When you’re the greatest golfer of all time, you’re bound to make some enemies along the way.
Back in the day, Tiger was more like a hitman on a job than a PGA Tour player. He was all business on the golf course and had one goal, complete the mission which meant win at all costs.
During rounds, he wouldn’t even talk with his playing partners or acknowledge people in the crowd. While fans loved him, it’s not the case with every golfer.
Let’s review some of the adversaries he’s faced along the way. Here are some of Tiger’s biggest enemies and how the beef got started.
1. Sergio Garcia
Sergio was a child phenom but lived in the shadow of Tiger’s most dominant era. Their feud came out in full force at the 2000 US Open at Bethpage Black.
Tiger went on to win and Sergio got verbally abused by the fans for his incessant re-grips and waggles. Needless to say these two have never been buddies since then.
2. Brandel Chamblee
Another top enemy of Tiger is a guy who doesn’t even play on the PGA Tour anymore – Brandel Chamblee. He’s part analyst and part Tiger troll in my opinion.
While he was a decent player himself, I’m not sure that he has enough credibility to pick apart the 15-time major champion. Tiger’s success has meant Brandel eating his words on more than one occasion.
3. Tom Watson
While Tom is a legend of the game, it’s safe to say that Tiger never came to him for advice about life on tour after this quote.
“I feel that he has not carried the same stature that other great players that have come along like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course.”
Tiger also withdrew from the 2014 Ryder Cup and may or may not have told the captain before the media. Regardless of his course behavior, his results and impact on the game are far greater than Tom Watson.
4. Hank Haney
Tiger’s ex-coach Hank Haney definitely doesn’t have a solid relationship with Tiger anymore. After parting ways, Hank released a book called “The Big Miss”, which was all about their time working together.
Hank made outrageous claims in the book and said that Tiger wanted to quit golf to join the Navy SEALs. Much of what he said is disputed and many of the media saw it as a cash grab above all else.
Not a good look for one of the top swing coaches in the world.
5. Rory Sabbatani
One thing is for sure – don’t mouth off to Tiger (just ask Stephen Ames who got beat 9&8 against Tiger in 2006). Apparently, Rory didn’t learn because in 2007, he said, “I want Tiger” and that he was, “More beatable than ever.”
Tiger’s response was simple: “I figure I’ve won nine of the last 12 tournaments, and I’ve won three times this year – the same amount he’s won in his career.”
What a dagger! But the results don’t lie.
Other enemies (past and present), include Phil Mickelson (they’ve since buried the hatchet), Pat Perez, Fuzzy Zoeller, Stephen Ames, and many others.
But haters can’t hold him back as he’s impacted the game like no one else.
What has been your favorite Tiger feud over the years?
Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Michael Leonard