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In an interview with Golfweek (opens in new tab), four-time PGA Tour winner and close friend of Tiger Woods, Notah Begay, revealed that he believes Tiger has "got one more (win) in him," with the 50-year-old adding "don’t bet against him breaking that win record at some point down the road."
Begay, who has known Tiger for almost 40 years, was speaking ahead of the Presidents Cup, where he is in fact captain for the American Junior team.
Covering an array of topics, including his availability to play on the Champions circuit, attention soon turned to his good friend, Tiger, with Begay giving us a few details after the 15-time Major winner was recently videoed practicing on the range.
Tiger's back at it... pic.twitter.com/EBIbPcgJwDSeptember 13, 2022
"Based on level of discomfort, I would say he’s putting in an hour to two hours (of practice) still," stated the NBC Sports and Golf Channel analyst. "That guy has got a high level of pain tolerance. He’s pushing it. He wants to play again. Don’t bet against him breaking that win record at some point down the road."
Tiger was last seen in a competitive environment at the 150th Open Championship. Walking the 18th at St Andrews on the Friday, he was rather emotional as thousands of fans cheered and applauded him on one of the most iconic holes in golf. Following the emotional scenes, Tiger stated "I may not be back."
After having surgery following a severe car crash that left Tiger with multiple fractures to his leg and foot, the 46-year-old returned to the sport, playing at that year's PNC Championship alongside his son, Charlie. At the event, he dismissed any idea that he would use a cart if he were to return to the PGA Tour.
What's more, at the Genesis Invitational, a tournament that Tiger hosts, he revealed that he would return, but not play a full schedule: "I can play certain events here and there, but on a full-time level, no, that will never happen again."
When asked whether Tiger should "be allowed in the elevated events?" Begay gave a pretty clear and concise answer... "I think he should be allowed anywhere he wants. I think there’s got to be some sort of provision; anybody that’s made over a hundred million – he should have his own category.
"In terms of what he’s done for the Tour economically over the last 30 years and then just sort of as a de facto spokesperson now for what’s happening, he should be able to access those events, and I promise you, there won’t be one player in the PGA Tour system that would say anything about it."
Upon his competitive return at the Masters, Tiger shot an under-par first round which left him near the top 10. Making the cut was a miracle in itself, but over Saturday and Sunday, he was clearly struggling as he shot a round of 78, his highest score in 93 rounds at the Masters Tournament.
However, as proven in 2019, you can never write Tiger off and, according to one of his good mates, he believes that the 82-time PGA Tour winner has "got one more in him, one more stretch of golf at some point," with Begay stating "I hope I’m there when it happens." Don't we all, Notah!
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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