Tiger Woods is running out of time. Running out of time in his chase to equal Jack Nicklaus’s long held record of 18 major championships. Age, injury, and constant changes to his swing have kept Woods from raising a major championship trophy since his enthralling victory at the 2008 U.S. Open where he battled Rocco Mediate down the stretch on a broken leg.
Woods still stands with 14 major championships, second all time, but it’s been six long years and he’s still searching for that elusive 15th victory.
Woods, who just turned 39 on December 30, will undoubtedly be looking for that 15th major win heading into the 2015 PGA Tour season. And he needs it. As it stands, Woods needs to win a major this upcoming season to remain even with Nicklaus on the trek to 18 — the Golden Bear had 15 majors at age 39.
Tiger’s performances in major championships has been quite dismal these past few years. He was out at last year’s Masters and U.S. Open after undergoing back surgery, and had to pack up his clubs early at the PGA Championship after missing the cut by a long shot.
In 2011, the former world number one missed the British Open and the U.S. Open due to a knee injury and failed to make the cut at the PGA. According to stats provided by ESPN, Woods has missed three cuts in the last 20 majors he has played — the latest one at the 2014 PGA Championship — compared to only a single missed cut in his first 46 majors. He has also played his last 20 majors at a combined 12 over par.
Coming off the worst season of his career in which he withdrew and missed the cut four times out of the eight times he teed it up, Tiger wrote on his blog that he was looking forward to the upcoming season.
“As for my 2015 golf season, I’m mostly excited about being healthy again. I’ve struggled for the past year-and-half with my back, and it showed in my results. Even though I won five times two years ago, it was hit or miss some weeks and got progressively worse. Now that it feels healthy, strong and stable, it’s fun to be able to play with my kids again, to play soccer and run around with them, shoot hoops … things that I used to do and took for granted. For anybody who has ever had a bad back with nerve damage, it’s downright debilitating. To not feel that is finally just incredible relief.”
Woods not only has his health back, but also seems to have found his old swing again. Under his new instructor Chris Como, Tiger has been trying to return to his old swing that served him well during his years as an amateur golfer and early professional. His swing is longer and more upright now, and he seemed to be swinging freely and without any pain a few weeks ago when he played at the Hero’s World Challenge.
Although Woods has yet to announce his full schedule for this upcoming season, he normally makes his debut at the Farmer’s Insurance Open, an event he has won seven times. If Tiger is able to stay healthy and avoid injury, he should be primed to win another major and continue on his journey to surpass Nicklaus.