JUPITER ISLAND, Florida –
Earlier today golf legend, sports insider, and course designer Jack Nicklaus revealed to Empire News that after a long discussion with Tiger Woods, Woods told Nicklaus that he was 95% certain that he would retire from the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour to pursue a professional career in what he called his number-one passion – miniature golf.
“I thought he was joking at first, then he started rambling about how mini-golf is what made him fall in love with golf as a child, he said it was all about fun back then. Then he started rambling off about all these international miniature golf tournaments and the his ideas about joining the U.S. Pro Mini-Golf Association,” Nicklaus said.
Woods, the number one PGA player during 2013, has had a dismal fall in rankings while being plagued by chronic back pain, and currently is ranked as the 201st best player in the world. In his seven 2014 PGA starts he has placed in the top 25 only once.
Nicklaus, a longtime friend, mentor, and critic of Woods went on to say that Tiger insisted he was not leaning toward retirement because of the back injury.
“He told me that he knows if he truly wanted to, he could come back and be one of the top players in 2015, but it just isn’t fun to him anymore, not like mini-golf. He insisted that putt-putt has always been his passion, but while under constant pressure from all of his endorsements, he simply could not pursue a professional career. Now he knows what he wants and he is going for it,” Nicklaus added.
Empire News contacted USPMGA President Ballard Little, and he would neither confirm nor deny rumors that Tiger Woods will be joining the mini-golf circuit. “I can tell you that Tiger is a great friend of mine, and we have burned up the mini-links together several times, but I am in no position to make an announcement at this time. I will say that on a personal and professional level, he would be great for the sport and it would surely gain in popularity tremendously throughout the entire United States, and even the world over, if he were to begin seriously competing. And that is all I will say about that!” Little said with a hint of bottled up excitement.
Woods has 79 PGA tour wins in a career spanning from 1992 to 2014, and has accumulated over $109 million dollars in earned winnings. Quite the résumé for a budding pro mini-golf superstar.
When Nicklaus was asked when Woods would go public with the news, he said, “I assume he’s just waiting for the right time. I suspect that he is holding off until the mini-golf related endorsement deals to be worked out. Personally, I think he will make it official before the holidays.”
Reportedly, Woods is seeking endorsement deals from Tacki-mac, the leading manufacturer of mini-golf clubs and grips, as well as Toys ‘R’ Us and Pirates Cove Adventure Golf.