5 Reasons Tiger Woods Won't Win Another Major
Putting fanatical blindness aside: It looks incredibly unlikely that Tiger Woods will win his 15th major at this point.
Woods put a peg in the ground 11 times on the PGA Tour in 2014-2015. He made just six of 11 cuts with just one top-10 finish (the Wyndham Championship). He missed the cut in three of the four major championships.
For the former world No. 1, it was his fourth regrettable (and winless) campaign in the last six years, and it pushed his major drought to seven years, having not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pins.
Hope springs eternal, to be sure, but what are the odds really that Woods returns from his latest back surgery, doesn't face any further swing-destroying back issues, overcomes his issues off the tee and around the green and beats Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth to win a major championship?
Here are five reasons Woods will retire with 14 majors.
First, Tiger Woods' current status: The golfer underwent a follow-up surgery in October to clean up a mid-September back surgery. He's not expected to return until early 2016.
The procedure was his third back surgery in less than two years.
Certainly, back injury is a slippery slope, and in some sense, Woods will never be the same golfer. And further, it's difficult to think that the surgeries and their residual effects won't have an effect on his game: Yet another thing Woods needs to overcome.
Woods will be 40 when he tees it up again on he PGA Tour. He's been dealing with back issues for the past two years. He's had multiple knee surgeries and Achilles issues.
Is it possible this Woods has had his last back surgery and will have no further injury issues as he chases majors? Yes. Is it probable? Certainly not.
Woods hit the ball well off the tee in 2013 when he was 17th in total driving on tour.
The last two seasons, however, as he's dealt with injury, Woods' driving hasn't been good. While Woods' distance improved in 2015, his accuracy was little better than 55 percent, worse than 200th on tour.
He'll need to return to driving the ball the way he did in 2013, if he wants to win another major. However, given two years of injuries and compensation for those injuries in his golf swing, he's facing additional hurdles to get his driving back on track.
Woods may have been "between release patterns" or any of the explanations he provided, but the reality is Woods had serious short-game issues in 2015.
He has a lot of work to do to hone a well-rounded short game that can handle the tight lies at Augusta, green-side rough at U.S. Opens and long, running shots at the British Open.
And, of course, golfer's short games don't tend to improve with age.
Since Tiger Woods' last period of dominance on the PGA Tour, 2005 to 2009, the competition has gotten quite a bit better.
Looking at Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy: This trio of golfers has won five of the last eight major championships.
Even assuming Woods returns to health and a level of proficiency, he'll have to contend with a trio of young 20-somethings as well as a generation of stars graduating from the Web.com Tour ready to win at golf's highest level.
And, of course, the Tiger Woods' mystique and facade of invincibility has crumbled: Fellow pros no longer fear Tiger or see his march to victory as inevitable.
Golfers traditionally decline in their mid-to-late 30s and fall off consistently after 40.
The oldest major winners are Julius Boros at age 48 and Jack Nicklaus at age 46. The vast majority of majors were won by golfers between 25 and 35. This isn't to say Woods can't win a major, just that it's statistically improbable and becomes more and more unlikely with each passing year.
In addition, the body obviously breaks down with age. As Woods has already been repeatedly injured and has spent more than 30 years beating an endless amount of golf balls, he seems even more likely to experience a sharp decline with each passing year.
Stats via PGATour.com