Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
No one knows you like your parents do but this prediction is just plain cryptic. We are approaching the 20th anniversary of a predictive, yet long-since forgotten quote from Earl Woods on his son, Tiger Woods.
In 1995 Tiger Woods won his second of three straight US Amateur Opens. Shortly after the win and while sipping champagne, Earl Woods had an interview with Sports Illustrated that discussed his son’s future in golf. As with most fathers, Earl predicted great things from Tiger but he had a specific number in mind when it came to how many major championships the younger Woods would win:
“I’m going to make a prediction. Before he’s through, my son will win 14 major championships.”
In case you’ve lost count, Tiger won his 14th major at the 2008 US Open and has been stuck on that number since then. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Tiger would surpass 14, and then surpass Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors in short time. But we all know what happened next for Tiger, both on the course and off of it.
When asked about that prediction in a Golf Digest interview in 2001 (and after Tiger completed the “Tiger Slam”), Earl would not specify a new number of majors that he thought his son would win. But he did say something else that has been just as accurate as his original quote:
“I will not put a limitation on Tiger in the form of a prediction. I have no clue. There are so many things that can affect him, especially injury.”
Many things have affected Tiger since the 2008 US Open and injury has certainly been one of them. He’s had knee surgery, back surgery, the “glutes” activation-thing, the wrist he popped back in, and most recently, a hip issue at the Wyndham Championship.
Earl passed away in 2006 and the ‘things affecting Tiger’ have all been revealed, at least publicly, since then. With his current run of inconsistent play, time is running out for Tiger to prove his father wrong.