Skip to main content

Tiger: It's getting harder to win majors

August 9, 2012 -- Updated 1351 GMT (2151 HKT)
 Tiger Woods talks to reporters after a practice round ahead of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course.
Tiger Woods talks to reporters after a practice round ahead of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods is hoping to win his first major title since triumphing at the 2008 U.S. Open
  • He is still four short of the overall record held by golf legend Jack Nicklaus
  • The last 16 major tournaments have been won by 16 different players
  • Woods says that the depth of talent in golf is getting deeper and competition is closer

(CNN) -- It's four years since Tiger Woods last won a major title, and the 14-time champion admits it's much harder now than when he was in his prime.

There have been 16 different winners in the past 16 majors, and there's nothing to suggest that trend will be broken at this week's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Woods, who has climbed back to No. 2 in the rankings, won the season's closing major for the fourth time in 2007 but has been stuck on 14 overall since his U.S. Open victory the following year.

The American has won three times on the 2012 PGA Tour to go second on the all-time list, but his tie for third at last month's British Open was his best finish in the first three of golf's four prestige events.

PGA Championship leaderboard

"Golf is getting deep. There's so many guys with a chance to win," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Davis Love III's golfing family
Golfing in the 'People's Paradise'
Coaches share their Open wisdom
Kaymer's consistent iron game

"The margin is getting smaller. There may be 16 different winners, but you look at the cuts -- the cuts are getting lower. The scores between the leader and the guy who is 70th and tied, sometimes it's 10 shots or less, which is amazing."

Woods has a strong record at the PGA, with eight top-10 finishes in 14 appearances, but last year he missed the cut as Keegan Bradley became yet another first-time major winner.

Bradley, who won last weekend's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as Woods tied for eighth, has been followed by this year's Masters winner Bubba Watson and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.

Veteran Ernie Els broke that first-time trend at Royal Lytham last month when he denied Adam Scott his maiden major -- the South African claimed his first since 2002 and fourth overall.

"The margins are so small, and if you've got margins that are that small you're going to get guys who win once here and there," Woods said.

"If you just make the cut nowadays you're within nine shots of the lead sometimes. That's easily doable on a weekend. And it's just amazing -- you've got 70-plus guys within 10 shots it seems like at every Tour event.

"That wasn't always the case. It used to be 14, 15 shots sometimes, but it's just so much smaller now, the margins."

Woods is still four short of Jack Nicklaus' record 18 major crowns, but the 36-year-old insists that he still has plenty of time to catch the "Golden Bear."

"Well, I figure it's going to take a career. It's going to take a long time," he said. "Jack didn't finish his until he was 46, so if you go by that timetable, I've got 10 more years.

"Four more majors is a lot. I've got plenty of time. With the training regimes that we have now and seeing guys play well, you can get on the right golf course and contend.

"So we can play late in our careers just because of our training, and also just getting the right golf course. You know, who knows."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT