Major Championships – Jack Nicklaus v. Tiger Woods

Will Tiger Woods beat Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional major championship?

Majors Nicklaus v Woods, can the record be beaten

Majors Nicklaus v. Woods. Can Woods beat the record?
(Matt Slocum/AP)

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

It’s been the biggest question in golf for the past 2 decades…  ‘Will Tiger Woods beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 professional major championship victories?’ Make that 20 majors, if you include the US Amateur, of which Tiger has three to Jack’s two, meaning that he is only 3 pro wins – or 2 overall – behind.

Majors Nicklaus v Woods

Nicklaus’ 18 victories spanned 24 years; Tiger had only 11 years between his first and his 14th win, but his last major win at Augusta in 2019 came in the twilight of his career, 22 years since the runaway 12 shot triumph in his first major as a professional at the 1997 Masters. Nicklaus’ first professional major win came in his second major.

Both had played in the professional majors before turning pro; Tiger seven times and Jack nine times. So Tiger’s first pro major came in his 8th attempt; for Jack it was his 11th.

Their professional major wins:

Jack NicklausTiger Woods
181986Masters (6)Augusta
171980PGA (5)Oak Hill
161980US Open (4)Baltusrol
151978Open (3)St Andrews2019Masters (5)Augusta
141975PGA (4)Firestone2008US Open (3)Torrey Pines
131975Masters (5)Augusta2007PGA (4)Southern Hills
121973PGA (3)Canterbury2006PGA (3)Medinah
111972US Open (3)Pebble Beach2006Open (3)Hoylake
101972Masters (4)Augusta2005Open (2)St Andrews

Majors Nicklaus v Woods

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91971PGA (2)PGA National2005Masters (4)Augusta
81970Open (2)St Andrews2002US Open (2)Bethpage Black
71967US Open (2)Baltusrol2002Masters (3)Augusta
61966Open (1)Muirfield2001Masters (2)Augusta
51966Masters (3)Augusta2000PGA (2)Valhalla
41965Masters (2)Augusta2000Open (1)St Andrews
31963PGA (1)Dallas Athletic2000US Open (1)Pebble Beach
21963Masters (1)Augusta1999PGA (1)Medinah
11962US Open (1)Oakmont1997Masters (1)Augusta

Majors Nicklaus v. Woods

Both men also won US Amateur Championships:

Jack NicklausTiger Woods
3  1996US AmateurPumpkin Ridge
21961US AmateurPebble Beach1995US AmateurNewport
11959US AmateurBroadmoor1994US AmateurTPC Sawgrass