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COOLUM, Australia -- Greg Norman, who recently said that Rory McIlroy is supplanting Tiger Woods as the world's best golfer, now thinks McIlroy, not 14-time champion Woods, has the best chance to eclipse Jack Nicklaus' record 18 major championships.
"I think if anybody can break Nicklaus' record, [McIlroy] could," Norman, a former world No. 1, said Wednesday at the pro-am for the Australian PGA Championship.
"The Shark" didn't stop there in his glowing remarks about the 23-year-old McIlroy, who is the leading money winner on both sides of the Atlantic this year.
"[McIlroy] is young, he is ahead of the game, he is ahead of the curve on a lot of things, and he has a very balanced life across the board," Norman said. "So I will keep my fingers crossed for him, because I would love to see that happen. Somebody will do it one day (surpass Nicklaus' majors record), and it could be Rory."
Granted, McIlroy has only two major victories to his credit, the 2011 U.S. Open and this year's PGA Championship. Both were by 8-shot margins. The 36-year-old Woods' 14th and most recent triumph at a major was at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which he won playing on a broken leg.
Norman thinks the hill for Woods to climb to get five more majors is too steep.
"Every year that passes by that he hasn't won a major, it just gets that much harder to win a major," Norman said. "I don't care how many you have won, it just becomes more and more difficult. He might win one or two more, but I don't think he will win the four or five more that he needs to break the record."