Tiger Woods turned 45 on Wednesday, which feels fallacious by about 15 years in each instructions. Functionally, Woods is working with the physique of any explicit one that’s nearly actually 60 (or older). Nonetheless the imaginative and prescient now we have of him in our minds will possibly perpetually be the 30-year-old supernova who appeared like he might bend the arc of actuality to his will and exist as the best to ever do it into perpetuity.
Regardless of his thrilling 2019 Masters victory, Tiger’s 45th journey all through the photograph voltaic is a reminder that he’ll nearly undoubtedly not attain the ever-elusive 19-major championship mark to most fascinating Jack Nicklaus by one and protect the all-time report (nobody else in historic earlier ever will every, for that matter). There are a selection of causes for this, which I’ll put out beneath.
Regardless of a horrible 2020, Tiger merely isn’t achieved perpetually. There is also nonetheless one issue left all through the tank, which might likely be intriguing for the following few years. And whereas a birthday is generally set off for celebration (and there was an excessive amount of celebrating his occupation on Wednesday), we should always moreover look ahead to what the long run holds for him and why depth on the easiest stage, historic priority and a still-breaking physique will keep him from attending to or surpassing Nicklaus’ report.
Listed beneath are three causes Tiger won’t ever attain 18 or 19 main wins (or nearly actually 16 or 17 every).
Golf has actually not been elevated: That is Tiger’s fault, in any case. I am undecided the easiest 10 on the earth are elevated right now than they have been in 2000 or 1960, nonetheless I am nearly sure the easiest 250 are elevated. This creates every kind of factors, most notably that worthwhile any occasion (and considerably an enormous) is popping into increasingly further troublesome with every passing 12 months. Mix that actuality with the following two Tiger-specific trajectories, and you may even see why the outlook for Woods at majors (and, in reality, at frequent occasions as efficiently) merely isn’t all that optimistic.
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No person wins majors after 45: If Tiger wins one totally different main championship, he may be the fourth-oldest golfer to take movement. Solely Earlier Tom Morris (1867 Open), Julius Boros (1968 PGA) and Jack Nicklaus (1986 Masters) would have acquired majors at an older age. I do know Tiger has bucked each historic precedent thrown at him, nonetheless he must match the all-time majors acquired by golfers older than 45 years and four months merely to tie Nicklaus. That’s … not occurring.
A damaged physique results in fewer possibilities: Take into account when Tiger did not play the Florida swing this 12 months? It bought buried by the pandemic, nonetheless he did not begin the Avid players Championship (which appears fairly noteworthy!). Presumably somewhat extra regarding was the fact that for the primary time in possibly his full occupation, he was healthful for extended stretches in 2020 and fairly frequent (relatively-speaking) on the PGA Tour. Woods’ return to the golf world on the Memorial and his play from there to the Masters was not compelling nor aggressive. The center line beneath represents a suggest PGA Tour participant by means of strokes gained, and you may even see Tiger hovered all by this line all through the 26 rounds he carried out after the PGA Tour resumed.
Tiger’s occupation will nonetheless be terribly nice to regulate to — and possibly somewhat extra fascinating and relatable — nonetheless we should always on a regular basis go into the following few years understanding that the Masters was possibly his closing large win, and boy, you most likely cannot have scripted that any elevated.