Greg Norman says injury-hampered legend Tiger Woods should consider retiring. Having gone through a similar series of physical issues throughout his career, Norman says he understands the problems of trying to force an ageing body to return to peak form.
Casting serious doubt on Woods' ability to now compete at the highest level, Norman said the 14-times major winner faced an almost impossible task.
"Coming from the experience of having many surgeries myself and trying to comeback to perform at the level you were prior, it’s a mountainous task – one where your mind wills and tries to force your body to deliver, but cannot," Norman told Fox Sports.
"Before surgeries, Tiger had honed his preconception of where his muscles were in his swing — down to the minute degree, creating freedom and trust.
"Now those feelings are not the same, not repeatable, and his body unwillingly does not trust what his mind wants due the subconscious protecting its machine."
Norman noted Woods used the word "bailout" in a recent interview and suggested he might well take that route as he enters his 40s.
"And why not?" Norman asks.
"He has done much in his short life and has much to do with his kids going forward.
"If that happens to be the case, I wish him well in the next chapter of his life,"
Jack Nicklaus, meanwhile, believes Woods will try to continue his chase to match Nicklaus' record 18 majors, but now is up against a group of talented young players who know how to win grand slam events and are unfazed by Woods' reputation.
Nicklaus feels Woods will resume his chase of the Golden Bear's all-time record of 18 major professional golf titles but believes he may have trouble with the emerging young stars.
"I don't know how much he'll return next year," Nicklaus said. "I don't know whether his health will allow him to return next year.
"I know he'll want to, but I think he needs to be patient. Don't come back too soon, let him get healthy."
Woods recently revealed he had undergone a second procedure in less than two months on hist lower back and third in 18 months and did not know when he would be able to return to practice.
"He's such a great athlete and such a good competitor. I think he'll come back, but don't hurt yourself. Be patient. He's got a lot of good golf left in him," Nicklaus said.
If and when he makes a comeback, Nicklaus agrees with Norman that he will find it hard to match the current group of stars led by Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy.
"These young players are re have benefited from Tiger's misfortune," Nicklaus said.
"Instead of Tiger just dominating the game, they've had the ability to learn how to win without Tiger just dominating the game.
"I firmly believe Tiger will be back and when he does he's going to have a bunch of guys that are pretty hungry and trying harder to win and know how to do it," Nicklaus said.