British Open 2013: Arnold Palmer Doubts Tiger Woods Catches Jack Nicklaus' Major Record as Rory McIlroy to Challenge No. 1 at Upcoming Open Championships

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Jul 09, 2013 03:21 PM EDT
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Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods of the U.S. tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the 2013 U.S. Open golf championship at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, June 15, 2013."

Tiger Woods has been called the best golfer of his generation and possibly one of the best all-time.  While his career has been a slight roller coaster as of late, his legacy remains the same, constantly put in the same company as the greats like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. If there was ever golfer that could possibly break Nicklaus' record 18 major wins, it would be Woods. However as he struggles to close tournaments, Palmer is not so sure Woods is up for the challenge.

"The psychology of getting in position and then being able to carry it forward [to a win]...when he was younger, that was pretty easy to do," Palmer said to Yahoo! Sports. "Now that he's older, it will be more difficult. He'll have to really struggle. I think he'll find it, I think he's still about as good as you can get, but it'll be difficult."

Woods has yet to have one golfer that truly challenges him at every tournament. Sure Phil Mickelson, Rory Mcllroy and Ernie Els have all pushed him at certain points, no one has emerged as another dominate force next to Woods. Palmer notes that if the competition is there, Woods will be pressed to play better. So with the British Open quickly approaching, can Woods notch another major win to inch closer to the record?

"Can he? Yes," Palmer said. "But will he? That is...very questionable," Palmer said.

Even with his struggles in his past two tournaments, odds makers still have Woods as the heavy favorite at The Open. Woods finished 65th and 32nd in his last two tournaments respectively, but is still an 8-to-1 favorite when the British Open begins.

Woods has yet to play since his very disappointing finish at Merion Gold Club. He suffered an elbow strain that has prevented as sort of playing since then. Woods has stressed that despite the injury, he will be ready to play come July 18. Close behind is Mcllroy who has four top-10 finishes this season, but like Woods has struggled in his last two tournaments.

Palmer believes that Woods will always be a factor in every tournament he plays in, but the idea that he can win five more times to pass Nicklaus might be slightly out of reach. Time will certainly tell.

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