Few people know Tiger Woods as well as his friend Notah Begay, who had some interesting observations during a Presidents Cup conference call with reporters this week.
Asked about Woods’ recovery from his most recent back surgery, Begay said Woods is taking it slow, watching his kids play soccer and giving himself plenty of time to get well before he goes back to work.
“It’s a challenge to sort of be on the couch but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Begay said.
Most interesting, though, was Begay’s comment about the arc of Woods’ career.
“I think he has a clear understanding with where he’s at in regard to his career that the sun is setting,” Begay said. “We never want to admit it … It’s just the competitive nature of every athlete. You always look at the beginning of your career but you never really want to see the end.
“But he’s very fair about where he’s at with his career with his body and he’s certainly not going to go down without a fight, without trying to do everything he can to get back to world-class level.”
Begay said he and Woods talked about next year’s Ryder Cup recently (Woods is a member of the task force) and it’s possible Woods could be an assistant captain if he doesn’t qualify.
“I think he’d be a great assistant captain,” Begay said. “I think he’s the type of player that thinks through things very methodically. When it comes to individual match play in singles, there’s nobody better.”
Begay cited Sergio García serving as an assistant captain when he failed to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team.
“I think we could see some of these older player that are moving on and probably won’t make the team do that, it would really be good for the younger guys,” Begay said.