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Tiger's 38th birthday a milestone in chasing Nicklaus

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As far as significant birthdays go, the Big 3-8 isn't exactly near the top of that list.

Well, here's a newsflash: Tiger Woods isn't like everyone else. And so his 38th birthday holds plenty of significance when applied to his long-term goals.

No discussion about Woods is complete without a debate over whether he'll someday claim the all-time major championship record, and no discussion about this milestone is complete without examining how it affects his chase of this mark.

Woods, of course, owns 14 career major titles, placing him four behind Jack Nicklaus' record total of 18. Only two players in the game's history have won as many as that differential after their 38th birthdays. Ben Hogan claimed five majors at 38 and beyond; Nicklaus won four.

Both Nicklaus and Woods have stated that the latter has at least another decade of high-level golf, meaning 40 more majors. He'll need a career of Phil Mickelson to break the record or that of Ernie Els to tie.

It's something only Hogan and Nicklaus have accomplished after turning 38. A historian who knows the game's past, Woods undoubtedly understands these numbers.

It comes down to this: In order to break the most talked-about record in sports, he'll have to at least tie one for most majors after this milestone of a birthday.