Speaking to reporters during his press conference on Wednesday morning at PGA National, Jack Nicklaus said he thinks Tiger will break his majors record (18) and related Tiger’s slump to times when he struggled. “I’m surprised he has not bounced back by now,” said Nicklaus, who played in the Wednesday pro-am with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. “I think he’s got a great work ethic, or at least he did. I assume he still does. I haven’t seen him practice for a long time. But he’s got such a great work ethic. He’s so determined to do what he wants to do. I’m very surprised that he hasn’t popped back. I still think he’ll break my record.”
He added, “But obviously, we haven’t played any majors yet this year. We’ll see. You probably can ask me that same question at the end of this year and we’ll see what the answer is, and it might — it will probably define a lot of what will be the answer. My answer is as good as yours, or my guess is as good as yours. Or certainly yours is as good as mine.”
In other words, Jack has no idea and can only guess like the rest of us.
Jack talked about ’79 when he went a long stretch without winning and then he broke through at the ’80 US Open.
“I wasn’t very happy going into the US Open,” said Nicklaus. “But you just keep working at it and you keep doing things, and all of a sudden, something happens that kicks in, and I think that’s what will happen with Tiger…I remember going back to (Baltusrol) in 1980, playing a practice round and I looked at this golf course and said, ‘I broke the Open record on this golf course? Man, this is a tough course. Well, I broke my record again.
“Sometimes the little things have to happen to you, and I think that’s where you’re talking about Tiger and his problems — I think that will happen to Tiger. I think when you have as much talent as he has, that will happen. He’s not going to go anywhere. I mean, what’s he won, 14, 15 majors, whatever he’s won. Doesn’t make any difference, he doesn’t get there by playing poorly.
“(Tiger) has won a lot of tournaments hitting it all over the world, but he still figured out a way to get the ball in the hole to win that golf tournament. He’ll do it again.”
Tiger has won 14 majors and needs four more to tie the record set by Jack. Last major Tiger won was the 2008 US Open where he beat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff.
(AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Allen Eyestone)