You sound like Phil now.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's the truth. Certain athletes are able to prolong that, but you still have a dropoff. If you're ten years out from your prime, you're 90 percent as you used to be.
Q. Of the players in their 20s, whose game are you most impressed with and why?
TIGER WOODS: Well, there's probably a collection of guys. You know, Adam, Sergio, Luke, Trevor, Charlie Howell, these guys all have the ability to do some pretty substantial things in the game of golf, just a matter of getting that experience and building on it from there.
Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports
May 9, 2007
Coming off his thrilling British Open victory over Sergio Garcia in 2007, Padraig Harrington sat down to discuss his game and his chances at the 2008 U.S. Open. "I have spent my last 10 years trying to adapt my swing to play U.S. Open golf," Harrington said. "I'd say the last two years, that and the Masters have attracted my attention more than anything else."
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