Tiger Woods jetted into Britain yesterday to begin a three-pronged assault on tournaments staged in the UK & Ireland, and he was more than happy to lend his weight to the current debate doing the rounds in offices and pubs all over the country as to which man is the most dominant sportsman in the world.
The choice seems to have been narrowed down to three: Woods, who is enjoying unprecedented domination over his rivals in golf; Swiss tennis star Roger Federer (pictured with Woods and the US Open tennis trophy), who on Sunday secured his ninth grand slam title at the relatively tender age of 25; or German Formula One superstar Michael Schumacher, who is chasing his eighth world title and announced his impending retirement from the sport on Sunday.
“I have to vote for Michael because of his consistency over a long period of time,” said Woods.
“He has performed year-in, year-out under immense pressure in a global sport. It’s hard to seperate yourself in any sport, but it’s much easier to do so in an individual sport. There’s nobody else to rely on and if you perform well you’re going to win. What you are seeing at the moment with myself, Roger and Michael is that we have been consistent over the years. You have to bring it each and every time you compete.”
Woods also had much to say about his new-found friendship with Federer. Woods was in the crowd at Flushing Meadow in New York as Federer defeated the American Andy Roddick to win his third consecutive US Open.
“It’s neat to have a person to talk to,” he said.
“The things he is dealing with and I am going through are very similar.We have a lot in common and I think we are going to be friends for a long time.”
The three tournaments that Woods is taking in on his visit to the UK and Ireland are this week’s HSBC World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth, the Ryder Cup at the K Club in Ireland and the WGC American Express Championship at The Grove. He pointed out that he was looking forward to all three events and cited the HSBC World Matchplay as ideal preparation for next week’s Ryder Cup clash with Europe.
“I want to win all three events I play in, no doubt about that,” he said.
“They are three great weeks right in a row. The HSBC World Matchplay Championship is a very historic event that I’ve yet to win and the format will be ideal preparation for the Ryder Cup.”