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As He Turns 40, How Does Tiger Woods Compare With His Historical Rival?

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Tiger Woods won his fourteenth and most recent major championship at the age of 32. At the same age, Jack Nicklaus, his rival for the throne of greatest ever player, trailed him by three majors.

Almost eight years, an expensive divorce, and a series of injuries later, Tiger Woods has hit 40 and is still sitting on 14 majors. Jack Nicklaus has pulled ahead of him in the historical race.

Nicklaus had 15 major titles under his belt by his fortieth birthday. And he win two more by the time of his 41st birthday. 1980 was a super year for Nicklaus, winning both the US Open and the USPGA. By the mid-80s, it appeared that Nicklaus's days of winning majors were done.

He came from nowhere to win the 1986 Masters at the age of 46.


At the start of 2008, it was thought inevitable that Tiger Woods would overtake Jack Nicklaus in the major haul. Only hardened nostalgics wary of the modern world believed Nicklaus's record would hold out.

What are the chances of Woods making up the ground in his 40s? Out of the 24 majors played this decade, three have been won by players over 40 - Darren Clarke at the 2011 British Open, Ernie Els at the 2012 British Open, and Phil Mickelson at the 2013 British Open.

Given Woods's form, the prospects look unlikely. Woods, it should be said, has handled his fall from the summit with a surprising degree of grace and humility.


This month, he remarked that his kids were dead right for saying they'd rather be Messi than Daddy.

The view from three years ago...

Read more: 10 Things That Every Shit Darts Player Knows To Be True


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