Since winning the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods has been stuck on 14 majors wins, just five shy of overcoming Nicklaus’ record of 18. Woods had back surgery on March 31 and announced the next day that it would keep him out of this year’s Masters. But Nicklaus sees Woods’ career continuing for much longer.
“As long as he is physically able to do it. … He’s 38 years old and he’s probably got another 10 years at least of being able to compete — that’s 40 more majors to win five of them,” Nicklaus said Tuesday on ESPN Radio’s ‘Mike & Mike’. “It shouldn’t be too difficult. But then again, I’ve always said he’s just got to do it. It’s going to be difficult, but if I said anything different, I think I would be a jerk. So I think I better say he will do that … and I actually believe that.”
Woods also is three wins away from tying Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories. Woods said in a statement after his surgery that he’s “optimistic” about the rest of his career and isn’t not done trying to win.
“There are a couple of records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break,” Woods said. “As I’ve said many times, Sam (Snead) and Jack (Nicklaus) reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”