Ed. note — Our weekly feature, On the WARRpath takes on the issues that cross our collective paths here at weareregalradio.com and allows all of our well-established sports voices to sound off on the things that are buzzing in the sports world.
This past weekend could be seen as a good weekend for Tiger Woods, mainly so because the No. 1 golfer in the world didn’t play.
Also, with the PGA’s regular season coming to a close with the Wyndham Championship last night, Woods — who won five tournaments in 2013 — was placed officially atop the 125 linksmen who will take part in the FedEx Cup, which decides…I guess who is the best golfer for this early fall, cause there is no argument that the best golfer period is once again Tiger. Woods has confirmed that he will take part in the first leg of the postseason, The Barclays, this weekend.
That said, he who would be king has not sat atop any leader board at the close of a major tournament since the 2008 U.S. Open. Is that any way for a man chasing the most fabled record in the sport of golf to behave? At 14 majors in his still-illustrious career, Woods is four behind the standard holder, Jack Nicklaus, and now firmly in his late 30s, his prime years as a pro golfer slipping away ever steadily.
It’s common knowledge that Woods cares about overtaking Nicklaus’s 18 and asserting himself as the best professional golfer ever, but how much of a chance does he have now as a fifth consecutive season passes without Woods winning a major (his last chance, the PGA Tournament, occurred last weekend, won by an apparent descendant of Ralph Cramden).
Can Tiger get back on track with this major quest for golf immortality or will he have to simply settle for being the best golfer of his generation?
Let’s see what the guys think:Brian Mazique, WARR contributor: Tiger Woods still has a realistic chance to equal or surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say some doubt has crept in. Here are the facts that keep me believing: Nicklaus went through a similar drought in his career as he transitioned from being a young man (late 20s to early 30s) to an older man (mid-to-late 30’s to early 40s). The major difference is that Woods’ drought has coincided with some drama away from the sport. That makes us a little more nervous about his prospects. Tiger’s greatness blurs our perception of reality in the sport, especially for casual fans. In his prime, Woods won at a clip that was unheard of and it raised our expectations of him through the roof. Because he introduced many people to the sport, his heyday is all we know. Now that he’s showing more human flaws, many are doubting him. Woods still has a good five-to-seven years of solid golf left in him. In 2020, he will be 44 years old (his birthday is on Dec. 30. Phil Mickelson won the Open Championship this year at 43 and Jim Furyk was in the mix until the last two holes at the PGA Championship at the same age). Remember, Woods keeps himself in a physical condition that perhaps no other golfer this side of Gary Player can relate to. That would mean he will have upwards of 28 more realistic chances to win a major championship in his career. I still like the odds he’ll get four or more in that span.