Matching Nicklaus' major record not beyond Tiger - Rahm

Jon Rahm does not think trying Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18 major titles is beyond a resurgent Tiger Woods.
Jon Rahm does not think trying Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18 major titles is beyond a resurgent Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods is the face of golf again and will be the undisputed greatest of all time if he wins another three majors, says Jon Rahm.

After multiple back surgeries and personal issues threatened to derail his illustrious career, Woods ended a five-year wait for a win at the season-ending Tour Championship in 2018.

The 44-year-old has since tied Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour wins and claimed his 15th major title 11 years on from his previous one by triumphing at the Masters in 2019.

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Rahm is delighted to see Woods getting results again and suggested it will not take much for him to match Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18 major titles, which the Spaniard thinks would earn him the right to be called the best in history.

"I watched him from the balcony of the clubhouse at East Lake when he got his 80th PGA Tour win [and first since 2013] at the Tour Championship that year," Rahm told Golf Digest.

"As a guy who grew up watching golf and watching him, it was emotional for me to be there and to witness that and just be part of it. Forever I'll be able to say that I watched Tiger make a putt to win and restart his career again.

"I always said he would be able to do it [win again] as long as he was able to swing. I felt that he could win again at some point, even if he played five events a year, because he's Tiger Woods.

"To be at TaylorMade photo shoots with him and pick his brain, it's incredible. He's a golf genius. That's his strongest attribute.

"We don't know if he'll get to 18 majors someday, but he has only three more to go, so who knows. Some people say that Tiger is the greatest player but that Jack Nicklaus is the greatest champion. But if Tiger gets to 18, he's the undisputed greatest of all time.

"Then you add in everything he's done for golf, the amount of money we play for because of him. We should thank him every day. He's the face of golf again."

Rahm is yet to win a first major but has finished in the top five at the Masters, US PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

However, he thinks he knows what he has to do in order to end his wait.

"A lot of times, I've gone into majors somewhat tired. It's a long year, so maybe I need to make some schedule changes," said Rahm.

"I know my game is strong enough to win one; it's just a matter of getting it done. I've been close at Augusta a couple of times. I like the course, and it really fits my eye and my game.

"But as a European, the Open Championship is the pinnacle of golf. I'd love to win any of them, of course, but the Masters is probably the best chance."

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