Jack Nicklaus backs Tiger Woods to overhaul his Major record

Jack Nickluas holds the record for most Majors won with 18. (Reuters)
Updated 24 September 2018
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Jack Nicklaus backs Tiger Woods to overhaul his Major record

LONDON: Tiger Woods has been backed to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Majors by none other than the golfing great himself.
Woods ended a five-year winless run on Sunday, claiming victory in the Tour Championship to usher in emotional and frenzied scenes at the East Lake Golf Club. This time last year, after a fourth back operation, it was widely assumed his time as a top-class golfer was over. But this year has seen him hit those predictions into the long rough as he has found form and fun on the fairways once again.
And fresh off Woods’ first “W” since 2013 Nicklaus predicted more titles for Tiger, not least in respect of the American’s charge to try to overhaul the all-time great’s record of 18 Majors.
Woods has been stuck on 14 Majors since 2008, and it has been generally accepted that having looked all but certain to reach Nicklaus’ mark, Woods’ personal and injury problems would mean he would not get close to the 78-year-old’s mark.
“Maybe Tiger’s got another 40 Majors to play. Out of 40 majors can he win five of them?” Nicklaus, known as the Golden Bear, said.
“He’s playing well enough. It depends how much he wants to work at it, how interested he is, and long he wants to make a commitment to do that.
“With today’s equipment, and the way the guys take care of themselves, I think they could play well into their 50s.
“I’m proud of him. He’s worked very hard to get his golf game back. He even worked really hard to get the five inches between his head thinking the right way again.”
For now all thoughts of getting back on the Major-winning trail will doubtless be put to the back of Woods’ mind, with the Ryder Cup starting on Friday. Ahead of the biennial battle against Europe, Woods revealed how much the Tour Championship win meant.
“I was having a hard time not crying on the last hole,” Woods said, his voice choking at times. “I just can’t believe I pulled this off.
“It hasn’t been so easy the last couple of years. It’s hard to believe I was able to do it again.
“(This win) is certainly up there with obviously all the Major championships I’ve won,” Woods added.
“I just didn’t know whether this would ever happen again. It means a lot. It really does.”
Phil Mickelson, once Woods’ arch-rival, led the tributes to his Ryder Cup teammate.
“He’s played such good golf all year that it is just not surprising,” he said.
“Tiger’s played so well on a very difficult golf course and we almost kind of expected it.
“We never doubted he would not win again, not from what I’ve seen (with the way) he’s been swinging the club.
“It was just a matter of time.”


Historymaker: Saudi teen secures Kingdom’s first ever Olympic gold medal

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Assiri wins historic first gold for the country.
Updated 18 October 2018
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Historymaker: Saudi teen secures Kingdom’s first ever Olympic gold medal

  • The victory marked Saudi’s third time on the podium at the two-week Youth Olympics
  • I have been working towards this moment for 10 years, said the gold medalist

BUENOS AIRES: It is said that the karate-ka who has given the necessary years of commitment and meditation to the sport is both fearless and tranquil. They can, it is said, be calm even in a burning building.

Last night, inside a furnace-like Europe Pavilion at the Youth Olympic Park, and in front of Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Assiri won the Kingdom its first ever Olympic gold medal. And welcomed it, initially at least, with utmost calm. 

Defeating Masaki Yamaoka of Japan 8-0 in the Men’s Kumite -61kg final, the 17-year-old Saudi immediately thanked his opponent and bowed to the various officials, before turning to his coach, removing his red gloves slowly, and greeting him with a starch salute. Only afterwards, once these rituals of respect were over and his opponent had slipped away, did Al-Assiri explode with joy, his face contorting into beautiful agony as he screamed in guttural Arabic and jumped around the mat.

“I am so happy, so proud,” he said, his prize glinting in the spotlight of the world’s media. “This is the first gold medal for Saudi Arabia and our first medal ever in karate. I have been working towards this moment for 10 years, especially in the past two when my training intensified. I came for gold and this is the result of years of serious work. It was very difficult, but I am just so proud. Thank you to Allah.”

The victory marked Saudi’s third time on the podium at the two-week Youth Olympics, after bronze medals in weightlifting and 400m Hurdles. It is a stellar return for a country that brought only nine athletes to Argentina and has won just one medal at this level before, a bronze in equestrian four years ago. Yousef Jalaiden, the chef de mission for the Saudi delegation, had confidently predicted medals earlier this week, but even he admits expectations have been exceeded.

“We are very happy right now,” Jalaiden said, watching as Al-Assiri, wrapped in the Saudi flag, posed for photos with Prince Fahd bin Juluwe bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, the head of the delegation. “It’s our best achievement ever at an Olympics — be it Youth or the full Olympics. We are so happy — we hoped for three medals, like I said before, and we got them,”

Karate is making its Olympic debut this week ahead of Tokyo 2020 and Assiri had secured his place after winning at the first qualifying event in Croatia this summer. In front of vocal support from Saudis and Egyptians, he was handed the historic victory after his offensive front-footed display culminated with Yamaoka fouling four times during their bout.

“During training, people from other countries were all telling us Mohammed would take gold, but for us it was never a certainty,” Jalaiden added. “We expected him to reach the final, but when you get to a final, anything can happen. He has been training exceptionally hard though and it has all paid off.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Egypt’s Yasmin Nasr El-Gewily won the Women’s Kumite 53kg final, defeating Japan’s Rinka Tahata 2-1. “Egypt are our neighbours and we have an excellent relationship with them, so today it is like our nation is one,” said Jalaiden. “We have both enjoyed great success here.”