Will Tiger win another major?
Tiger Woods is already considered one of the best golfers to ever play the game. He has 79 wins on the PGA Tour, which is three behind Hall of Famer Sam Snead who has the most wins on tour with 82. He has also won 14 majors, which is four behind Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus, who is considered to be the greatest golfer ever by most people. Woods has not won a major tournament since 2008, when he won his third U.S. Open. Since then, he has dealt with a variety of injuries and a personal scandal which forced him to miss some significant time on the golf course. The question that keeps getting asked is, will Tiger win another major?
In the aftermath of the injuries and scandal, he parted ways with his hitting coach Hank Haney and changed his swing in an effort to get better.
It didn't have the desired effect he was looking for and his swing became erratic, which in turn has led to a lot of people speculating if he will ever be as dominant as he was in the past.
With all the injuries and personal issues he has been dealing with, and the emergence of younger stars like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith, a lot of people have gone from not thinking he can get to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, to not believing he can win another major.
Fortunately for Tiger, Jack Nicklaus not only believes he can win another major, he still thinks he has a shot at getting to 18 majors.
While it seems that Jack Nicklaus is in the minority, read below for three reasons why Tiger Woods will and will not win another major.
1. He is the best player of his generation
Since joining the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods has won at an amazing rate, to put things in perspective, he already has 79 wins on tour in 18 years; it took Sam Snead 30 years to get to 82, and Jack Nicklaus 25 years to win 73 tournaments. Phil Mickelson is the closest active golfer to Woods in terms of victories and it has taken him 23 years to win 42 tournaments.
Although he isn't as dominant or intimidating as he was in the past, Woods is still one of the best golfers in the world, the major problems he faces right now are his erratic swing, injuries and his inconsistent putting.
These are problems that can be easily fixed, although the injuries a bit longer.
After failing to win a tournament in 2010 and 2011, a lot of people thought his career might be over, but he bounced back with three wins in 2012 and 5 in 2013, which was the most on the PGA tour in that span and earned him the 2013 PGA Tour Player of The Year for the 11th time in his career.
He has struggled the past couple of seasons, mostly due to an ailing back and hasn't played as much tournament golf.
He has decided to skip a number of tournaments in recent times to rest his problem back which will also give him some time to work on his game before returning to competitive action.
If his back is fully healed, expect him to play at a very high level again.
2. He has won 14 majors, more than any current player
Right now it seems that Tiger Woods is a victim of his past successes. His dominance from 1999-2005, when he won nine of his 14 majors including a stretch where he held all four major titles at the same time has created a lot of unrealistic expectations for him. He was so successful during those years, that people started expecting him to win every major he was in, which is an impossible feat for anyone.
Even now, with his current major drought, he is still among the favourites when he plays in a major, which is a testament to his legend.
Tiger won his 14 majors in his first 12 years as a professional, which is a record that might never be broken.
His closest rival Phil Mickelson didn't win his first major until his 12th year on tour and has won five total majors in his 23 year career.
The only current player that has a chance of getting to 14 majors is Rory McIlroy, a fellow child prodigy who has four majors which includes two in 2014.
Rory will need to win one major a year for the next 10 years to tie Woods.
Having 14 majors shows that Tiger knows what it takes to win on the big stage and will continue to do so if he can stay healthy and fix the problems he is having with his swing.
3. He is driven to break Jack Nicklaus' Record
Ever since turning pro, Woods has made no secret of his goal to break the record of 18 major titles held by Jack Nicklaus. It was a goal that many did not think he had a chance to break at first, but after going on his historic run from 1999-2005, it was a goal that many people including Jack Nicklaus thought was possible. Even though he hasn't won a major tournament in six years, he can still tie or break the record if he wins at least one major a year for the next four years, which is very possible despite his recent struggles.
A fierce competitor like Woods knows that his ultimate goal is still within his reach. He will do whatever he can to get himself back into form so he has an opportunity to be competitive in major tournaments.
The competition is tougher right now and he isn't as dominant as he was, but his game isn't as bad as most people think and he did win five tournaments in 2013, so the talent is still there.
Tiger has said in the past that he doesn't consider a year on tour successful if he doesn't win a major.
He has since softened his stance, probably to take some of the pressure off. However, everyone knows he is looking forward to ending his drought at the majors, so he can continue his quest for number 19.
