Continued from page 1

Still, most everyone would agree that majors are what matter.

Even if the courses for the odd major might be easier, the pressure of playing for history takes a toll between the ears.

“Majors are continuous in the modern era, which I guess would be 1934,” said former British Open champion Stewart Cink, referring to the first year of the Masters.

“We have a lot of tournaments that have come and gone, just a lot of different setups on the PGA Tour since the 1960s.”

Justin Leonard, another British Open champion, said there are PGA Tour events that present a more difficult test than some majors, but that doesn’t make them harder to win than the majors.

“You get four majors a year,” Leonard said. “It’s hard to time yourself to play your best those four times. And it’s hard to pick those four weeks to play your best when everyone else picks those four weeks.”

The numbers favor Woods getting to Snead before he gets to Nicklaus.

He has won 27 percent of his PGA Tour events. Throw out the majors, and he has won 29 percent of the time. And then consider that on average, his chances at winning tournaments compared with winning majors are about 18 to 4.

“Looking strictly at the math, you would think Tiger has a better chance to get to 82 wins than to 18 majors because he plays more tournaments,” Cink said.

For Woods, this year is starting to resemble 2009, when he won all four of his pre-major tournaments, but failed to win a major. He is playing this week in the AT&T National, which he won the last time it was held at Congressional.

Next week is The Greenbrier Classic, the final start before the British Open. He will play at Firestone, where he has won seven times, before playing the final major of the year at the PGA Championship.

Woods, when asked why there is more attention on Nicklaus than Snead, compared it with tennis. Fans could more easily identify with Pete Sampras or Roger Federer and their Grand Slam titles than the fact Jimmy Connors won more tournaments than anyone in the modern era.

“I believe it’s over 100,” Woods said. He was close _ 109 titles for Connors.

“I think that the majors certainly have more importance, and we put so much more on it, especially now,” he said. “There’s so much more media coverage and more attention on major championships. Certainly, that’s something that wasn’t exactly in Jack’s day and obviously prior to him. Our big events are big, and they’re bigger than any other events that we play.”

Perhaps there’s another reason why the Nicklaus record gets more attention: He’s still around to talk about it.

Story Continues →