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Woods will not pass Nicklaus, predicts Player

15 February 2017 15:54

Gary Player does not think Tiger Woods will pass Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles and thinks he has a "monumental challenge" just to win another one.

The last of Woods' 14 major victories came at the U.S. Open in 2008 and he has not won on the PGA Tour since August 2013.

The 41-year-old has suffered badly with injuries in recent years and is presently "limiting all activities" on doctors' advice due to back problems.

Player, who was reflecting on it being 20 years since the 1997 Masters when Woods took his first major crown, believes there is a long road ahead if he is to win another.

"Do I think he will go past Nicklaus' majors? I hope he does but I don't think so," Player told reporters at the Laureus Awards.

"I say that with respect. I don't think that will happen now and I hope I am wrong.

"He has got a big, big challenge ahead [to win another major]. When you lay off that long, with the difficulties he has encountered and his swing has changed so much from having the best swing in the world - he doesn't have the best swing anymore. 

"So he has got a big challenge. I would not say he will not win another tournament, it would be stupid to say that - but it is a monumental challenge.

"We need Tiger Woods to be a champion because he brings more people, more media and more sponsors which is essential for the tour to grow."

Player delved deeper into Woods' troubles, saying he felt the American tweaked his game too much and took on conflicting advice prior to his injury problems.

The South African continued: "He was the best, so talented and he was on his way to becoming one of the best players that ever lived. 

"He was going to break every record that ever existed. He would have gone down as the greatest golfer the world had ever seen. 

"He then goes to have a lesson. Then he goes and has another lesson and then he starts to play badly. And then he has another lesson, a completely different theory, then another one.

"He said to me at Augusta, 'I'm confused' and quite rightly so. Then he has back operations, knee operations and other problems, so he has got a monumental challenge ahead of him.

"But we are talking about Tiger Woods."

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