Tiger Woods Is Back. How Many More of These Can He Win?

April 15, 2019 - 12:09 pm
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(CBS Sports Radio) After an 11-year drought, Tiger Woods won a major Sunday, shooting a 2-under-70 at Augusta National to win his fifth Masters.

Not bad for a 43-year-old who had to overcome four back surgeries and plenty of personal demons in recent years.

"I really think it's historic," Golf Channel senior writer Rex Hoggard said on "Taz & The Moose" on Monday morning. "We always seem to blow these things out of proportion -- and I know that's what those of us in the media do -- but consider the context of this: It was just three years ago when Tiger whispered across the table at the Champions Dinner to one of the former champions, 'I'm done playing golf.' He was in so much pain, he couldn't imagine a day when he even swung a golf club, let alone won another green jacket."

Well, he did. Woods shot a 13-under-275 to notch his 81st PGA Tour win and 15th major championship. His last major title came in 2008, when he won the U.S. Open.

"I think last year was encouraging," Hoggard said. "For him to win the Tour Championship gave a lot of people some hope, but I think there was still always the doubt out there: Could he actually do it in a major championship with a back that's been operated on four times against fields that are much, much deeper? For him to do it, it really was historic."

Rankings Woods' Sunday triumph is no easy task.

"I'm trying to put that in context this morning, to be honest with you," Hoggard said. "I always thought 2008 at Torrey Pines when Tiger won essentially on one leg in a playoff on Monday, I kind of thought that was going to be the pinnacle. Although, in 2000, when he lapped the field at Pebble at the U.S. Open was good, and then '97 at the Masters holds a lot of historical significance. But when we get to the end of the road and we kind of pin all these chapters and then we decide, I think this one is going to rank right up there. If it wasn't his most meaningful, it certainly has to be in the top two or three."

Some analysts believe Woods isn't done yet, either. Several golfers, in fact, told Hoggard that they believe Woods could catch Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.

"They think 18 is back in play," Hoggard said. "That's always been the benchmark Tiger has gone for. I don't think we're ever going to see that dominance that we saw from Tiger from the early-to-mid 2000s, but I did the math: He has 24 major starts between now and the time he turns 50. He has gone through stretches where he won nine majors in 24 starts. I don't think he does that, but I think . . . (winning) three more is definitely realistic."