When asked about Woods’ persistent absence and if it increases the likelihood that Woods will not catch Jack Nicklaus‘ major total of 18, Rose put the gap between the two greats into perspective.
“If you look at the career of Tiger Woods now, he has to have the career of Seve Ballesteros to pass Jack Nicklaus. When you put it in that kind of perspective, it’s a pretty tall order,” he said. “Not only do you have to be a great golfer, but you have to have a run of fitness. You have to have all of the areas of your life going for you for 20-plus years to do something like that.'
With that long-range view and his own billing by the media as the next great thing back in 1998, Rose is quick to temper hype on Rory McIlroy.
“People began to whisper [about Nicklaus' record] about Rory last week, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he said. “It is a great start for a 22 year old to notch a major under his belt that early. It certainly gets you on a good track.”