Nicklaus’ major record out of Tiger’s reach

This year, for the first time in nearly 20 years, Tigers Woods is missing the Masters and another opportunity to close the gap on Jack Nicklaus. My, how the mighty have fallen.

Back in June 2008, Woods was sitting high atop the golf world. He had just won the US Open for the third time, copped his 14th major, and at the age of 32 appeared to be a lock to break the great Nicklaus’ record of 18 career majors

Then it all unraveled. Two days after his Open win, Woods announced he would miss the remainder of the season due to knee surgery. Although Woods played well upon his return in 2009, he failed to win a major for the first time since 2004. 

It got worse after Woods’ marital infidelities became public late in 2009. Several sponsors dropped Woods along with his wife, model Elin Nordegren, who divorced him.

Things weren’t any better on the golf course. Outside of fourth place finishes in the Masters in 2010, 2011 and 2013 (the latter tinged with controversy in which some called for Woods’ disqualification after a drop incident on the 15th hole during round two), Tiger has barely contended in most major tournaments.

Now he’s sidelined after having back surgery to repair a bulging disk. According to cbssports.com he won’t return for at least three months. The US Open appears out, and Woods’ ability to play in the British Open and PGA is questionable.

The New York Daily News recently reported that Ladbrokes, a British bookmaker, increased Tiger’s odds of catching Nicklaus from 6-to-1 to 25-to-1 after news of the surgery was announced. . 

Tigers Woods turns 39 on December 30. Ben Hogan (5), Nicklaus and Sam Snead (4 apiece) and Gary Player (3) have won the most majors after the age of 38.

One has to wonder if a banged up and now very vulnerable Tiger Woods may ever win another major, much less four. The Tiger hunt appears to be over.

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