PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (AP)—Jack Nicklaus doubts his lead in career GrandSlam titles will last—he figures it’s just a matter of time before TigerWoods ’ slump ends.
Woods hasn’t won a tournament since he became immersed in a sex scandal inNovember 2009, and he’s stalled at 14 major titles, four shy of Nicklaus’record.
“I still think he’ll break my record,” Nicklaus said Wednesday beforeplaying a round in the Honda Classic pro-am. “I’m surprised that he has notbounced back by now. He’s got such a great work ethic. He’s so determined towhat he wants to do.”
Nicklaus said he hasn’t talked to Woods since last June, and thatconversation was brief.
“He got maybe off the track, but I think he’s really a principled kid,”Nicklaus said. “Did he have some wayward … ? Yes. But are we all perfect?No.”
Woods isn’t playing Honda, a tournament he has skipped every year since1993. Last week, he was eliminated in the first round of the Match PlayChampionship, and he has failed to crack the top 20 in his three tournamentsthis year.
Nicklaus recalled the worst slump of his career in 1979-80. He missed thecut in an event just before the U.S. Open, then rediscovered his winning touchat Baltusrol.
“I shot 63 the first round and missed a little putt on the last hole for62,” Nicklaus recalled. “All of a sudden I said, ‘Hey, you know, maybe this ismy time to start doing it the right way again.’ And all of a sudden your mindturns around.
“You just keep working at it and you keep doing things, and all of asudden, something happens that kicks in. And I think that’s what will happenwith Tiger.”