It’s a comment that has been heard ever since Woods returned to the PGA Tour earlier this year at Torrey Pines.
And fellow Masters, Open and US Open champion Jordan Spieth is no different ahead of this week’s US Open with the Texan saying he and each of Woods’ competitors owe the 14-time Major winner so much.
Spieth, who captured the US Open the last year Woods contested the tournament in 2015, was asked what it meant to have Woods back in the deep end of competition.
“It’s not really for me. It’s to the game in general. He adds a whole ‘nother level for sure,” said Spieth.
“I think it’s great for the sport. He doesn’t – he’s not here because of that. He’s here because he loves the game and he loves to compete and he wants to win. And that’s what he’s been obsessed with, and it’s what’s driven Tiger, and it’s why he’s so successful.
“But the kind of extra to that is that it’s good for the rest of us. He, like Arnie and Jack, are in that elite company that have shifted the game and made it popular and made the way of life significantly different for professional golfers.
“We certainly owe a lot to him. And that doesn’t mean that anybody wants to take it easy on him if they’re coming down the stretch with him.
“So it just – it adds an element to it, sure. We’ve seen it – I’ve seen it since I was out on Tour. I’ve seen it since I was watching him when I was 11, 12 years old. So it doesn’t surprise me in here that that would change.
“He’s also being dissected to the nth degree on everything he’s doing and every practice swing on a Monday. I think that’s pretty bizarre. But it is what it is, and he handles it the way he wants to handle it, and he goes about his business not really caring about what people think and does it because he loves to do it.”
Tiger Woods has been knocking on the victory door since his return in January along the cliff tops overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Diego and he then went close and just falling one shot shy of sending the Valspar Championship, superbly won by Paul Casey, into a play-off.
And we saw just last fortnight Woods sending Memorial fans into a frenzy with some pyrotechnic golf shots.
No wonder Spieth, like so many others, believes Woods is closer to a first victory in eight years than being further away from success.
“I think he’s playing good enough golf to win a golf tournament at any point in time,” said Spieth.
“Nobody would ever count out probably the most clutch putter and short game player of all time, and then he’s obviously striking the ball extremely well, the rounds I’ve played with him.
“I just played nine holes with Tiger a couple evenings ago. He’s hitting the driver long and straight, working it both ways. It’s a matter of time, in my opinion. Still, to win, again, you’ve got to have the right things go your way at the right times.
“No matter – he’s won with “C” games before, but that was kind of an anomaly.”