Ex-teammate says "the sun is setting" on Tiger Woods' career

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - Day One

The 2014/15 PGA Tour season may have come to a close this past weekend, but that certainly doesn't mean that the golf world stops talking about Tiger Woods - never mind that his year is over, he's currently ranked 299th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

On September 16, Woods underwent further back surgery, his second microdiscectomy in 18 months, thus forcing him to back out of the Frys.com Open - the first tournament of the 2015/16 PGA Tour season - the Bridgestone America's Golf Cup, and the Hero World Challenge.

He is hoping for a return in early 2016, but the question remains: How much does Tiger Woods have left?

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An ex-teammate of Tiger's at Stanford, four-time winner on the PGA Tour and NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay III, who is also a very close friend to Woods, shed some light on the subject in a teleconference this week.

Whilst discussing next week's Presidents Cup, which starts October 8 in South Korea, Begay acknowledged that Woods "has a clear understanding of where he's at in regard to his career. The sun is setting."

Golf is in a great place right now as the youth movement sets in. Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and current number one player in the world Jordan Spieth  have drawn comparisons to the "Big Three" era of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player, but it's hard to imagine golf without Tiger Woods, who has spent 623 weeks as number one and helped inspire many of the young golfers on tour today.

Since turning pro in 1996, Woods has 79 wins on the PGA Tour - three shy of the record held by Sam Snead - and 14 major championship victories, second only to Nicklaus' 18.

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Final Round

However, he has not won a tournament in over two years, his last win coming at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013.

He had his first back surgery in March of last year, causing him to miss The Masters for the first time in his career, and has struggled since returning from that injury, especially in the majors.

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He has missed the cut in four of his last five major championship appearances, including the final three of this season. 

But let's not expect him to go willingly. After all, this is still Tiger Woods, arguably the most competitive golfer in history.

Whilst this is really the first time that we've heard of Tiger saying such things about his career, Begay also noted that his close friend is "not going to go down without a fight, without trying to do everything he can to get back to world-class level."

The Presidents Cup - Round Three

Now that's more like it. 

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