With all the talk about his major drought, people seem to easily forget that he has been close to winning a few majors in recent years, but just couldn't close the deal.
Tiger finished 6th at the 2009 Masters and 4th in three of the next four years. He finished 6th in the U.S. Open, and 4th the next year, but wasn't in contention in the next two U.S. Opens he played in.
At the 2012 and 2013 British Opens, he finished 3rd and 6th respectively, but he hasn't had as much success in the PGA Championship since 2009, when he finished 2nd.
With the exception of the PGA Championship, he has had some success, but people aren't giving him credit for being in contention because of his previous wins in major tournaments which he dominated for a while.
A good example of a player turning things around after being close so many times is Phil Mickelson, who was the player everyone called the best to never win a major.
This is because he came close on so many occasions but was never able to seal the deal until he won his first Masters 12 years into his career.
If Mickelson was able to turn it around after some disappointing finishes, there is no reason to believe Tiger won't do the same, because there isn't a golfer that has the type of determination and mental focus that Woods has.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW WHERE TOP GOLF ANALYSTS AND PLAYERS TALK ABOUT TIGERS CHANCES OF WINNING ANOTHER MAJOR:
Since 2008, Tiger Woods has had a lot of injury problems that have forced him to miss tournaments, or withdraw from tournaments, which was something he didn't have to deal with early in his career. In 2008, he had reconstructive surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee right after winning the U.S. Open and was unable to play for nine months, forcing him to miss the British Open and PGA Championship.
In 2009, he did not miss any tournaments due to injury, but he had to withdraw from the final round of the PGA Championship due to an inflamed facet joint in his neck.
In 2011, he withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship, due to a minor injury to his knee and Achilles tendon.
A month after that he withdrew from the Players Championship after nine holes due to an ACL sprain in his surgically repaired left knee.
The injury forced him to miss three months and he was unable to play in the U.S Open and British Open.
Woods was relatively healthy in 2012, but he had to withdraw from the WGC-Cadillac Championship in the final round due to a sprain in his left Achilles tendon.
2013 was also relatively healthy for him, but he missed a few weeks due to an elbow strain.
More recently, he has had some issues with his back.
He withdrew during the final round of the 2014 Honda Classic because he was experiencing back spasms and he had to undergo surgery for a pinched nerve in his back which forced him to miss the US Masters for the first time in his career and the U.S. Open, for the second time in four years.
In August 2014, he withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational due to a lower back pain and failed to make the cut in his return at the PGA Championship, before deciding to skip his remaining tournaments until December, so he can give his back some time to heal.
Back injuries are tough to come back from, especially for golfers, and there is no telling how good he will be if his back is not 100 percent.
At 42 years old, Tiger Woods is past his prime as a golfer which will make winning tournaments harder for him, so his chances of catching Nicklaus are gradually slipping by.
There have been a lot of players that have won major championships after turning 40, like Jack Nicklaus, who won his last major at 46, and Phil Mickelson, who won the 2013 British Open at 43, so he still has a chance of winning one, but his chances diminish with each year that passes by.
3. The Competition has caught up to him
When Tiger was in his prime and winning at least one major a year, he was winning in such a dominant fashion and was obviously the best player on any golf course he was playing on. At his peak, he was winning majors in convincing fashion and never lost a tournament when he had the lead or was tied for the lead in the final round and he still holds three of the four best scoring records to par in majors. With his increasing injury problems and advancing age, he is no longer the dominant golfer he once was, which has allowed other golfers to finally catch up to him.
Older golfers like Phil Mickelson, who usually finished second behind Tiger, were forced to improve their game because of him and have now started finishing ahead of him in majors.
Younger golfers like Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler have emerged as the next big names in Golf and have started building impressive resumes of their own.
Rory McIlroy in particular is looking like a player that can tie Tiger's major record and make a run at the 18 major wins held by Nicklaus.
He has already overtaken Woods as the top ranked golfer in the world, and has won four majors at 25 years old which was the same amount Tiger and Nicklaus had at that age.
If he can continue playing as well as he has this year and remain relatively healthy, there is no reason why he can't do it.
Woods is still considered one of the best players in the world, and he showed that he can still compete at the highest level with his five wins in 2013, but he isn't the best golfer in the world anymore.
The arguments have been made for why Tiger Woods will win one more major before he retires and why he won't win another one for the rest of his career.
The question has now been put to you, the readers.
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