World Cup of Hockey is set to begin next week. ( The Ultimate World Cup of Hockey Preview LeBron James: A Performance for the Ages RIP to the GOAT RIP Muhammad Ali: The GOAT Steph and the Warriors down the Thunder, advancing to the NBA finals. Steph and the Warriors came out to play

Tiger Woods’ Future in Golf: Can He Break Jack Nicklaus’s Majors Record?

Tiger Woods (Paul Gallegos/PR Photos)

The question that looms in the golf world is who is the next face of golf. Since Tiger Woods abdicated his throne as world No. 1, we’ve heard names like Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, and Luke Donald. The problem is No. 1 can’t easily be filled.  Westwood lasted 22 weeks, Kaymer 8, and Donald 10 so far.

The last 11 majors have produced 11 winners. Notable winners being Phil Mickelson at the 2010 Masters and Rory McIroy at this year’s U.S. Open.  However, nobody seems capable of settling in as golf’s top dog. The 2011 majors haven’t exactly been photo finishes either. Schwartzel won the master by 2 strokes, McIroy the U.S. Open by 8 strokes and Darren Clarke the Open Championship by 3 strokes. Golf needs some excitement.

Is Tiger…the next Tiger?

So who will take Tiger’s throne? The answer is in the question. The return of Tiger is just what it needs. Golf purists dislike when people talk about the interest in the game hinging on one guy, but it does. Nobody wants to watch Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, or Y.E. Yang win majors. Great players with a paucity of charisma.

The return of Tiger begs the ultimate question: will he catch Jack?

Tiger turns 36 in December. He has 14 majors and needs 5 to break Nicklaus’s record.  Nicklaus won his final major at age 46. Lets say Tiger has 50 majors left to compete in. All he has to do is win 1 of every 10. It’s difficult, but feasible if he can get back to being the player he once was.

Some are incredulous towards the idea of Woods returning to prior form. They say he doesn’t have the distance advantage anymore, and tinkers with his swing too much. But Tiger never won because of his distance, he won with his putter. He embodied the phrase drive for show, put for dough. He was deadly from 150 yards in.

Has Tiger’s outlook changed?

Tiger will recover from his personal problems. The question is whether he can recover from physical problems. Is his knee finally 100 percent? It looked like it two weeks at Firestone. Tiger hit the ball further than he has over the past year, averaging 316 yards per drive, a sign he finally trusts his knee.

But the real reason Tiger is going to break Nicklaus’s record is beyond the circumscriptions of the physical world. It is the mental side of Tiger. Tiger was once regarded as inhuman, but his infidelities and injuries brought him back down to earth; a dose of humility for a golfing god. A descent of epic proportions. One that will eventually make Tiger more endearing to the fans.  But Tiger is not just another golfer. He wasn’t the best just because of his talent, he was the greatest competitor in all of sports. Not giving an inch, never cracking a smile until he won. When a reporter asked Tiger if he should lower expectations to take the pressure off, Woods responded, “No.”

“Never have,” Woods added  “Why show up at a tournament if you’re not there to win?  There’s no reason to come.”

When asked if other guys would have different expectations after returning from injury Tiger interrupted the reporter, “I’m not other guys.”

And Tiger is exactly right. He is like no other. That attitude is why Tiger will pass Jack. He was not just the best golfer. He was a different breed, cut from a different cloth, the most competitive man on the planet. Golf without Tiger is like Sunday at the beach for these guys, everybody is smiling and everybody is getting a piece.  I long for the days when the other players in the field would wilt on Sunday playing next to Tiger. I want the carnal eyes lining up putts. I want the vigorous fist pumps after they fall.

Could you imagine a world where Tiger doesn’t break Jack’s record? A world where there is actually a debate about who is the greatest golfer of all time? I can’t. Tiger is healthy now and when he gets his feel back, nothing will stop him. Not Rory McIlroy’s haircut, not Rickie Fowler’s orange outfit, and not Stevie Williams’ mouth. Nobody is willing to take over Tiger’s crown and nobody deserves it, except Tiger.

Tags: , , ,


2 comments for “Tiger Woods’ Future in Golf: Can He Break Jack Nicklaus’s Majors Record?”

  1. New Post: Tiger Woods’ Future in Golf: Can He Break Jack Nicklaus’s Majors Record?

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 16, 2011, 4:14 am
  2. I fully agree completely.

    Posted by juegos infantiles | November 23, 2011, 10:59 am

Post a comment