Golf

Tiger's major drought hits 17

Image: Tiger Woods (© Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods shot a 3-over 74 during Sunday's final round.
GolfWeek Nick Masuda
Share This Story

   
 

Tiger Woods has four victories in 2013, yet his season is being scrutinized for its three losses – the Masters, the US Open and now the Open Championship.

Woods has always defined his success by major championship victories, aiming for Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 since he was a young boy staring at a poster of Nicklaus in his room.

Yet, after a 3-over 74 that never really saw him in contention Sunday at Muirfield, he is stuck on 14 major titles.

He's been there since 2008, when he won the US Open at Torrey Pines. Many expected that Woods would have surpassed Nicklaus by now, but that hasn't happened.

And it seems to come down to three simple numbers:

17: For a man who wins more than 20 percent of his career starts, going 0-for-17 is like Ted Williams going 0-for-100 – it isn't supposed to happen. Yet, after finishing five shots behind Phil Mickelson in Scotland, that's where Woods is at.

His next chance will come at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., on Aug. 8.

83: From 2005-11, Woods was an astounding 60 under on the weekends at majors – explaining his dominance.

Over the last two seasons, he is a cumulative 23 over – that's 83 shots worse. He even started Sunday's round with a three-putt bogey, and followed it with another at No. 4.

Despite the tough venues like Muirfield and Merion, that will never be a winning formula in majors. That's nearly 2 over per round, which has taken away his intimidation factor, and has allowed for the likes of Mickelson to go out and blitz the back nine to the tune of four birdies – he didn't have to worry about Woods catching him from behind.

Woods did make birdies at Nos. 12 and 14 Sunday to get within two of the lead, only to see Mickelson get to the par-5 17th in two and then two-putt for birdie.

Game. Set. Match.

"If (Mickelson) would have posted (1 under) it would have been a different story," Woods said. "I think a lot of us would be a little more ticked than we are now. But he posted 3. That's a hell of a number."

63: Despite the gloom and doom surrounding Woods' major performances, he does have history on his side. And it comes from that man he's trying to catch.

Nicklaus didn't win his 15th major until his 67th start on golf's biggest stages, and Woods just completed his 63rd. Nicklaus was 38, Woods is 37.

"I've won 14 and in that spell where I haven't won since Torrey, I've been in there," said Woods, who will play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Aug. 1-4. "It's not like I've lost my card and not playing out here. So I've won some tournaments in that stretch, and I've been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch. I just haven't done it yet. And hopefully it will be in a few weeks."

Tagged: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



GOLF Videos

Can Tiger Woods recapture British Open magic Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Robert Lusetich looks back at Tiger Woods' past and ahead to his future at the B...

Will Mickelson win the British Open again? Posted: Jul 14, 2014
FOX Sports 1 golf analyst Robert Lusetich discusses Phil Mickelson's chances of ...

Mickelson looks to hit his stride Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Phil Mickelson discusses his up-and-down 2014 season.

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store