Graeme McDowell admits that the backlash he received from fans on Twitter was the reason for his decision to clarify his recent comments on Tiger Woods.
The world No 14 spoke at length about Woods at Bay Hill last week but took exception to the cherry picking of his most negative-sounding pronouncements on the world No 1 with many outlets jumping on a PGATour.com piece headlined: "Players say Woods' aura not as strong."
“He’s lost that sort of force field of invincibility around him," McDowell told some reporters at Bay Hill. "The aura is not as strong. He's still Tiger Woods, still the greatest player ever in my opinion. I don't remember the first time I played with him but there was a real ‘wow’ factor. He was playing a different sport than me. But guys get older, stuff happens.”
One of the most interesting players in world golf, McDowell joked at the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia today that his "tendency to talk a little too much" backfired on him and as a result he felt the need to fully explain his comments on Woods via Twitter on Thursday evening.
"Sometimes I like to make a slightly negative statement whilst trying to make a very positive one, and that's what I managed to do last week a few times," McDowell said today.
"A few nice journalists there in the States managed to pull my negative sentences and put them together into one piece and it read very negatively, and I received a little bit of negative feedback on Twitter and some bits and pieces.
"So certainly all I was trying to say was that, you know, Tiger Woods has raised the bar, he's made everyone better. The fact that he has not won a major championship for a few years is not so much due to his bad play as it is due to the fact that everyone else has got better. So that's really all I was trying to say. Like I say, really shouldn't talk so much."
What McDowell said about Woods is merely a continuation of what he has been saying about the world No 1 since 2010 — his brilliance forced the rest to up their games and the resulting rise in standards has made it more difficult. Players now fear Woods less, a situation that's been exacerbated as Californian gets older and battles injuries.
As for the EurAsia Cup, McDowell and Jamie Donaldson came back from two down after eight to beat Gaganjeet Bhullar and Nicholas Fung 2 and 1 in the foursomes for Europe's lone victory.
Asia won the session 3-2 to leave Europe a tenuous 3-7 ahead entering the final 10 singles on Saturday.
McDowell will face Thongchai Jaidee in a repeat of last year's Volvo World Match Play final in Bulgaria, where he beat the Thai veteran 2 and 1 at Thracian Cliffs.