Last August I wrote that Tiger Woods would not break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 professional major championships. He currently has 14, which is astounding, but he needs to win five more.
Mike Adams wrote the other day that Woods will win a major this year–maybe even the U.S. Open–and eventually win 20 majors.
In his fascinating book about his years coaching Woods, The Big Miss, Hank Haney portrays Woods as a constant tinkerer. Woods believes, and has stated as much in many interviews, that to keep from losing ground to his competitors, he must continually improve.
This may be true as a basic philosophy, but not when it comes to the golf swing. The mental aspect of golf is mysterious and elusive, and the more complications one introduces, the more likely things are to go off the rails.
Haney noted that because of all his tinkering, Woods has lost confidence in his driver. This was obvious in the recent Masters Tournament, where Woods could hardly find the fairway. Worse, he was hitting a snap hook. That’s not his normal miss, but rather a sign for him of serious swing flaws that will seriously mess with his head. It was obvious to everyone that he was coming apart at the Masters.
According to Adams, Woods is going to put on quite a show at the U.S. Open in June. I think he’s dead wrong.
The Open this year is at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, a very difficult course that will require precise driving and mental toughness. Previous champions there (Scott Simpson and Lee Janzen) were short, accurate drivers who knew how to keep the ball in play. If Woods couldn’t hit it in the fairway at Augusta–a very forgiving course–he’s in serious trouble Olympic. Far from winning, it’ll be a surprise if Woods makes the cut.
As I said before, it’ll be fascinating to watch and I do hope the best for Woods. But again, I think Jack’s record is safe.