Tiger thinks the Ernster could buck up a little bit. (Image: SD Dirk)

Tiger Woods is rarely controversial. He’s kind of like the Derek Jeter or Peyton Manning of their respective sports. Clean cut. Nice guy. Sure, he has a temper on the course sometimes, but we write that off to competitiveness.

Today, Woods took a little heat for some comments he made about Ernie Els. Here’s what the world’s number one golfer had to say about Els, a multiple major champion and currently number 20 in the world, in regards to their knee injuries:

“I feel pretty good with what I’ve done, and I think Ernie (Els) could have worked a little bit harder. Ernie is not a big worker physically, and that’s one of the things you have to do with an ACL repair. But Ernie travels all around the world, more than any other golfer. He plays all over the place, and it’s harder for him. He is starting to put it together a little bit. We all know he’s got the talent, we’ve seen it. It’s just a matter of him getting the confidence in what he’s doing.”

I’m not sure if this is really that big of a deal, not near as big as some media outlets are making it. But it’s Tiger Woods and it’s going to make news, right?

The fact is, Els does travel a lot. And that will affect recovery from a knee injury. I think the lone regrettable line is “Ernie is not a big worker physically.” Maybe Woods would like to take that one back.

Ernie has been playing well recently. I’d love to see a showdown with him and Tiger at some point during the Fed Ex Playoffs. But the way Steve Stricker is playing, I think Strick may be the man.