US golfer Jason Gore fears that when disgraced world No1 Tiger Woods comes back to the game he’ll be even better than before.
Speaking in Queenstown two days before the start of the Nationwide Tour-sanctioned Michael Hill New Zealand Open, Gore – who’s known Woods since he was 12 – believes he has the mental strength to return and be better than ever.
“I think it is going to make him concentrate even more. He will really have a thing to prove and with all the stuff going on around him it will be hard but he has a tough New Zealand boy on his bag who is not afraid to throw a camera or two.
“He is still a great player, by far the best in the world. He is going to get heckled but I think he will be fine.”
Gore, an LA Lakers fan, believes the best parallel is to see what happened to player Kobe Bryant after he was accused of sexual assault.
“If [Bryant] can go beyond trial and do what he did – and now I see he just did an episode on Sesame Street.
“Everyone has screwed up and Tiger has screwed up. It’s a shame, as we had this perfect picture of him. He did what he did and I’m not condoning it.
“He’s not the first but it is the first time we have seen him as a human being. It is the first time we have entered his private world.
“His golf ball doesn’t know what he did, his clubs don’t know what he did.
“Tiger will come back when he is ready. He understands how important he is for the tour.
“Also when he does, the number who will be watching will be astronomical. As an American, it will be Super Bowlish.
“Deep down he is a good guy who just made some bad decisions. It doesn’t mean now that he is the devil. He made some mistakes but it’s not that he hurt anyone but himself. He will be fine,” Gore says.