Michael Jordan: One more major and Tiger Woods would quit

Tiger Woods “wishes he could retire” and would do so if he won another major, according to his friend and former basketball star Michael Jordan.

Woods has not played since August after undergoing three back operations in the space of 19 months and won the last of his 14 major titles in 2008.

The former world number one has reportedly been having lengthy practice sessions ahead of a possible return to action and was caught on camera hitting shots during a clinic at a junior event on Thursday.

But Jordan believes the 40-year-old is “tired” after a long career in the spotlight and told ESPN the Magazine: “I think he really wishes he could retire, but he doesn’t know how to do it yet, and I don’t think he wants to leave it where it is right now.

“If he could win a major and walk away, he would, I think.”

Woods told his friend and former PGA Tour player Notah Begay he “knows” his next comeback will be his last, while Jordan does not sound optimistic it would be a success. “The thing is, I love him so much I can’t tell him, ‘You’re not gonna be great again,’” Jordan said.

Jordan also revealed the sex scandal surrounding Woods, which broke after he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree in November 2009, “looms” in the mind of the only player to hold all four major titles at once.

“That bothers him more than anything,” Jordan said. “It looms. It’s in his mind. It’s a ship he can’t right and he’s never going to.”

Woods has not played since August after undergoing three back operations in the space of 19 months and won the last of his 14 major titles in 2008.

“What can you do? The thing is about T-Dub, he cannot erase. That’s what he really wants. He wants to erase the things that happened.”

“He has ...” Jordan says, and he pauses, searching for the right word, “... no companion. He has to find that happiness within his life, that’s the thing that worries me. I don’t know if he can find that type of happiness. He’s gonna have to trust somebody.”

Meanwhile Korea’s Soomin Lee produced another flawless performance to set an imposing target in the weather-affected Shenzhen International yesterday.

Lee has yet to drop a shot at Genzon Golf Club after adding a bogey-free 65 to his opening 66 to finish 13 under par, three shots clear of the in-form Joost Luiten, who recorded a 66. Ireland’s Paul Dunne, who held a share of the 54-hole lead in the Open at St Andrews last year while still an amateur, was three shots further back alongside South Africa’s Brandon Stone after the pair carded rounds of 69 and 70


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