Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When will Tiger break Jack's record?

This could come sooner than you think. Currently, Tiger has fourteen majors, 4 shy of Jack Nicklaus’s record of eighteen. It is quite possible that Tiger could break this record as soon as next year. I know this is crazy be we are talking about Tiger here.

Let’s go back to 2008. Tiger won five out of the seven tournaments he played, with a second place at the Masters and a 5th place at the WGC. Going back even further to 2007, in his final six events, he won five times and finished 2nd once. To summarize, before his injury, he had won ten out of his last thirteen events with two runner up finishes and one 5th place finish. By the way, his total score for those thirteen tournaments was 161 under par.

In other words, he was on one of his patented blazing hot streaks and who knows what would have happened had he not been injured. But enough about the past already, let’s begin to look forward. Let’s look at the 2009 major schedule:

Masters – Augusta
U.S. Open – Bethpage Black
British Open – Turnberry
PGA – Hazeltine

Out of these, I’m going to give Tiger wins at the U.S. Open and the PGA. Last time the Open was played at Bethpage, Tiger won. Last time the PGA was at Hazeltine, Tiger birdied the last four holes and it took a 40 foot putt by Rich Beem to avoid Tiger in a playoff. So, if this occurs, Tiger’s total will be at sixteen majors by the end of 2009.

As we move to 2010:

Masters – Augusta
U.S. Open – Pebble Beach
British Open – St. Andrews
PGA – Whistling Straights

I think this could be a legendary year in the history of golf, as long as Tiger is fully healthy, which he supposedly will be by then. The first three majors are at Augusta, Pebble Beach, and St. Andrews. As we all know, Tiger has already won four times at Augusta.The last time the U.S. Open was at Pebble Beach, Tiger won by fifteen strokes. Tiger has already won the British twice at St. Andrews. The PGA will be held at Whistling Straights. Could 2010 be the year Tiger wins the grand slam?

Basically, to break the record, Tiger needs to win five out of the next eight majors. He has a great history at several of the courses these tournaments will be played on, and you know he is ready to come back with a vengeance after the injury. It should be interesting and I can’t wait to see what unfolds. The record is going down sooner or later, and 2010 just might be the year.