It’s an incredibly awkward number to land on at a blackjack table or as a kid growing up in our Snapchat culture.

Tiger Woods once again starts a week of a major championship play with incredibly high expectations. In the four stroke play tournaments he’s played in this season, Woods left the golf course with the trophy and a hefty check three times. He’s won 77 overall titles on the PGA Tour and would trade all the Farmers Insurance Opens in the world for a chance at another green jacket.

Woods will make the World Golf Hall of Fame with eye-popping numbers. He’s the greatest golfer in our generation and hasn’t sniffed 40.

He just really, really, really wants to win another major. Five of them to be precise.

If Tiger can take home five more major championships, he will pass Jack Nicklaus for the most decorated golfer in the history of the sport. Jim Nantz, the veteran golf announcer for CBS Sports, once pondered the major when Woods would break Jack’s record. No one will make such bold predictions anymore – at least until Sunday evening.

Two major reasons explain the major drought for Woods:

1. No one is scared of Tiger.

2. The field has gotten exponentially better.

Woods once won major titles with such ease you couldn’t believe the performance. He made playing partners blow up in the final round. Tiger had such psychological control over players that you’d swear he was playing in a higher league. Golf fans remember the dominant performance in the 2000 U.S. Open in which Tiger lapped the field at Pebble Beach. In that concentrated stretch of three seasons, Tiger won seven majors. They only play four of them a year. It only seemed like a matter of time.

Then came Rory. And Luke. Justin and Sneds. Keegan and Dustin. The new breed of golfers takes five shots off of the competition Tiger faced in his prime. That’s not a knock on Woods; you can’t create opponents on the course. It does create a very intriguing question: If Woods wins five more majors, does he become the greatest golfer ever?

We’ll answer that question at a later point.

Right now, he’s stuck on fourteen.

Comments? Tweet me @WBALDash


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