Begay Says Tiger Needs Time

July 21, 2010

Woods and Begay were roommates at Stanford.

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) -- Notah Begay III says Tiger Woods is hitting the ball as well as ever, though he isn't surprised that Woods is struggling to recapture his game.

Begay, who roomed with Woods at Stanford, said Tuesday that it's difficult for anybody to address marital woes every week, especially publicly.

"It's going to take some time for the emotions to settle and for him to sort of get 100 percent focused on golf," Begay said at a press conference promoting the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Woods now has played seven tournaments without winning. It's the longest he has ever gone at the start of a season since turning pro, and he hasn't been a threat on the back nine of any tournament. Not even at the Masters or U.S. Open, where he tied for fourth.

On Sunday, he finished tied for 23rd in the British Open at St. Andrews.

"He's hitting it as solid as I've ever seen and just not able to put things together," Begay said. "That's just how difficult this game is, even for a guy of his talent level. When it can slip through his fingers like it has in the past few events, it's a pretty tough game."

Woods has been trying to rebuild his reputation after stunning reports that he cheated on his wife with numerous women. He entered rehab and took a five-month break from the PGA Tour before returning at the Masters.

"He's like anybody else," Begay said. "When somebody goes through a divorce, much less such a public one, it's going to be difficult for anybody to process what's going to happen, how they're going to cope and deal with things."

Woods has refused to address reports that he's agreed to a divorce settlement with his wife, Elin.