Friday, March 04, 2011

Jack On Tiger: 'I Still Think He'll Break My Record'

   As always, when Jack Nicklaus sits down in an interview room, he has something interesting to say.

   Prior to the Honda Classic, Nicklaus sat down for what was essentially a session related to the 25th anniversary of his 1986 Masters victory (maybe it’s just me but it doesn’t seem that long ago) and the hour-long interview went in a variety of different directions.

   That meant talking about Tiger Woods.

   Nicklaus said he hasn’t talked with Woods since the Memorial Tournament last May but, despite Tiger’s struggles, he still expects to see Woods break his record of 18 major championship victories.

  “I’ve said all along, I’m surprised that he has not bounced back by now,” Nicklaus told reporters. “I think he’s got a great work ethic, or at least he did. I assume he still does…

  “He’s so determined to what he wants to do. I’m very surprised that he has not popped back. I still think he’ll break my record…

  “We’ll see. You can probably ask me the same question at the end of this year and we’ll see what the answer is – it will probably define a lot of what will be the answer.”

   As for all the talk and questions regarding Woods’ latest swing change, Nicklaus said he regularly changed his swing, often during a tournament. His most significant swing change came after a poor 1979 season. He put his clubs away for several months then in January went to work with his long-time teacher Jack Grout. Nicklaus felt his swing had become too vertical and changed it.

   Nicklaus went on to win two majors in 1980. The big difference, Nicklaus said, is Grout never went to tournaments with him, attracting the attention swing coaches get today.

   “I made changes constantly in my swing,” Nicklaus said. “That’s how you get better. If you don’t make changes, you don’t improve. I don’t care who you are because your body continually changes.

   “My body at age 46 was certainly a lot different than it was at age 25 and/or at is Tiger’s body a lot different at 35 that it was at age 25. He’s got a beautiful golf swing. He’s always had a beautiful golf swing. But you always continually tweak things that you do within that golf swing to try to improve it. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re not.
  “So are guys making changes? Yeah. And do they need to make changes? Yeah. And should they just go about doing it? Yeah. But they are under a microscope today…So it becomes more public. We made them all the time.”


Anonymous said...

The only record Tiger is concerned about is Wilt Chamberlain's. He's certainly not going to do it on the course.