Tiger Woods Won’t Catch Jack Nicklaus
Tiger Woods is 37 years old and winning majors isn’t as easy as it was 10-15 years ago. Tiger had his worst major finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club at +13. The question with Woods, who has 14 majors, is always, Can he break Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major wins? The answer right now is no, and here are four reasons why:
- Tour depth. Tiger never had to worry about tons of guys from Germany, the Far East or Northern Ireland or South Africa or Australia. Recently, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell, Rory Mcllroy, Y.E. Yang and many more can win any time they go out. More countries play golf and play golf at a higher level, and it is producing depth never before seen on the tour. The last 19 majors have been won by 18 different players. That tells you everything.
- Tiger’s game doesn’t match all majors anymore. Remember when all of the different majors and sites had to “Tiger-proof” the course? Don’t worry about that now. Woods’ game isn’t close to winning at least a U.S. Open because his drives aren’t in the fairway and he doesn’t putt well enough. Half the PGA sites are now built like the U.S. Open as well, with shot-making a must, tough greens and brutal rough. The 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill is a prime example. That takes two majors out right away annually for Woods.
- Pressure. Tiger used to handle pressure well. Now it seems like he caves under it. What if he wins two more majors and is two behind Nicklaus? That pressure will build like no tomorrow and Tiger doesn’t handle pressure now like he did a decade-plus ago.
- Age and injury. Tiger slightly hurts his wrist now. Tiger’s knees aren’t the same. Tiger’s back is sore. Tiger’s body doesn’t move like it did. Well, he is older, and those injuries from years back are starting to take hold.
Is it still possible that Tiger Woods could win more majors than Jack Nicklaus? Yes. But right now, everything is working against him. It was once a slam dunk that Woods would break Jack’s record. In fact, most thought he would run away with it in the 25-major range. Now, he will be lucky to win a couple more before his days are done.
By: Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/MikeLSports.