Paul Azinger on Tiger Woods: In his 'quest to get better, he's actually gotten a little bit worse'
By John Strege
Tiger Woods tends to come out on the wrong side of any comparison with Jack Nicklaus these days, and Paul Azinger delivered another verdict against him on Wednesday.
Tiger Woods and Paul Azinger at the 2002 Ryder Cup (Getty Images photo)
"One of the big differences that's very rarely articulated is the fact that while Tiger in his dominance always, for whatever reason, was in this quest to get better, I don't remember Jack ever saying that," Azinger said. "Jack might have made some tweaks here and there, but Tiger has made astronomical changes in a quest to get better, and as a result Tiger has actually gotten a little bit worse. I think we can all pretty much see that."
Azinger, who is working the British Open telecast for ESPN, delivered his remarks in a conference call with the ESPN team.
"I think where Tiger has made his mistake is he's dabbled with the fingerprints of his golf swing, not necessarily the fundamentals," Azinger said. "Tiger remains fundamentally fairly sound in his lower body, but the changes -- I think he's probably the only person that's ever played well who's looked radically different throughout his career.
"And Tiger's quest to get better, I think he's actually gotten a little bit worse. Most golfers have made the same mistakes in some weird way about changing their golf swing . . . and I think Tiger has done that to his detriment. Jack never made those mistakes. Jack understood that if he could stay the same, he would still dominate. Tiger didn't need to get better. He just didn't need to get worse. He needed to stay the same and he could still dominate, and in his quest to get better, it's kind of backfired on him."