Will Tiger Woods ever be Tiger Woods again? Jack Nicklaus says Tiger Woods ‘not going to go away’ and can still beat record for major titles.
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Jack Nicklaus isn’t counting his 18 chickens. In South Korea for an appearance Friday, he said Tiger Woods can still beat his record for major championships, with one big if.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the Golden Bear said Tiger has to get “the five inches between his ears squared out” before he can continue his run at history.
“I mean Tiger has a great work ethic, he’s a great competitor, the most talented kid on the planet right now,” Nicklaus said. “He’s not going to go away.”
Nicklaus, of course, never had Woods’ troubles or had gone as long without winning at a similar stage of his career. Nicklaus went winless in ’79, when he was 39, four years older than Woods is now. He won two majors in 1980 and went winless in ’81, ’83 and ’85 before winning the 1986 Masters at age 46 for No. 18 and to bring the number of his PGA Tour victories up to 73.
Woods, at first stalled by knee surgery and then by scandal and further injury, is stuck on 71 PGA Tour wins (including 14 majors) and hasn’t won anywhere since the 2009 Australian Masters. He failed to qualify for this year’s FedEx Cup playoffs and will make his next start Oct. 6-9 at the Frys.Com Open in San Martin, Calif. He’ll play in the Australian Open the week before the Presidents Cup.
Nicklaus, a former Presidents Cup captain, also agreed with Fred Couples’ decision to make Woods one of his two captain’s pick in this year’s event.
“How could you not pick him?” Nicklaus asked. “I mean he’s Tiger Woods, he’s the best player in the game. He may not be playing his best today, but he’s still Tiger Woods.”
Nicklaus made the comments while in South Korea to attend the Songdo IBD Championship at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, which he designed.
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