Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

McDowell clarifies Woods comments

Graeme McDowell, pictured, feels some of his comments on Tiger Woods were taken out of context

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."

"The aura is not as strong," McDowell said. "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 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"

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