They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2015 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.
No. 10: Tiger Woods
Born: Dec. 30, 1975, Cypress, Calif. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 79 | 2014 Wins (Worldwide): 0| 2014 Earnings (PGA Tour): $108,275 (201st) | World Ranking: 96
Brandel Chamblee's Take
Woods could be placed anywhere on this list with the exception of first, depending on whether one looks at his abilities or, given his age, his unprecedented physical ailments. He has averaged only twelve events per season over the last seven years with injuries of almost every nature plaguing his numerous comebacks and swing changes. Never over that time, though, has he looked worse than he did last year, when it was hard to know whether his swing was causing injury to his body or if his body was keeping him from swinging the way he did in 2013, when he won five times. Which is to say nothing of his issues around the greens that surfaced at the Hero World Challenge late in 2014. At 39, Tiger needs four more majors to equal Jack Nicklaus’ total of 18 and three more PGA Tour wins to equal Sam Snead’s record of 82. While the likelihood of catching Jack is slim, Tiger has won three or more times during a season in 13 of his 19 years on Tour, so it seems inevitable that Snead’s record will fall — if not this year, then at some point in what’s left of his career, if he stays healthy. That is a big “if,” because with each swing he seems to do further damage to his body, and with each chip, he seem to do further damage to his mind. For the first time in Tiger’s career, though — whether it’s his age, injuries, swing changes or short game issues that flared up at the end of 2014 — the questions overshadow his obvious abilities.
Major Championship Résumé
Masters - DNP
U.S. Open - DNP
British Open - 69
PGA Championship - Cut
Best Career Finishes:
Masters - 1 (1997, 2001, '02, '05)
U.S. Open - 1 (2000, '02, '08)
British Open - 1 (2000, '05, '06)
PGA Championship - 1 (1999, '00, '06, '07)
Top-10 Finishes: 38
Top-25 Finishes: 54
Missed Cuts: 6
Athlon's 2015 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Billy Horschel, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.