Nicklaus: Woods can still surpass my record

It may seem a long way away – especially for the man himself.

Yet Tiger Woods can surpass the record of the great Jack Nicklaus and win more than 18 major championships.

Jack Nicklaus Jack Nicklaus won a record 18 majors during his career

That was the word from The Golden Bear himself at his own tournament, The Memorial in Dublin, Ohio last weekend.

And even though Woods has gone six years since his last major win and is currently on the sidelines following back surgery, Nicklaus says it’s actually fitness that will be the key if Woods is to equal or surpass his record.

That means Woods needs five more major championships, more than many of the legends of golf have been able to win in their lifetimes.

“If he’s healthy, I still think Tiger’s got 10-plus years to play top quality tournament golf,” Nicklaus said.

“I’ve said many times, he’s got a little over 40 tournaments to play the major championships, he’s only got to win five to pass my record.

“As good a player as he is, I don’t think that should be a big deal.”

“But then again he’s gotta do it…plus he’s also got to be healthy to be able to do it.”

Nicklaus actually took a call from Woods who wanted to explain his absence from The Memorial last weekend.

“It was a very, very nice call, wishing me well with the tournament, (and) sorry he couldn’t be here,” Nicklaus said.

“He said he’s doing well, progressing well and he’s looking forward to getting back into the game. He misses it.”

Nicklaus refused to be drawn into any discussion on when the former world No 1 would return to tournament golf.

“I didn’t ask him because I knew I was going to talk to you guys,” he told a press conference at The Memorial.