Lingering questions on Tiger Woods’ legacy

17

Now that the mushroom cloud from Tiger Woods Masters victory has settled just a bit, now that it is possible to ponder his return to greatness without getting lost in hyperbole forest, we can get to the serious, dispassionate business of legacy.

One side benefit of Woods win is that it allows a re-examination of questions that had been in storage for the better part of a decade.

CAN WOODS PASS JACK NICKLAUS 18 MAJORS?

Once – OK, it was as late as Saturday – I would have dismissed that possibility as poppycock, bordering on balderdash. About the first time Woods grabbed his back in pain, it seemed Nicklaus record total of really big wins was untouchable.

Lets acknowledge that Woods does need to pick up the pace a little bit. It was nearly 11 years between majors 14 and 15 for Woods. At that rate, hed tie Nicklaus in 2052. Hed be 76 years old. Passing him 11 years later would be difficult, even for Woods.

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But what Woods accomplished at the weekend – aside from a victory that blew all the head covers off the game – was make all things possible again. The ceiling that we all had constructed over his head while he was dealing with, first, the fallout from his serial infidelity and then, the crumbling of his spine just collapsed.

Feels good: Tiger Woods tries on his fifth Masters green jacket for size.

Feels good: Tiger Woods tries on his fifth Masters green jacket for size.Credit:AP

Eighteen is still a tall order for a 43-year-old fellow who is playing on what soccer people refer to as extra time. Just how much longer can Woods go without the back or the knees or some other spot on his operation game of a body become a real problem again?

How difficult will it be to assert dominance the way he used to against the generation of fearless bombers that he spawned?
Eighteen is still doubtful.

WAS THIS THE FINEST MASTERS FINAL ROUND?

This is the most subjective kind of question – all feel, no fact.

Was there in 1986 when Nicklaus won his last major at the age of 46.

Was there in in 2019 when Woods reminded the world of what it had been missing this past decade, making golf cool again.

Both men shared emotional hugs with their son afterwards – the difference being that Nicklaus boy was on the bag while Woods is in elementary school.

Nicklaus in 1986 remains the one Masters that made me feel like I was stuttering while I typed, the one with a fog of history and improbability so dense that it clouded all rational attempt to describe what had just happened. But we have a close second.

HOW MUCH IS GREATEST DEBATE REIGNITED?

Nicklaus 18 majors. Woods 15.

Woods 81 US PGA Tour victories. Nicklaus 73. Nicklaus went 17 consecutive seasons with at least one Tour win. Woods 14.

Lets make something clear here: This is not a humanitarian award, not one for best role model. Woods cant win that one. Its just about the golf.

One suggestion that always amuses is that Nicklaus couldntRead More – Source

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