Many opinions have been rendered by players, writers, and prognosticators across the spectrum, including Nicklaus himself, so I’ll weigh in with an emphatic “No”, Tiger cannot break the record. Consider the insurmountable evidence:
- Only 18 players in the history of golf have won at least five majors, and only one of them is still active, Woods. It took the rest their entire careers to amass the five victories and Tiger is starting at age 35.
- Balance of power is too great. For the first time since 1991, no player in the top 25 money list has more than two wins.
- Strength of global competition. In 1991, 22 of the top 25 money winners were American. In 2011, just 17 are. Go a little deeper and there’s only one American in spots 26-30. The world’s top players are younger, hungrier, and in the game.
- Tiger is reworking his swing after winning 14 majors. Are you kidding? His head drops 3-4 inches on his downswing making consistent ball striking difficult (a must for major contention.) Now his stance has mysteriously narrowed on full shots.
- Constant battle with his putter. Not a good sign when he’s continually changing putters, adding lead tape, etc. Look at Mickelson’s performance in the big events since he’s been struggling with his putting – not good.
- Age and propensity to suffer lower body injuries.
- Ultimately, Tiger is fighting his biggest battle on the course between his ears. You must be of single mind and purpose to win majors. It’s not going to happen with all the distractions.
Add it all up and Jack’s record is safe. Count on it.