He has said, again and again, that he feels as if he has all the time in the world in which to win five majors and break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18. But after watching the PGA Championship, does it feel that way to anyone else? This time, Woods admitted that a mistaken approach Saturday doomed him in the tournament won by Rory McIlroy at Kiawah Island.
Woods went on: “I was just trying to ... I was trying to enjoy it, enjoy the process of it. But that's not how I play. I play full systems go, all-out, intense, and that's how I won 14 of these things. You know, that's something I rectified today, and I played a lot better because of it.”
As he had in the three previous majors, Woods, who will be 37 in December, faded badly over the second two days of the tournament and, as inconceivable as it may sound, has not had a round under par on the weekend at a major this year. And there may be a generational shift that is beyond his control. McIlroy won the tournament, the second major of his career, at the age of 23 years, 3 months. Nicklaus was 23 years and 2 months old when he won his second tournament, the 1963 Masters. Woods was 23 years and 7 months old when he won his second, the 1999 PGA.
Woods, who won three PGA Tour events this year, dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 in the world rankings, trailing McIlroy (the new No. 1) and Luke Donald. Woods will play next in the FedEx Cup playoffs in two weeks.
“We've got a lot of golf to be played the rest of the year, some big events coming up and the Ryder Cup at the end of it,” he said. “So looking forward to that.”
Looking forward is a good idea. If he looks back, he might see that something is gaining on him.