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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When will any of golf's majors not be about Tiger Woods?

Ten years from now?

Twenty years, maybe?

Tiger, 36 now, will be in his late 50s in two decades, but he thinks, despite his recent spate of injuries, that his body will hold up long enough to allow him to do the Tom Watson thing at least for a while.

And if that indeed is true - a big if, I know - he's going to have another 50, 60 or so chances to attack the record of 18 major titles held by Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger is at 14 and counting, and hasn't won one since the 2008 U.S. Open when he beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff at Torrey Pines, but with so many more opportunities, it seems more than likely he'll hammer the record.

Yes, Watson, 62, has not won a major in 29 years, but he was in a playoff to win the British Open only three years ago and if he'd made an 8-foot putt on the 72nd hole, he never would have gotten to a playoff against Stewart Cink. And Fred Couples makes noise at The Masters every year. You get the idea. But Tiger, pardon the pun, is a different breed of cat.

He still intimidates the rest of the field like no athlete since Michael Jordan and the field he's dealing with is no great shakes. What, aren't we talking about the new breed of golfers, the young guns that are going to take over the game?

Quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing about those guys.

The McIlroys and Days and Johnsons and Fowlers. And please don't get me started on Lee Westwood and Luke Donald - two guys that we've been waiting, what is it now?, 10 years to finally win a major.

That's the thing that will keep Tiger viable, and chasing Jack, for years to come.

Nobody wants a sports record to be his like Tiger wants 19 majors and nobody is stepping out to truly get in his way of the chase.

Since he won at Torrey Pines, 16 opportunities for another notch in his belt have come and gone. Those 16 tournament wins have gone to 16 different players.

What does that say? To some it says the players now are so good that nobody can separate themselves from the pack.

To me, it says what we have is parity. In other words, mediocrity. Alright, mediocrity might be a little strong, but what we don't have is dominance. We don't have the next Tiger or anything close to him. That means the old Tiger can keep going at it.

The odds-makers have installed Woods as a 7 to 1 favorite to win this week's PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.

Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, here we go again, are next in line, both at 15 to 1. And then McIlroy follows as the fourth choice.

Do you think Tiger wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about those guys? I really doubt it.

Woods is getting close to where he wants to be. He's won three times on the PGA Tour this year (nobody else has), just not events he really wants to win.

He's golf and will be golf - we know what he does for the television ratings whenever he's in contention - for a long time to come.

A quick little test. Tell me who won last year's PGA Championship?

Don't worry if it doesn't come right to mind. I watch as much golf as anybody and still had to look it up to see that Keegan Bradley won at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Think he can repeat? If you do, strongly, call a bookie because he's a 60 to 1 shot.

My money now, and for the foreseeable future, is on Mr. Woods.



Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

Copyright 2012