Player: Tiger needs to rebound because golf needs ‘black champion’

'We need Tiger Woods. Why? He's a man of color,' Gary Player said of Tiger Woods.

There appears to be no end in sight for Tiger Woods’ freefall. But one person who wants the 14-time major champion to bounce back is Gary Player.

Player says golf needs Tiger not so much for his flair for the dramatic or captivating skill, but more for the color of his skin.

"We need Tiger Woods. Why? He’s a man of color. We need a black champion," Player told Omnisport at the Berenberg Gary Player Invitational in Virginia Water, England. "Go to Africa, where we’ve got all these young black kids used to seeing a white guy as the champion. Now they’re getting inspired; they’re sitting in front of their TV sets. It inspires them; it gets them interested in golf.

"Asia wants to see a man of color. So there are many reasons besides being so charismatic. I don’t know if anybody in the world today can play like Tiger Woods did."

Woods, who is now ranked 258th in the world, missed the cut for the second straight time at a major during last week’s British Open. He is still four major titles shy of tying Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 18.

"Tiger Woods, he won the U.S. Open by 15 shots (in 2000)," Player said. "He was on the way to breaking every record, he was on his way to being the greatest player that ever lived. Whether he will do that now and fulfill his dream, I don’t know, only the Lord above knows. But it’s sad to see him shooting 85 and missing the cuts and not hitting the fairways."