Spy on Golf: A Game of Inches

Jack says Tiger can still do it. Johnny doesn’t think it will happen. The Shark is certain it won’t.

We say it doesn’t matter what any of them say.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

The “it” in question, of course, is the breaking of Nicklaus’ record for professional major victories, 18. As the golf world knows, Woods is stuck on 14, his last coming in the 2008 U.S. Open. As the entire world knows, Tiger hasn’t been the same since a 2009 fender-bender with a fire hydrant extinguished his invincibility.

Nicklaus, who must get the Tiger question on an hourly basis, remains diplomatic. Even at age 35, Woods still stands a great chance to win 19-plus majors “if he gets the five inches between his ears squared out.”

(That grinding sound you hear? That’s us resisting the urge to go juvenile on Jack’s “five inches” setup.)

Johnny Miller made a much more specific, if baffling, prediction. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win three, four more majors,” Miller said. “I don’t see him winning a fifth one, the big one.”

We’ll go out on a limb and pronounce that if Tiger gets to 18 majors, 19 will be a formality.

As for Greg Norman, he says Tiger is toast. Woods’ legendary focus is lost, Norman notes, and “the more he shuts people off, the worse it gets.”

The truly noteworthy part of Norman’s chat with GOLF Magazine, though, regarded Woods’ personal missteps. Apparently, Norman once counseled Bill Clinton himself on matters of the, um, heart.

“When he came to my house, (Clinton) wanted to talk to me guy to guy,” Norman said. “We all put our underpants on the same way, one leg at a time.”

Yeah, but some of us take them off a little faster.

Sorry, that one we couldn’t resist.

Our takes on other hot golf topics:

  • Tour signs new television deal, touts parity: Tiger, schmiger. With no dominant player, golf’s more interesting, like the NFL or NBA. At least, that’s how The GolfBlogger sees it.
  • Lexi Thompson headed for LPGA: The 16-year-old tour winner will soon be welcomed to the Show, full-time. Kids these days...
  • 54-year-old wins U.S. Mid-Am: Proving that it’s not just a game for youngsters, Randal Lewis, 54, became the oldest winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Then he went home and yelled at Lexi Thompson to get off his lawn.


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