Jack Nicklaus: Tiger Set Up For a Big Summer (Possibly)
By Stephanie Wei under General

When Tiger Woods first announced his indefinite leave from the game, some were concerned he would take the entire year off to mend his family affairs, which might set him back at his quest to break Jack Nicklaus’ majors record. Especially since he’s had so much success at two of the venues — Pebble Beach and St. Andrews.

Now that it’s been established spending time with his family isn’t the top priority, the concern is his health and game. In the last two starts, the letters MC and WD appear next to his name. He’s got that inflamed joint in his neck, which supposedly isn’t a big deal (but from personal experience, neck problems are a huge pain, especially if caused by a car accident).

But Nicklaus still has faith in Tiger. Ed Thompson of the Palm Beach Post reports:

I would like to have this year,” Nicklaus said Tuesday at the Bear’s Club during a benefit for Palm Beach Atlantic University. “It’s a pretty good rotation this year. It’s good for me, but it’s good for Tiger, too.”

No conversation with Nicklaus can get more than a short iron away from Tiger Woods’ pursuit of the record for major championships.

The rotation for this year’s majors set up for Woods to win one, if not three, majors to add to his total of 14, making the fall of Nicklaus’ record a foregone conclusion.

“If he’s healthy, those two golf courses … he owns both of them,” Nicklaus said. “Basically, the same as I did.”

“Not to take anything away from Tiger because he’s a helluva player, but there’s some guys who can play out there, and I think guys are thinking they can beat him now.”

Catch that hopeful glimmer of uncertainty? I’m sure Nicklaus wouldn’t mind keeping his record intact for as long as possible. But, oh, how the times have changed. Meanwhile, Johnny Miller thinks, “[Tiger]’s really gonna struggle to just tie Jack’s record.” Tiger, please make Johnny eat his words.