One of the most enduring questions in modern golf has been whether or not a player will break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major championships. Until 2009, Tiger Woods seemed on track to reach 18 with ease, but his personal and physical struggles in the ensuing years have left him stalled on No. 14.
Golf fans has been eagerly anticipating Tiger’s return to competitive play ever since he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in February, citing back spasms.
Unfortunately, more news emerged from Tiger’s camp yesterday, and it wasn’t good: the Big Cat recently underwent his fourth back surgery in under three years, raising even more questions about the status of his comeback.
Hank Haney, Tiger’s swing coach from 2004 to 2010, offered his take on his former student’s most recent setback on his SiriusXM PGA Tour radio show: “I don’t buy a lot of these theories that people have,” Haney said. “I don’t buy that…this is the end all be all for him, coming back and beating Nicklaus’ record. That’s never gonna happen. I mean, come on people, get real.”
Haney went on to explain that he does believe Woods is capable of winning again, if he can return to the game for an extended period of time. “I’ll never give up on that part,” he said. The problem? “I don’t believe Tiger is that enthralled by this whole comeback idea. [The media] believe that he’s got this burning desire to come back and play. I don’t think he does.”
For better or worse, the same certainly cannot be said for Tiger’s fans.