Title: The Ups & Downs Tiger Woods is winning everything but majors. What's behind the strain of surpassing Nicklaus?
Description: JACK NICKLAUS: 'Once he gets over the hurdle of winning another [major], the next one will come easier.' PAUL AZINGER: 'Now, in majors, you can see the burden written on Tiger's face.' RELATED LINKS DIAZ: TIGER WOODS AND THE MAJOR CHASE SIRAK: TIGER WOODS' MAJOR MALAISE KINDRED: WOODS' MASTERS MESS MYERS: THE TIGER WOODS TIMELINE INSIDE HANEY'S BOOK 'THE BIG MISS' DAVID FAY: A MEASURE OF GREATNESS DIAZ: TIGER, PHIL AND PLAYER OF THE YEAR SWING SEQUENCE: TIGER WOODS TIGER WOODS: INFO & PGA TOUR STATS MORE ON TIGER WOODS BY JAIME DIAZ PHOTOS BY DOM FURORE November 2013 It seems that as the clock begins to tick louder, the volume of the conversation is turned up. Nobody wants the greatest water-cooler topic in golf—probably in all of sports—to end. Will Tiger Woods break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional majors? Will he overcome age, injury, swing changes, trauma and life to somehow win five more majors over the 40 or so he might have left? Or is it possible that Woods has finally ceased getting better and has abruptly stopped being good enough to win even one more? In 2013, perhaps the most confounding year of his career, he produced plenty of material for both sides of the argument. With two official tournaments left in September, he'd won five times to reach 79 career victories, three short of Sam Snead's career record. It was the 10th time Woods had won at least that many in a year, three more times than Nicklaus did. Woods won by four strokes at Torrey Pines and by seven at Firestone. His most impressive victory came at the Players Championship, where he plotted his way around a course that has given him trouble, ending the final round with a perfectly drawn 5-wood on the perilous 18th. It was the most "back" Woods has looked. survey By March, he'd overtaken Rory McIlroy to regain the No. 1 ranking. No matter how Woods compares to himself, he has established he's once again the best in the game. But in the most important measure, Woods didn't win a major. He has been stuck on 14 career majors since winning the 2008 U.S. Open, an 18-tournament streak that is the longest of his career by eight. After a tantalizing T-4 at Augusta, he didn't come very close in the remaining three this year. As he had in 2012, Woods came into two of the majors with a victory in his preceding event and generally looked primed for peak performances that somehow didn't happen. "I was very surprised," Nicklaus says. "Absolutely."