Sports Illustrated // Fred Vuich
By Sean Zak
Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Jack Nicklaus may be the greatest major champion in golf history, but he still seems to think his record of 18 major wins is unsafe.

Nicklaus talked with CNN about Tiger Woods over the weekend, just days after TIME published an exclusive Q&A with the hampered golfer.

"To count him out of that (the majors record) would be foolish," Nicklaus said, citing Woods’ focus and work ethic. "He certainly has a very good chance of doing that."

Nicklaus' comments to CNN are consistent with what he's always said about Woods' chance to win more than 18 majors. Back in 2011, he figured Woods would eventually top his majors total. Then, in 2013, Nicklaus said the same thing.

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In early 2015, Nicklaus went on the record again believing Woods would win more than 18 majors in his career, and the Golden Bear has stuck to his guns. Based on Woods’ performance in the past two seasons, it can’t be getting any easier for Nicklaus to back him. Woods has fallen to No. 411 in the world rankings and has not won a tournament since August 2013. He also has an undetermined timetable for returning to competitive golf. 

"I said to Tiger no one wants to see their records broken, but I would want you to be healthy," Nicklaus told CNN. "I've tried to help him with some of the people who helped me in my career.

"I fully expect Tiger to return to come back to play well and be a good competitive force in the game, but it does make me sad to see Tiger or any of our athletes struggle with health." 

Nicklaus sounds like Woods' biggest fan. And just like the rest of us, he wants to see the 14-time major winner return to relevance.

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