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McDowell: Tiger Woods’ aura of invincibility has been lost
Tiger Woods may be confident he’s getting back to his best as he works towards return from niggling back problems, but Graeme McDowell believes the world’s best golfer has lost his aura of invincibility.
After winning 14 major titles between 1997 and 2008, Tiger Woods has cemented his place as one of the best all-time golfers in the history of the sport. However, with no new additions being added to his cramped trophy cabinet since his victory at Torrey Pines in the US Open back in 2008, coupled with personal issues off the field, the Woods of old looks to be fading.
A spark of life from Tiger in 2013 saw him reclaim the top spot in the world rankings, but there hasn’t been nearly enough for 2010 US Open champion McDowell to believe he’s still the same invincible force.
"He's lost that sort of force field of invincibility around him," McDowell told PGATour.com. "The aura is not as strong. He's still Tiger Woods, still the greatest player ever in my opinion.
"I don't remember the first time I played with him, (but) there was a real 'wow' factor. He was playing a different sport than me. But guys get older, stuff happens."
McDowell added: "They're not out there believing he is unbeatable because the positive press that happened for 10 years has been replaced with some negativity. There's a belief level now that you can be 19, 20, 21 (years old) and capable of doing it at the biggest level."
However, McDowell was conscious that some of his comments would be scrutinised or taken out of context, so wrote on his Twitter page on Thursday: "I spent 90 per cent of my press conference last week at Bay Hill being asked questions about Tiger, speculating about where his game is right now.
"Many of my quotes have been taken out of context and spun quite negatively. It's hard for me to comment on Tiger in the early 2000s. I can only say that he has raised the bar so much in the sport globally and players are so much better equipped to win these days.
"He seems more beatable nowadays simply because the players around him are better and have more belief thanks to Tiger moving the needle.
"I really shouldn't get caught up in speculation and opinion especially when talking about TW. You set yourself up for failure. #nocomment"