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PGA Golf

Anonymous PGA Tour golfer blasts comparing young guns to Tiger Woods

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An anonymous PGA Tour golfer scoffed at how the rising stars in professional golf are so frequently compared to Tiger Woods, saying the notion that the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy are even within sniffing distance of the golfer’s greatness is an “embarrassment.”

“He was the needle. He’s not around anymore. We don’t know if he’s coming around again,” the anonymous golfer told ESPN’s Michael Collins. “We hope [he will], but we can’t count on that. Now you take the Jordan Spieths, you take the Jason Days, you take these young guns, they’re still not Tiger. Nobody’s ever going to be Tiger. We know that. Lotta people don’t know that. But they’re not going to be.

“The great play of Jason Day, the great play of Jordan Spieth, the great play of Rickie Fowler — combined, they’re not Tiger. … They’re just not. Tiger is Tiger. It’s a Michael Jordan. You cannot compare. It’s actually, in my opinion, it’s an embarrassment and an insult to compare those guys to a Tiger Woods. … It’s an absolute embarrassment to say that a Rory McIlroy, a Jason Day, a Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, all these guys are going to compete with Tiger’s records. Combined, they don’t even have half his records yet.”

While what he said is true in many respects, the case can be made that Spieth, Fowler, McIlroy and Day — who actually seeks out Woods’ counsel— are Tiger’s heirs apparent on the PGA Tour and all of them appear to have some of the talent necessary to assume his mantle.

With the best days of Woods’ career seemingly in the rear-view mirror —although he apparently is nearing a return to the Tour, perhaps sooner rather than later — it’s time for the next generation of golfers to take over for the 40-year-old.

And while it’s easy to anonymously rip how golf’s new guard can’t touch Tiger yet, those who were around during Woods’ dominance can attest to just how dominant he was during his prime, something his younger colleagues haven’t yet proved.