Will Tiger Woods break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major tournament victories?

Leading Off: Woods continues to be major disappointment

Published: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 - 7:05 am

Just because Jack Nicklaus no longer plays professional golf doesn't mean the inner fire that once made him one of the most competitive players on the PGA Tour has been extinguished.

So it wouldn't be a surprise to know that Nicklaus, perhaps in the privacy of his home in North Palm Beach, Fla., on Sunday night toasted Jason Dufner's victory in the PGA Championship.

In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise to know Nicklaus drinks to anybody's major golf tournament victory, just as long as it isn't Tiger Woods'.

After he won his 14th major at the 2008 U.S. Open, it wasn't a question of if Woods would shatter Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles. It was a matter of when and by how many.

Five years, two months and 22 major tournaments later, it's now a question of if Woods will ever win a 15th major title, never mind 18.

As he's been most of his career since winning the 1997 Masters at age 21, Woods entered the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., as the overwhelming favorite.

But those 4-1 betting slips were torn up by Saturday morning when it became evident Woods would fail again, and this time it wasn't even close. Along with some hacks named D.A. Points and Danny Willett, Woods finished at 4-over-par 284, 14 shots behind Dufner.

The world's best golfer with 79 career victories and 14 majors walked off the course with a measly $28,000 check in his wallet. Let's hope he didn't stiff his caddie on the way out.

While it's no longer a surprise to see Woods fail in majors, it also wouldn't be a surprise to see him record a grand slam – winning all four majors in one season – starting with the 2014 Masters.

It wouldn't be a surprise if Woods, who turns 38 in December, catches Nicklaus by his 40th birthday.

But unless Woods finds a way to win just one major – his 15th – none of it will happen.

Until then, Jack can drink to that.

What to watch

Baseball, Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees, 4 p.m., ESPN: Will Alex Rodriguez continue to play through the Bronx cheers in New York?

Today's poll

Will Tiger Woods break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major tournament victories?

• Yes

• No

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Weekend poll results

Was adding Corliss Williamson to the Kings' coaching staff a good idea?

• Yes: 88%

• No: 12%

Total votes: 316

Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

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