Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Graeme McDowell cool on Tiger Woods comments

Winning start: Graeme McDowell is congratulated by European captain Miguel Angel Jimenez after his fourball match in Malaysia

Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell has taken to social media in an attempt to clarify comments he made about world number one Tiger Woods.

Former US Open champion McDowell spoke to a group of reporters at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week and was quoted on pgatour.com saying that 14-time major winner Woods has "lost that sort of force field of invincibility around him".

McDowell added: "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."

Defending champion Woods did not play at Bay Hill due to ongoing back problems which threaten his participation in next month's US Masters. The 38-year-old has not won a major since the 2008 US Open.

McDowell feels some of his comments were taken out of context and wrote on his Twitter page yesterday: "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".

McDowell is part of the Europe team which completed a 5-0 whitewash in the opening day fourballs of the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

Captain Miguel Angel Jimenez put himself out in the first match with fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and was the star of the show in a 2&1 victory over Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee and fellow Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

The 50-year-old carded two eagles and three birdies at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

McDowell and Welshman Jamie Donaldson surprisingly found themselves three down after seven holes to Kim Hyung-sung and local favourite Nicholas Fung, But the Northern Irishman, birdied the eighth and ninth and Donaldson holed from seven feet for eagle on the 11th to get back to all square.

Donaldson also birdied the 13th and 16th and a par on the 17th was enough to prompt the players to shake hands for a 3 and 1 win.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre