Jack Nicklaus is still golf’s record holder for most majors won (18). It was thought for years that Tiger would destroy Nicklaus’s record when he was racking up Majors championships at the same rate he was picking out mistresses, and honestly, I still think he will break 19 major wins. Over the years I’ve felt that Jack was slightly bitter that he knew his record of 18 championships would fall to the hands of Tiger. I even remember him saying something to the extent of I should’ve won more to make it harder for him. Today Jack had some comments about Tiger that I found pretty interesting.
Nicklaus says if Woods, with 14 major wins, doesn’t win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach or the British Open at St. Andrews — two of Woods’ favorite courses — this year he will have a hard time catching him.
“If he does he will probably go ahead and break my record,” he said. “If he doesn’t win this year he has a tougher road to go. He will be 36 next year and time starts to go. He has to win five majors. Phil Mickelson won his fourth at the Masters, but prior to that three was the next closest (active) guy. So Tiger has to win almost two careers (of a ‘regular’ player) in the next five or six years to do that and that is a pretty big chore.”
While I agree with Jack’s thought that Tiger would dominate this year since the majors are at his favorite courses/courses he dominates, I don’t buy that it’s his last chance to get close to the record. It’s probably either head games or a reminder that it’s pretty damn hard to do what Jack did regardless of how talented you are. Jack isn’t rooting for Tiger to break his record or ever has. I know for a fact that Jack wouldn’t have said this a year ago before all the scandals broke out, because lets face it, Tiger was untouchable, and Jack would’ve just come off looking like he was a grumpy old bitter man. Now he can publicly challenge Tiger without the whole golf world going into a frenzy. I’m sure it felt good for Jack to get those thoughts off his chest!