Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods will always be linked in golf history. At No. 1 and No. 2 on the all-time major-championship list, it’s hard to argue against Jack and Tiger as the two greatest golfers ever.
For a long time in the early 2000s, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Woods would break Nicklaus’ record of 18 career major titles. But it’s now been more than a decade since Tiger’s last major victory, at the 2008 U.S. Open. At a recent course opening, the Golden Bear said Tiger’s odds of catching him have shifted.
“Well they’re not as good as they were 10 years ago,” Nicklaus said of Woods’s chances. “He’s probably got another good 10 years of tournament golf in front of him. 40 major championships to win five of them. Who knows.”
Nicklaus’ remarks came late last month at the 30th anniversary of one of his Signature Courses, Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club, in Pawleys Island, S.C.
Nicklaus also had plenty of praise for Woods and his comeback season.
“Well I think there’s been a lot of excitement,” Nicklaus said. “Tiger coming back this year I thought was great. I never thought he would come back and do what he’s done. He’s played actually fantastic this year.”
Nicklaus also cited Woods’s improved mental game as a reason for his success.
“He had to fix the spot between his ears. These five inches between his ears,” Nicklaus said while he gesturing to his head. “Once he fixed that, he was going to be just fine. He seemed to get that together at the Tour Championship and won the championship.”
Woods earned his 80th career PGA Tour victory this year at the Tour Championship, and he now sits only two wins behind Sam Snead for the most in PGA Tour history. Woods will continue to draw plenty of eyeballs in 2019.
“I just think it’s great that he’s come back,” Nicklaus concluded. “It’s great for the Tour, great for the game, and I’m happy for him.”