Damien McGrane believes Tiger Woods will be better than ever when he returns to the game.
The Meath man, 38, feels that he knows what makes Woods tick after playing the final 36 holes alongside golf’s fallen hero in the Dubai Desert Classic two years ago.
After watching the world No 1 cruise to victory that week, McGrane has no doubt that the American will brush his family problems aside and dominate like never before.
Bidding to avoid his third missed cut in a row in Dubai this week, McGrane said: “What’s happened in Tiger’s personal life won’t affect him as a golfer whatsoever.
“He is the best player in the world, probably the best business man in the world and he has the best head for the game of anybody else. He’s supreme in all departments.
“Despite what has happened, he will be more than capable of just putting that aside and coming back out and winning golf tournaments. And the sooner he does that, the better for us all.”
Woods was due to make his sixth appearance in Dubai this week before he announced he was taking an indefinite break from the game following sensational revelations about his private life.
But McGrane reckons that the American superstar will be bigger than ever when he returns.
McGrane said: “I have more money in my bank account because of Tiger Woods and we all miss him.
“But because of the animal he is, I believe he will be better than ever when he comes back. He is undoubtedly the best at what he does and when he goes out to play golf, nothing will get in his way.”
McGrane outscored Woods by a shot in the third round of the 2008 Dubai Desert Classic but crashed to a final round 79 as Woods shot 65 to win the title by a shot from Martin Kaymer.
And while many expect players like Kaymer or Ireland’s Rory McIlroy to take over as world No 1, McGrane does not believe that Woods is ready to step aside just yet.
He said: “When he goes out to play golf, he knows he’s the best. He is able to put all issues aside and produce that special shot that will win the tournament.
“He’s done it on TV every Sunday evening for as long as I can remember. That’s what he is and that’s what he will continue to do.
“When I played the final round with him in Dubai, he got on the 18th green and had a treacherous putt similar to Rory’s up and down last year.
“It was straight down the green towards the water and he just rammed it straight into the back of the cup and won the tournament.”