Faldo: "Tall Order" For Tiger To Catch Jack

It won't be easy for Tiger Woods to match – or surpass – Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, but he at least has a fighting chance

Zach Gelb
April 16, 2019 - 9:16 am
Tiger Woods Masters

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After winning his 15th major championship – and his first since 2008 – Tiger Woods, once again, has Jack Nicklaus in his sights. Or at least many in the media are speculating he might.

Can Woods, 43, match – or surpass – Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors?

“To be honest, it’s a real tall order – three to catch Jack,” Sir Nick Faldo told Zach Gelb, who was filling in as host of After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “But it’s like anything. It’s like when Rory won his four majors. You go, ‘He’s invincible,’ and we said, ‘He’s going to win a dozen.’ Of course now he’s going to be delighted to win one more.”

Indeed, McIlroy won four majors from 2011 to 2014. In fact, he won both The Open Championship and PGA Championship in 2014. He hasn’t won a major since.

So while the Masters could be the start of a magical run for Woods, it could also be a one-time return to greatness.

“Health is a major thing, but he’s definitely still got his nerves,” Faldo said. “That’s the other very important part. (The PGA Championship at) Bethpage Black will be tough. The U.S. Open will be tougher. I don’t know, but there is still a chance, (whereas) five years ago we were quite happy to say there’s no chance. If he stays healthy – the rest of the players, they know he’s out there now. They know how he can fend everybody off and get in the mix. I guess he will be in the mix, but I really don’t know. I haven’t really got a gut feeling.”

Which is why Faldo could see Woods’ quest going either way.

“He may have used up so much emotional energy to win this one after 11 years,” Faldo said. “It’s amazing. It’s wonderful you’ve done so much, yet you’re still motivated. You’ve still got Jack’s record to drive him on. You’ve still got that motivation. I think that’s going to be his best club. Stay fit, definitely motivated – and yes, anything can happen.”

Click below to listen to Faldo’s interview in its entirety.