Jack Nicklaus Thinks Tiger Is Beatable

by Jeff Skinner

There are still a few voices in the golf world that command an audience whenever they speak.  Jack Nicklaus is one of those voices.  Nicklaus was out in public at a benefit fund raiser for Palm Beach Atlantic University and he said he would have loved taking a shot at the major championship venues this year.

Nicklaus had said earlier this year that this could be a very big year for Tiger Woods to gain some ground on his major championship record of eighteen victories.  Three of the four events are being played on courses that Woods and Nicklaus both had great success on and 2010 presents Woods with good possibilities to win another major.  The US Open is at Pebble Beach and The Open Championship is being held at St. Andrews.  Woods and Nicklaus have won majors on both courses and Nicklaus had always claimed Pebble as his favorite course.

“I would like to have this year,” Nicklaus said “It’s a pretty good rotation this year. It’s good for me, but it’s good for Tiger, too.”  “If he’s healthy, those two golf courses … he owns both of them,” Nicklaus said. “Basically, the same as I did.”

Tiger will need to gather himself both professionally and personally if he expects any major successes this year.  It’s difficult to tell which is in worse shape:  his game on the course or his life off the course.  One thing is for sure though, there won’t be any shortage of players trying to out duel woods for the majors.  “Not to take anything away from Tiger because he’s a helluva player,” Nicklaus said, “but there’s some guys who can play out there, and I think guys are thinking they can beat him now.”

Nicklaus put on a golf clinic at the fund raiser and couldn’t help but think about teeing it up on Pebble or St. Andrews.  At 70 he can still get it around the links fairly well. Earlier this year he shot a 68 at The Concession Course which he co-designed with Tony Jacklin.  Not bad considering that he was playing from the back tees which have the highest slope rating of any course in America at 155.  I bet Jack could still teach the boys of the PGA Tour a few things at Pebble Beach this year.


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