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Jack Nicklaus Still Thinks Tiger Woods will Break His Record

Tournament founder Jack Nicklaus greets Tiger Woods as he walks off the 18th green during the final round of the Memorial Tournament. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran)

By Bill Zimmerman

Long on the record as thinking Tiger Woods will set the all-time record for wins in majors, the man who holds that mark – Jack Nicklaus – still thinks it will happen despite Woods’ recent back surgery that is prompting him to miss this year’s Masters and perhaps more tournaments as well.

“I still think he’ll break my record,” Nicklaus told ESPN Radio on the Mike & Mike Show. “As long as he is physically able to do it.

“… He’s 38 years old and he’s probably got another 10 years at least of being able to compete – that’s 40 more majors to win five of them. It shouldn’t be too difficult.”

Nicklaus holds the record with 18 wins in majors, while Woods trails by four.

Woods had microdiscectomy surgery Monday, March 31, and announced the next day he would miss the Masters. The move came as a clear sign that he is placing long-term health concerns as a priority. Doctors told Golfweek shortly thereafter that a full recovery is likely for Woods.

Nicklaus last year spoke to the fact that Woods’ clock is ticking: “Obviously the older he gets, and if he doesn’t win, it makes my record move out further. . . . But I’ve said it, and I continue to say it, that I still expect him to break my record. I think he’s just too talented, too driven, and too focused on that.” An opposing view from a PGA Tour veteran came earlier this year, when two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange said he doesn’t think Woods will break the mark, while John Cook said it isn’t a figure that should define Woods.

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