Tiger Woods needs to regain his early career confidence if he is to find his way back to the pinnacle of golf, US legend Arnold Palmer said Wednesday, a few weeks ahead of the Masters where Woods hopes to stage his return to the game.
Speaking on the eve of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, Palmer said 14-time major champion Woods needs practice to rebuild that confidence.
Palmer said he supported Woods’ decision to take a break from competition, even though that means Woods won’t be teeing it up this week at Bay Hill, where he has won eight times.
Woods took himself out of competition last month to improve his game, and time is running out for a return to form before the Masters next month.
Palmer said he appreciated the fact that Woods called him to explain why he wouldn’t be there.
“First of all, he said, ‘Arnold, you know, I can’t think of anything that I’d rather do than be there to play’ and then he explained that he didn’t feel like his game was ready,” Palmer said on Wednesday of his brief talk with Woods.
“He really wanted to work on it and get it ready to play and I don’t blame him. I think if I were in his position I would probably have said somewhat similar things.
“ ... He simply said that he just couldn’t present himself ready to play when he isn’t, and he’s going to work on his game and get through it.”
Palmer said he “didn’t say much of anything” during the call, but the seven-time major champion was asked what advice he would offer Woods.
“There’s only one thing I can say and that’s practice, and confidence,” Palmer said.