AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) Just about all three marveled at Tiger Woods because youngsters, then grew up and secured their own place in the game.
Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm plus Jordan Spieth are stars each and every tour stop, ranked Nos. two, 3 and 4 in the world. Yet this week at the Masters brings a good eerily familiar sight.
Though the game’ s once most-dominating player sits well below the particular trio – at 103rd within those same rankings – they’ re all looking up at Padraig harrington again.
” I am aware he wants to make another operate at us young guns. And several of the older guys, ” Jones said, without naming names, ” have been winning lately, so I imagine we need to try to get our small streak back.
” But it’ s great for golfing, great for him and I’ m cherish the opportunity to be potentially heading down the stretch with him in order to win a tournament or a main, so who knows? ” he additional.
Much has been made from the stories passed on from their elders, exactly how unbeatable Woods was coming down the particular stretch.
” Anyone that played against him, ” said Thomas, three weeks timid of his 25th birthday, ” says you don’ t desire that. ”
Rahm had no problem relating.
His first memory of the Experts was in 2005, watching as a 10-year-old in Barrika, Spain. Because of the period difference, his parents taped the ultimate round and sent him in order to bed. When he turned the television on that Monday morning, exactly what he saw was pure miracle: Woods’ captivating chip-in at Number 16, followed by a win over Bob DiMarco in a playoff.
” I think he’ s already been an idol to all of us, correct? ” Rahm said. ” In case you don’ t use Tiger Woods as being a reference in golf, I mean, it’ s pretty silly not to get it done. ”
He wasn’ t alone. Rahm recalled sitting on the practice range earlier within the week when Woods showed up.
” Everybody stood upward and started clapping, ” this individual said. ” It doesn’ big t happen for anybody else. ”
Spieth is by far the most achieved golfer of his generation, the three-time major winner who won’ t turn 25 until past due July. Yet he’ s because susceptible to rubber-necking as anyone with regards to Woods.
” Digging in Tiger being healthy and actively playing well, no matter what else happened, had been probably going to make it as anticipated every, ” he said.
Spieth ticked off a list of various other contenders who’ ve won lately or rounding into top type: Phil Mickelson , Rory McIlroy , Bubba Watson , Thomas plus Dustin Manley , the world No . 1 .
” There’ s simply a lot of guys playing really good golfing. that, when it’ s in the biggest stage in our sport, I believe that creates that kind of expectation, ” he said.
Like Thomas, Spieth and Rahm have heard the warnings through guys like Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh that because formidable as Woods looked over the small screen, playing against your pet in person was even more daunting.
” To be honest, ” Rahm said, ” I want and I don’ t want him to get to the level he was when this individual was playing great. I want your pet to, because it would be great to find out it again; I don’ to want him to, because he is going to be winning 30 percent of the tournaments this individual plays, which gives a lot less room throughout us to win. ”
In Spieth’ s situation, he’ s almost as concerned about the verbal beating he’ deb take at Woods’ hands when got back to the top of the game when he is about losing to him for the golf course. As a member of the U. T. team in the Presidents Cup, this individual recalled how Mickelson and Hardwoods, serving as an assistant captain, required turns giving the younger players difficulty.
” Everything they are doing is in good fun and it’ ersus not just to each other, ” Spieth remembered. ” And nobody really dares go at either one of them, since we know they’ ve got meat on us, and accolades that individuals can only dream of accomplishing. ”
And yet, like Woods and everything the great golfers of that generation, the particular young guns are driven from the same championship ethos: that as the best, you have to beat the best.
And no target is more alluring than Woods once again playing from his best.
” All I’ ve done is definitely watched and enjoyed it, ” Thomas said.
” Maybe I wouldn’ t appreciate it so much if I was on the some other end, but I guess we’ lmost all never know, ” he couldn’ to resist adding mischievously, ” or possibly I will. ”
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