Tiger Woods knows the mountain is steep but he feels as good as ever
Three wins to catch Sam Snead, five majors to pass Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods is ready to roll on his 18th PGA Tour season.
Let's be honest for a second about Tiger Woods, shall we?
He doesn't care about the Farmers Insurance Open or the Players Championship or anything else that doesn't increase his major total from 14 to 15.
Oh they're fine, they're road markers in his rearview mirror en route to Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour wins (he's three away) but really, they're nothing.
Woods knows Father Time is, as Charles Barkley likes to say, undefeated in his quest to conquer the sports world.
Woods knows he only has a finite number of majors left in him.
He talked candidly about it on Wednesday at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"Looking back from the beginning of my career to now, I know that I don't have 20 years in my prime, said Woods. "I don't see being 58 and being in my prime. Most guys don't jump from the foul line at age 58, so it's a little different but the outlook is still the same."
That outlook is singular in its focus, win majors.
But make no mistake, despite Woods' downplaying that he can't hit it as far and that majors are so spectacularly difficult to win, he's still the best at his craft.
"I feel like I have a number of years ahead of me," said Woods, noting how many golfers have won major championships into their 40s (see Mickelson, Phil in 2013).
And he's more wily than he's ever been.
"When you look at (Michael Jordan) when he first came out, he was able to dunk over everybody, but he got beat up by the Pistons three straight playoffs, he was out and next thing you know he built up his body and developed a fadeaway," said Woods. "So you do it a different way. You evolve as you age and I think I've done that so far."
Woods has numbers to back the talk up, too. In 2013 he was 49th on tour in driving distance but second in scoring. Why? Mostly because his greens in regulation (24th) and strokes gained putting (22nd) were world class.
It's just those blasted major weekends he has to solve (or, I guess, re-solve).
So on this, the eve of Woods' 18th (!) season as a professional, we're left wondering what the next 10 (15?) years hold.
And despite his (hard-earned) bravado, something tells me Tiger is too.
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