PGA legend Jack Nicklaus, golf’s all-time leader in major championships with 18, claims Tiger Woods still has time to topple his record.
Woods, second in all time major wins, turns 40 at the end of the month. He needs five more Major victories to surpass the Golden Bear. Debilitating injuries along with well publicized personal problems renders Tiger winless in majors since defeating Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
The 75-year Old Nicklaus, widely considered the greatest golfer who ever played the game, praised Tiger and voiced one should not count him out. “He has always been a very focused young man with a great work ethic, and is tremendously talented. To count him out of that (the majors record) would be foolish, he certainly has a very good chance of doing that,” he told CNN.
Ironically, with such optimism coming from the only man who stands in his way of accomplishing the record, Woods himself seems unsure of when he may be able to tee it up again.
“Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don’t know,” he told reporters. “There’s really nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build towards.”
Time Magazine reported that Tiger spends his days walking the beach and being with his children. Woods, who previously endured lower back and knee surgeries, recuperates from nerve damage surgery in his back. He incurred the injury practicing flop shots in his back yard last summer.
“Anyone I’ve ever talked to who has had procedures like I’ve had, they say the same thing: you don’t know,” Tiger said. “With a joint, you know. With a nerve, you just don’t know.”
World Golf Rankings number-one player Jordan Spieth expects Tiger to be back and competitive once again. He said at the Woods World Challenge charity tournament in the Bahamas this week, that Tiger “has a lot of good years ahead of him in my mind, but now he’s really sitting back and saying ‘You know if it takes that long…. He’s got it figured out—obviously it’s frustrating for him, but we haven’t seen the end of him.”
The twenty-five year old golf sensation added, “There’s nobody that had more influence in my golf game than Tiger.”
Tiger told Time magazine that with all the wonderful successes he’s enjoyed as a pro golfer nothing compares to what he accomplished when he was 11-years-old.
“I peaked at 11, to be honest with you,” he maintained. “I went 36 and 0 that year, never lost a tournament, all in California. And I probably had the cutest girlfriend in all of sixth grade. And I had straight As. No A-minuses. They were all perfect A’s. I peaked at 11. I’ve been trying to get back to that since.”