MARCH 12, 2012
along a lot better than people
think they do. Are they going to
dinner every night and to each
other’s birthday party? No. It’s
just not their personalities. They
like different things in life. But I
think when I’m with them, in the
locker room where I see them
together, when they play, I think
they get along fine. I don’t think
there’s any hatred there.
in the type of day and the type of
course that he’s playing.
watch how he plays. People say
to me, when Tiger was so phenomenal, what is the closest
thing to Tiger Woods you have
ever seen and I will always say
Jose Maria Olazabal.
Harmon watches Phil Mickelson during the 2008 British Open.
B has changed. That was
12 years ago. Players have
changed. Tiger has changed.
His body is different. He’s had,
what, two or three surgeries
since then? He’s had two children. He’s gone through a very
ugly divorce. So many things
have happened. Can he get back
to a level of winning consistently
as much as he did? Personally, I
think that’s going to be difficult.
I don’t think it’s a physical thing;
I think it’s mental.
HARMON Well, I think there is
a tremendous respect for each
other and with each other. I
know Phil has a tremendous
amount of respect for Tiger and
I think that Tiger has a tremendous amount of respect for the
way Phil plays. I think they get
THE POST Yours is a unique perspective. What’s the one thing
the media or the public don’t
get about Tiger’s and Phil’s
"Tiger has changed.
His body is different.
He’s had, what, two
or three surgeries
since then? ... He’s
gone through a very
ugly divorce. So many
things have happened."
THE POST Moving on to more
Phil: You were quoted recently,
after he shot the final-round
64 to win at Pebble, as saying
that when Phil has to dial back
a little bit, whether it’s weather
or conditions – i.e. the final
round at last year’s British – he
plays his best when he has to
back off little bit. True?
HARMON There’s no doubt
about that. I think he plays
more under control in tough
weather conditions or wind
conditions. You don’t see him
jumping off the ground, trying
to bomb the drive over a bunker or something like that. You
see him take what the course
gives him. He takes what the
weather gives him and I think
his concentration level is so
much better that way because
he gets away from 100 percent
trick him into pretending that
those conditions exist when
HARMON Well, I have tried but
that just isn’t his personality.
Phil is a modern day Arnold
Palmer. He wears it right on
his sleeve. He is an aggressive
player, I mean, he’s always going
to be aggressive. It’s not that he
doesn’t play aggressive in adverse conditions, he just tends to
dial back a little and play a little
more under control. And we talk
about this every week so it’s
nothing new. It’s just a matter of
him buying into the situation and
THE POST Not many people
know that Jose Maria Olazabal
is one of your favorite players
and people. What is it about
the way Jose Maria goes about
his business and the way he
HARMON Olazabal is a dear
friend of mine. We have been
friends for a long time. I was
with him and his family at his
induction into the Hall of Fame
as an invited guest. He is just a
phenomenal person when you
THE POST Of the top players,
who gets the most out of the
least amount of talent?
HARMON That’s a good question.
Right now, I would have to say
Webb Simpson. I think it’s a big
year for him this year because
he’s going to have to deliver on
what he did last year and he’s
going to have to validate that A
THE POST Knowing that, is
there any way you can try to
In Harmon’s opinion,
Jose Maria Olazabal is
the cloest thing to Tiger
Woods he has ever seen.