Tiger Woods: 5 Reasons He Will Go on to Break Jack Nicklaus' Record

John BurkeContributor IApril 14, 2011

Tiger Woods: 5 Reasons He Will Go on to Break Jack Nicklaus' Record

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    DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 03:  Tiger Woods watches a tee shot as Jack Nicklaus looks on during a skins game prior to the start of the Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 3, 2009 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    18.

    It is the number that everyone agrees makes Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer in history

    It is the number that Tiger Woods must surpass if he hopes to be known as the best golfer to ever walk the fairways.

    Currently, Woods sits at 14 majors. He has been stuck there for some time. 

    Woods' one goal in golf has been to beat Nicklaus' record.

    "From well before I turned pro, that's what I've had my eyes set on in terms of golf... I absolutely want to do it. The benchmark and gold standard in this sport is 18," Woods explains.

    The last time Woods won a major championship was three years ago at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. 

    Since then Woods has been through at least one knee surgery, one swing coach and one marriage. 

    With all of those trials and tribulations, critics have argued Woods has no chance to surpass Nicklaus.

    Put simply, the critics are wrong.

    Dead wrong.

    Heck, even Jack Nicklaus says, "I assume that he'll get his focus back on what he's doing, and he will probably pass my record."

    It's safe to say that if it was not his own record Nicklaus was referring to, the "probably" would not be in the previous quote.

1. Age

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    ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 25:  Tiger Woods plays a shot on the 13th hole during the second round of the Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 25, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Tiger Woods is 35-years-old. 

    That is not old for a golfer.

    Ben Hogan won eight of his nine majors past the age of 35. And Hogan missed an entire season recovering from a near-fatal car accident.

    Jack Nicklaus won five more majors after turning 35. 

    If Woods wins five more, that gives him the record. 

2. His Intensity

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    Lately, Woods' critics have argued that his intensity is gone. His passion for the game seems to have left him. 

    And for a while, I was starting to believe it. 

    Then the 2011 Masters occurred and I realized that Woods still loves this game. His intensity may even be stronger than it was a couple of seasons ago.

    When Woods made the eagle putt on the eighth hole at Augusta National during the Masters, the fist pump he released was one of the most intense of his career.

    If that does not show his critics he still has an intense drive to beat Nicklaus' major record, nothing will. 

3. Time

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    The 2000-2001 Tiger Slam
    The 2000-2001 Tiger Slam

    Back in 2000, Tiger Woods won three majors.

    Eleven years later it is not reasonable to expect him to do the same. 

    Good thing Woods does not need to in order to surpass Nicklaus' major record.

    Suppose Woods wins only one out of every six majors on average from now on. That is not impossible to accomplish.

    If he follows that trend, Woods will beat Nicklaus' major record sometime in 2018, probably at the U.S. Open or PGA Championship.

    So Woods does not need one big burst to beat Nicklaus' major record. Instead, Woods needs to play steady, consistent golf that keeps him in contention and allows him to win about 16 percent of the majors he plays from here on out. 

4. The Intimidation Factor

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    UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 11:  Tiger Woods walks from the seventh fairway during the final round of the 2005 Target World Challenge Presented by Countrywide at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California December 11, 2005.  (Photo by Steve Grays
    Steve Grayson/Getty Images

    Everyone says Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and all of the other young guns in golf are no longer scared of Woods. 

    In the past, Woods could make players crumble with a slight glare.

    Now, players could care less what Woods does on the course.

    In essence, Woods has lost his intimidation factor.

    And while that may be true now, it can change in an instant.

    That instant will occur when Woods starts winning again. The moment Woods wins with regularity again is when the fear comes back. 

    And when the intimidation factor returns, Woods' path to breaking the majors record will become a lot easier.

5. His Ego

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    AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05:  Tiger Woods speaks to the media during a press conference during a practice round prior to the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    To be perfectly honest, Tiger Woods has one of the largest egos the game of golf has ever seen.

    But after ruling the sport for more than a decade, it is understandable how is ego grew to its current level.

    And while many may criticize his ego, I praise it.

    It is going to make him keep going. His ego will not let him rest until his name replaces Jack Nicklaus’ in the record books.

    From that standpoint, Woods’ ego is only good.

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