Tiger Woods recently sat down for a sort of tell-all interview with Time’s Lorne Rubenstein.
The interview covers a wide range of topics, from Tiger’s current rehab, his future in golf, his success, and his personal life.
One particularly interesting segment on his future mentions the goal Tiger has seemingly always been chasing: Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championships.
Woods was once hot on the trail to shatter Nicklaus’ record. As his career slowed down, it became a chase to pass it, and now, with Woods’ bleak future, it seems almost out of reach (Tiger has 14 majors).
Nonetheless, it’s been widely assumed that beating Nicklaus’ record is what drove Tiger. He even reportedly had a poster of Nicklaus’ 18 majors on his bedroom wall as a kid, perhaps as a way of motivating him.
However, when speaking to Rubenstein, Woods clarified that the poster wasn’t of Nicklaus’ 18 majors, and that it didn’t serve to motivate him to beat the record, but to constantly achieve feats as he got older.
Rubenstein: You sound like you’re not driven as much by records as we might think. Yet you had Jack’s 18 majors on your bedroom wall as a kid. Is there a misconception about what drives you?
Woods: O.K., here’s the major misconception that people have all gotten wrong. It’s what was posted on my wall, about Jack’s records. It was not the majors, O.K.. There was one on there. It was the first time he broke 40, the first time he broke 80, the first golf tournament he ever won, first time he ever won the state amateur, first time he won the U.S. Amateur, and the first time he won the U.S. Open. That was it. That was the list. It was all age-related. To me, that was important. This guy’s the best out there and the best of all time. If I can beat each age that he did it, then I have a chance at being the best.
Rubenstein: Have you beaten most of those?
Woods: I beat them all. I beat them all. [Note: Woods never did win the California Amateur championship.]
Tiger also clarified that while he doesn’t want to stop playing golf, he also dearly values time with his children. If he had to choose one or the other, he would choose time with his kids.
Given that Tiger hasn’t won a major tournament since 2008, beating Nicklaus’ record seems far off. Currently, Tiger doesn’t even know when he’ll play golf, and it truly sounds like we may have to cope with the idea that he may be a shell of his former self on the course, if he can even get out there at all.
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