Golf: Tiger Woods still hunting Jack Nicklaus' major record

United States vice-captain Tiger Woods smiles during a practice round for the Ryder Cup. Photo / AP
United States vice-captain Tiger Woods smiles during a practice round for the Ryder Cup. Photo / AP

Tiger Woods says he still believes he can beat Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major victories despite the injury layoff that has left him sidelined for more than a year.

The 40-year-old former world number one told PBS television's Charlie Rose program that he had not given up hope of adding to his 14 major victories.

Woods gave an enigmatic response when first asked whether he felt he could reach Nicklaus's mark of 18 majors.

"To be honest with you, no," Woods replied. But asked if he accepted that eventuality, he added: "I've accepted I'm going to get more." When pressed later on whether he meant he still plans to break Nicklaus's mark, Woods responded: "Correct."

Woods has not won a major since his victory at the US Open in 2008 and has not played competitively since August 2015.

His much-trumpeted comeback at the Safeway Open in northern California this month was shelved on the eve of the tournament, fuelling fresh fears about his fitness.

However, Woods said he is optimistic he can return in December, insisting that the competitive fires still raged within him.

"I like beating those guys. That's why I practice all those hours ... is to be ready to take on those guys down the stretch. And do I miss it? Absolutely, 100 percent.

"And to be at my age now, at 40 years old ... I'm the first one to admit: I can't do the things I used to be able to do. Most people can't at my age, versus when they were younger. I have to find different ways to go about it."

TIGER'S ONLY REGRET

Woods spoke about his messy split from wife Elin in 2009, when his life imploded amid revelations of multiple affairs. He seemed to admit that the scandal, after which he has not won another major, may have impacted on his golf.

"I've heard that, too. I look at the fact that, yeah, I've ... I made a bunch of mistakes," he said.

Yet having referred to his infidelities as "mistakes", he gave a surprising take on his only regret: Not remaining in college for another year before becoming a megastar. Rose came back to the question three times consecutively in this exchange:

Rose: Some have said to be Tiger Woods was both a gift and a burden. How was it a burden?

Woods: Well, it's a burden in the sense that it ... the amount of obligations that I have at a tournament. The anonymity that was lost that, you know, one ... the ... you know, if you look back, the only regret I have in life is not spending another year at Stanford, and I wish I would've had one more year.

Rose: That's the only regret?

Woods: That's the only regret, I wish I had.

Rose: Of all the things that's happened to you?

Woods: All the things and that's all.

Rose: Everything?

Woods: All the things I've been through are tough, yes. They've been tough, but they've been great for me, but I wish I would've gone one more year at Stanford.

Woods explained how he had dealt with his two children after the infidelities scandal:

Rose: How do you tell your kids why mama and daddy are not together?

Woods: It's because daddy made some mistakes. Daddy made some mistakes. And I'd much rather hear ... have them hear it from me. And so ...

Rose: So, you've sat down and said, "I regret what I did and" ...

Woods: No. No. I don't. I haven't said that. I said everybody makes mistakes, and the reason why mommy's living in her house and daddy's living in his house is because daddy made mistakes, and it's OK.

- news.com.au

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