2015 PGA Masters: Is This Tiger Woods' Last Chance to Catch Jack Nicklaus in Career Majors?
In 2008, Tiger Woods won the US Open in dramatic fashion, defeating Rocco Mediate in a playoff to win his 14th career major.
Unfortunately, he hasn't won a single major since then. Woods' career since that victory has been highlighted with an infidelity scandal, injuries and terrible play.
Now 39 years old, Woods faces an uphill battle against very tough competition. Woods still hasn't confirmed whether or not he will play at the 2015 Masters, but many golf experts believe he will do so.
Not only has Woods not won a single major since the 2008 US Open, he has failed to win the Masters since 2005. That victory also came in a playoff, to Chris DiMarco. Since his 2005 win at Augusta, Woods has finished in the top five in six Masters tournaments. Unfortunately for Woods, he didn't play in last year's Masters because he needed surgery.
When Woods was in his prime, it looked like a foregone conclusion that he would eventually become the greatest golfer of all-time. Woods has always made it clear that winning majors is what matters most, and passing Jack Nicklaus' 18 majors is the ultimate goal. Golf may not be the most physically demanding sport, but it's very rare that golfers win majors past the age of 40.
What makes Nicklaus's 18 majors such an unbeatable mark was his longevity. Nicklaus won four majors after turning 38 years old, including three past the age of 40. That means that 22 percent of Nicklaus's career wins came after the age of 38, a truly remarkable accomplishment. As for Woods, he hasn't won a single major since turning 34 years old.
One could argue Nicklaus' win at the 1986 Masters at 46 years old was the most impressive win of all time.
Woods is currently ranked No. 104 in the world. This is the first time Woods has failed to rank in the top 100 in the world golf rankings since 1996. Not only is Woods struggling, but the field is improving. Rory McIlroy has won the last two majors, the British Open and the PGA Championship, and he is presently the No. 1 ranked player in the world. McIlroy has won four majors since 2011, but he has yet to win the Masters. The Masters is hailed as the most exclusive golf tournament in the world, and McIlroy would love to win that event giving him the career slam.
Although Woods hasn't won a major since 2008, he has come close several times. In 2013 he has two top six finishes, each coming at the Masters and the British Open. The biggest issue for Woods in recent memory has been driving. Woods has been extremely inconsistent off the tee resulting in second shots from the forest area, high grass and bunkers.
If Woods can turn his career around and win the Masters, it would be his 15th career major victory. If he can keep that momentum going and keep winning, it would be one of the best comebacks in golf history.
The 2015 Masters will be played at Augusta, Georgia beginning on Thursday, April 9.
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