Nicklaus: Woods' run most remarkable feat

Wednesday, April 11

LONDON – Jack Nicklaus says what Tiger Woods has achieved in holding all four major titles at one time will probably never be repeated.

"What he has done nobody has ever done, and it is unlikely that anyone will do it again," Nicklaus, who has won more career majors than anyone else, said Wednesday on his personal Web site.

"What Tiger has done is the most remarkable feat, not only in golf but probably in all of sports," Nicklaus said.

Woods won his second Masters crown by two shots at Augusta on Sunday, outplaying David Duval and Phil Mickelson in the final round.

His historic victory gave him a record fourth professional major in a row, following the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship titles he won last year.

But many traditional followers of the game contend that a true grand slam has to be achieved within a calendar year, not spread out over more than one season.

Nicklaus, who won a record 18 career majors between 1962 and 1986, argues that this debate is irrelevant.

"The question keeps being asked of me: Is it a grand slam? I don't think it makes a difference. By the definition of a grand slam, no it's not. But, what it's called is irrelevant.

"What he's done is what matters most, and what he's done is unbelievable," he said. "I call it the most remarkable feat I have ever seen or heard of in golf."

Only three other achievements in golf can compare with Woods' feat.

Bobby Jones made a clean sweep of the major championships of his day in 1930, when he won the U.S. and British Amateurs and U.S. and British Opens, and Byron Nelson put together a remarkable run of 11 straight PGA Tour events in 1945.

Then Ben Hogan won five of the six tournaments he played in 1953, three of them the only majors he could enter as the British Open and PGA Championship overlapped that year.

Yet even Nelson, 89, who hit the ceremonial first shot at The Masters for the final time last week, acknowledges Woods' feat as being the best of the lot. "I put it absolutely at the very top," he said on the PGA Tour's Web site Wednesday. "Nobody has ever done that. I don't know what else you could add to that.

"He may win the rest of them this year. I'm very proud of what I did, but I think this (what Woods has done) is most unusual."