Gary Player, in the face of the naysaying punditry, has become a one-man cheering squad for Tiger Woods’ workout regimen, blaming the gym rat’s downfall instead on too little sleep and too much instruction.
The Black Knight, who was buff long before Tiger made it fashionable for PGA Tour players to bulk up, believes Woods would have lapped Jack Nicklaus in the major championship race by now if he could have gotten some shuteye and quit tinkering with his swing.
"If he never had a lesson after he’d won the U.S. Open by 15 shots," Player told Colin Cowherd on the latter’s Fox Sports 1 radio program Thursday. "I believe he’d have won 22 majors. Twenty two!"
Player — who credited the "black and silver gun holsters" look sported by the hero of the long-ago TV show Have Gun Will Travel with inspiring his own all-black uniform —sought to dismiss the "nonsense" Cowherd and others regurgitate as if it were gospel.
"I’ve got a little bone to pick with you," Player said. "I listened to you talking a lot of [age-related] nonsense … about Tiger … and his body."
After prevailing at the 2000 U.S. Open, Woods "was on his way to being the greatest player the world had ever seen," Player said. "He then goes and has lessons and gets this man’s opinion, that man’s opinion, then another man — three different coaches."
But it wasn’t just the constant swing tampering; Woods needed a few more z’s.
"As he said to me at Augusta, he said, ‘I’m confused.’ He said to me, ‘I have sleep deprivation. I only sleep three hours a night.’ So these things have a lot to do with it. Nothing to do with his body."
As we await the traditional rebuttal from Team Tiger, back to you, Brandel Chamblee.