Tiger Woods begins the 2020 calendar year with 15 career major titles, sitting three back of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time PGA Tour record of 18. Now 44 years old, Tiger won his fifth green jacket at the 2019 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. He’ll return there in early April with a chance to tie Nicklaus’ record of six Masters victories.
Woods either missed the cut or withdrew from three of his six tournaments following his Masters win. Two of those missed cuts were at the PGA Championship and Open Championship. He finished T-21 at the US Open.
He rebounded in his first event of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season, winning the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan in late October. His year ended with a fourth-place finish as the host of the Hero World Challenge in early December.
It’s unsure how many, or which events Woods will play this year. Barring injury, he’s sure to appear at each of the year’s four majors as he hunts down Nicklaus’ record.
Here at TheLines, we’ll look at Tigers’ betting odds to win each major and break down his best chances for success.
Tiger Woods and the Majors
Tiger’s 15th career Major title — and fifth green jacket — turned the page on the numerous personal issues and, more-notably, back surgeries that have plagued him and tarnished his image since his 2009 infidelity scandal.
His 2001 victory at the Masters completed the honorary “Tiger Slam” coined for his winning of four consecutive Majors not all played in the same calendar year. He’s won each major at least three times – with a fourth victory at the PGA Championship – and has gone back-to-back as champion at all but the US Open.
Woods has just one more major win in a playoff (three) as he has victories by double-digit strokes. He has missed the cut or withdrawn from 10 major tournaments, but has 26 top-10 finishes in addition to his 15 wins, including six runner-ups.
Where: Augusta National Golf Club
Last win: 2019
Career wins: 5
Woods came from two strokes back of 54-hole leader Francesco Molinari to shoot a Sunday round of 2-under, 70 and finish at 13-under par and win by one stroke over Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. It was his first major win in more than a decade and revived his chances of breaking the Golden Bear’s record.
Tiger has more top 10s (13) at the Masters than in any of the other three majors. He hasn’t missed the cut here since 1996, one year after finishing as the tournament’s low amateur at T-41, and one year before his breakout 12-stroke victory.
Where: TPC Harding Park
Last win: 2007 (Southern Hills Country Club)
Career wins: 4
Tiger will return to the venue formerly known simply as Harding Park, where he won the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship at 10-under par. The course has undergone renovations since that time and will be prepared to typical PGA Championship conditions and standards, but he’s one of few in the field with at least some measure of familiarity at the course.
The PGA Championship has been Tiger’s second-most successful major to date in terms of wins. His missed cut at Bethpage Black last year followed up his runner-up finish at the 2018 tournament.
Where: Winged Foot
When: June 18-21
Last win: 2008 (Torrey Pines)
Career wins: 3
Tiger missed the cut at the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot, and he finished T-29 at the 1997 PGA Championship at the same venue. Prior to his T-21 finish at Pebble Beach, he missed the cut at the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills.
The trademarked conditions of long, thick rough for US Open setups make it the major Tiger may be least likely to win following his numerous back surgeries and advancing age. Hale Irwin is the oldest US Open champion to date at 45 years old at the time of his 1990 victory at Medinah Country Club.
British Open Championship
Where: Royal St. George’s
When: July 16-19
Last win: 2006 (Royal Liverpool Golf Club)
Career wins: 3
Tiger didn’t participate in the last Open Championship held at Royal St. George’s (2011) but he finished T-4 in its previous turn through the rotation in 2003. His T-6 finish at the 2018 Open at Carnoustie was his first top-10 result in a major since finishing in the same spot at the 2013 Open. He has 10 career top-10 finishes in The Open for his second-highest total among the four majors.
Winners of The Open have a higher average age than any of the other three majors. Outside of Augusta, Tiger’s best chances of catching up to Nicklaus may come overseas for many years to come.