TIGER WOODS and Jack Nicklaus have more in common than just a hunger for Major titles.
According to legendary coach Butch Harmon they both turn into “arrogant pr**ks” when they step onto the tee.
And nobody showed it more than Woods and Nicklaus, who set the bar with his 18 Major victories.
Harmon, 76, who coached Woods to the first eight of his 15 Major wins, said: “You absolutely need a streak of arrogance to be a great champion, to be the best at what you do.
“And you’ve got to have a lot of pr**k in you. You have to be that kind of guy when you walk between the ropes.
"Tiger’s definitely that way — guys like him just want to cut your heart out.
“They’ll go to dinner later on, or we’ll have a beer afterwards and joke. But when it comes time to play, I’m going to really get you.
“A certain Jack Nicklaus thought that way too, and he had that dose of arrogance you need. But you would never know it by his demeanour.”
Harmon witnessed that unshakeable self-belief in Woods even before he turned professional in 1996 — because he simply refused to accept defeat as he rattled off an unprecedented hat-trick of US Junior and US Amateur titles.
In an Instagram Live discussion with son, Claude, also a hugely respected coach, Harmon Sr said Woods, 44, could easily have lost every one of those finals.
All six went to the full distance, with two of them going to extra holes and Woods famously rallied from five down with 12 holes to play in his first US Amateur final in 1994, to beat Trip Kuehne two up.
Harmon added: “Tiger couldn’t tell you how he was going to win — he just knew he was going to beat you. And you cannot teach that.
“That fight, all the great guys have it. They have that ability to reach inside, and they love the pressure. They thrive on it. They want it.”
Harmon says he has seen the same mindset in five-time Open champion Tom Watson – and in more recent Major winners such as Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, both coached by son Claude.
He said: "Tom was the same way – although like Jack, you’d never know it by his demeanour either. But they had it. They knew how good they were.
“You and I know DJ as well as anybody. He is so laid back, but when he walks between the ropes he changes.
"And Brooks is the same way. They just want to beat you so bad. It’s what drives them.
“In Brooks’ case, I still don’t think he gets the credit for being as good as he is, even though he’s won four Majors in the last few years.
“But he uses that to his advantage. That’s why he plays with that big chip on his shoulder. You don’t think I’m good? Let me show you how good I am.
“And then people will say, ‘Well, how come can he play so good in Majors and not good in other events?’
“Well, number one he gets up for the Majors. He likes the challenge. He likes to be there. He likes being the man.”
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