Tiger Woods watches his drive during a practice round at Kiawah Island earlier this week. (Evan Vucci / AP)

Woods, who tees off at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, still maintains that he has plenty of time in which to close the gap on Nicklaus’s record 18 majors. Woods has 14 and, although he hasn’t won a major in four years, he was in the hunt at the U.S. and British opens.

“I’m pleased at the way I was able to play at certain times,’’ he said earlier this week. “And obviously I’m disappointed that I’ve played in three major championships this year and didn’t win any of them. [But] I think I’ve progressed this year over my last couple years. This is the way I can hit the golf ball. This is the way I can play. It’s nice to be able to do the things that I know I can do.’’

Woods, who has climbed back to No. 2 in the world rankings, is No. 1 in scoring average at 68.85 and earnings at $4.8 million. And he believes that, with his 37th birthday coming in December, he has plenty of time in which to catch Nicklaus.

“Well, I figure it’s going to take a career,’’ he said. “Jack didn’t finish his until he was 46. By that timetable, I’ve got 10 more years. You saw what happened with Tom [Watson] being 59 [when he nearly won the British Open in 2009]. We can play late in our careers. Four more majors is a lot. But I’ve got plenty of time.’’

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