In sports, team or individual, there are many records. Most records eventually get broken at some time or another. For instance, a good basketball player may average 30 points a game and set all kinds of scoring records during his career, however, there is always somebody, years later, who will eclipse that record. It happens all the time in sports. Very few records are safe. Since this is a big week in the world of golf with another major tournament taking place next weekend, the PGA, there is a sports record that will probably never be broken; that is the number of majors won by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus won 18 majors and in my opinion, that is a sports record that I find hard anyone will ever top. In fact, nobody will probably even come close to it.
About 10 years ago, it seemed inevitable that Tiger Woods would top that mark. Woods dominated the game of golf like very few have and it was not a question of if he would beat Nicklaus’s record but when. As a fan myself, I thought Woods would easily win at least 20 majors, maybe more. Injuries caught up with him and he has not competed since and it is highly unlikely that Woods will ever contend again in a major championship. Woods currently has 14 major championships and that is quite an accomplishment in itself.
Of the current tour players, there might be a few who are capable of getting up to 10 major wins, but topping Tiger’s 14 or Jack’s 18 seems to be a rather long shot these days. There are simply too many good players on the professional tour these days. In order to win 18 majors, you have to average at least 1 major per year for 18 years, roughly the average competive span that a golfer has to win a major. A player has to remain extremely consistent with his game for a long period of time and that is not likely with many players. Many feel that Jordan Spieth has an excellent chance of reaching that mark. He is one of the youngest ever to win 3 majors, but will he remain injury free and consistent with his game in the next decade? The same goes with Rory McIlroy. About 5 years ago, he was well on his way to catching Woods or even getting close to Nicklaus, but injuries have hurt him in recent years. As many know who follow golf, any little injury can have grave consequences to a golfer.
The PGA is blessed with many fine young golfers who will win majors, but the days of having one golfer dominate like Woods and Nicklaus are probably over. It would have been great to see Woods compete against some of these great young players. Any tour player who wins maybe 10 majors these days is doing something incredible. I just don’t see anyone topping Woods 14 majors or Nicklaus’s 18 wins. It is a new era of golf and winning major championships are becoming more and more difficult. For now, it just seems extremely unlikely that any player will ever come close to Nicklaus’s 18 major mark. That is one sports record that will almost certainly never be broken.