Journeyman golfer Pat Perez, often seen playing on tour with a gallery of six or so people following him, mocked Tiger Woods claiming he “knows he can’t beat anyone.”
Perez, 40-years-old, who turned professional in 1997 (one year after Tiger), managed to win twice on the PGA tour, while Woods collected 79 wins including 14 majors during the same period of time.
Although admitting Tiger “is the biggest name in the game,” and “he is the needle-mover,” Perez accused Tiger of entering tournaments only to bolster his new start-up company TGR:
He’s got this new corporation that he started, so he has to keep his name relevant to keep the corporation going. So he’s going to show up to a few events, he’s going to try to play … He’s going to show the Monster bag. He’s going to show the TaylorMade driver. He’s gonna get on TV. He’s got the Nike clothes — he’s gotta keep that stuff relevant.
Perez, an Arizona native of Mexican-American descent spoke with host Michael Collins of SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, adding, “But the bottom line is he knows he can’t beat anybody. He knows it. The guy shot 77. That guy can’t shoot 77. What does he do the next day? ‘Ah, my back’s gone.’ He knows he can’t beat anybody.”
Perez went on to say, “If he doesn’t play Augusta then it’s over. I can tell you that right now … Personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year.”
Perez’s remarks may prove to be true, but it really is conjecture on his part. Jack Nicklaus and Freddy Couples are just two golfers you can look to who endured severe back injuries and were able to come back and win multiple times on the tour.
Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the month after shooting a 77 in the first round. The 41-year-old complained of back spasms kindled by the 15-hour plane flight from Florida to Dubai. USA Today reported, ”He says it’s not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can’t get the spasms to calm down. He can move around, but he can’t make a full rotation in his swing.”
Last week, Tiger pulled out of his own tournament, The Genesis at Riviera in Los Angeles, due to his back not having fully recovered.