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Jim Nantz, Nick Faldo talk Tiger Woods on CBS

January 30, 2010 |  2:42 pm

Coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines switched from the Golf Channel to CBS today. Anchor Jim Nantz, in his 25th year of covering golf on television and analyst Nick Faldo, winner of six major golf tournaments, chatted about Tiger Woods. Who doesn't these days?

Courtesy of CBS, here's what they said.

Nantz: Of course everyone knows one player not here this week, on an indefinite leave of absence is Tiger Woods. That’s no news to anyone, but when he comes back that’s really just a random guess. I am not sure he even knows. I believe he’ll be back for Augusta but we shall see. But once Tiger does return what do you believe it will be like for him?"

Faldo: "I think very much a difference. What will he be? The most powerful thing Tiger had was his presence, wasn't it? When he stood on that tee -- we used that term, 'two up' -- he was way more than two up. You look at his lead into win ratio, it was outrageous. He had that magnetism using the power from the crowd, from the television, to elevate his game and he must have felt so good that he had the game of golf literally in the palm of his hands. And with all of that, you've got to have great self-esteem for that all to happen. Now, when Tiger heads to his tee, wherever that is, maybe in 2010, he's going into a totally different environment now.

"He doesn't know what to expect. He doesn't know how people are going to react. He knows how the media world has reacted to him. He knows how the business world has reacted to him. This is a man, he's the No. 1 gossip in the world and he's a very sensitive man. He's very sensitive to even just criticism. No, more than criticism, even just comments. I think this is going to play a very important factor for him because he now has to get back on the golf course and be comfortable with himself with so much going on. He needs to get back on the golf course....I think the important thing is can he get out there? When can he get out there? He may have to change team Tiger a little bit to get out there. So, for me, he has an awful lot to get through.

"But the priority as a golfer, chasing Jack Nicklaus' record, is to get back out there as soon as he can so he can get comfortable in this environment. And then can he have the same self-esteem as before?"

Nantz: "With all those things now changing, do you think when he does return and given time will he be the same player that he was in the past? Will he win as frequently?"

Faldo: "That is very difficult. But he has to. But after what has gone on, I feel he has to come back and be a winner again. Then it would probably be a greater comeback then winning here (Torrey Pines) on a broken leg. That’s the most important thing. That’s his life. Golf is his life. It’s almost like he’s starting again as a kid. As we have always said, let your golf club do the talking. Go out there and win and everything will take care of itself."

-- Diane Pucin