Tiger may quit if form slump goes on: Gallacher

London: Former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has questioned Tiger Woods`s golfing desire and believes the 14-times major winner could quit unless he quickly reverses his alarming slide down the rankings.

Woods is without a victory for almost two years and has slumped from first to 49th in the world in just 10 months while trying to rebuild his golf swing and private life following the break-up of his marriage.

The 35-year-old American failed to qualify for the PGA Tour`s money-spinning FedExCup playoffs and is not due to compete again until next month`s Frys.com Open in California, a U.S. Fall Series tournament.

"I can see a possibility of Tiger packing it in," Gallacher told Reuters in an interview. "I can see him getting to the point where he is fed up.

"If he doesn`t feel like he can win majors any more then he might just pack it in and concentrate on his foundation and try to redeem himself to the public by doing good work for his foundation.

"If he is outside the top 50 and doesn`t qualify for World Golf Championship (WGC) events and the FedExCup he might say, `I`m hitting my head up against the wall and might not bother`," added Gallacher.

The 62-year-old Scot, who was Ryder Cup captain in 1991, 1993 and 1995, said Woods was "not competing properly" any more.

"He is going into majors and WGC events without having played for two or three weeks leading up to them, thereby not getting into the competitive swing, and before he knows it he has missed the cut," said Gallacher.

"Now he`s playing in tournaments he doesn`t really want to play in. He`s going to play in the Fall Series in order to try and find his game," said ambassador Gallacher ahead of next week`s Nespresso Trophy amateur event at Archerfield Links in Scotland.

"Whether he`s got the desire any more, I don`t know."

Gallacher, a tough Ryder Cup competitor in his playing days who also won 10 European Tour titles, doubts that Woods can break Jack Nicklaus`s record of 18 major victories.

"I`ve got huge respect for Jack and he thinks Tiger will come back (to form) and has a good chance of beating his record," said the Scot. "Frankly I think it`s 30-70 against him getting back to the level he was at.”

"With all the distractions and problems he`s had from his personal life, and also from not competing as much, the landscape has changed. There are a lot of young players around now so I would say it`s doubtful he can reach those levels again."

Gallacher said the slide in Woods`s game was particularly evident on and around the greens.

"He is more wild off the tee but crucially he`s not holing the putts he used to," he explained. "That`s the important thing.

"You reach an age in golf where you don`t hole everything all the time. The other reason Tiger used to be different from everyone else, apart from the fact he was good up to the greens, was that he was fantastic around the greens.

"If he missed the greens he would definitely get up and down or he could hole a crucial putt at the right time. He is not as good around the greens now."

Bureau Report

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