Tiger Woods’ majors tournament performance has been the win drought of his career, as he has lost three significant competitions this season – the Masters, the US Open, and now the Open Championship, where he failed in the fourth round.
Woods' 14 major professional golf championship wins makes him second to the legendary Jack Nicklaus, who has 18 major titles. But Woods has not won a major title since the 2008 U.S. Open, and the player’s opportunity to catch up to Nicklaus has crumbled again, with three scores over 74 in the final round of the British Open.
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Still, some critics are saying Woods is making a slow but steady comeback
, as the athlete has won four tournaments this year.
Woods led briefly at several points in the third round of the British Open, giving his fans hope that he would break his majors slump that has now stretched to 17 without a win.
"I think Tiger's woken up and realized this is a hard sport and he is a mere mortal after all," golfer turned television commentator Nick Faldo told the Daily Mail after the U.S. Open in June.
"For so many years he was so good, he was such an amazing athlete. But he's not in a good mental place. But whatever he's been through, with all his personal problems, has made an impact on his mind – and so much of this sport is all in the mind. Nerve is the bottom line."
David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times said that despite his losses, Woods is already the greatest golfer alive,
even if he doesn't succeed Nicklaus’ major victories.
"At 37, he already has 78 victories on the PGA Tour — five more than Nicklaus — and seems certain to eclipse Sam Snead's record of 82,” Wharton wrote. “Even more impressive, Woods has won at a 26 percent clip over 17-plus years on the tour, which means he has finished atop the leaderboard in one of every four tournaments. By comparison, Nicklaus won 12 percent of the time and Snead finished with a 15 percent rate."
Woods has tried to downplay the drought, claiming he will come back.
"I've won 14 and in that spell where I haven't won since Torrey, I've been in there," Woods said Sunday, according to USA Today
. "It's not like I've lost my card and not playing out here. So I've won some tournaments in that stretch, and I've been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch. I just haven't done it yet. And hopefully it will be in a few weeks."
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