This article from Sports Illustrated presents a fascinating theory: that Tiger Woods has already peaked.
Consider: Watson won his eighth major at age 34 and never won another. Seve Ballesteros won the last of five majors at age 31. Tiger is now 28. And neither Watson nor Ballesteros burned so brightly, so young.
Writing in his book, Johnny Miller said “He’s an old 28.” Miller should know. He flamed out after a spectacular run in the 1970s.
There may be a parallel here in other sports. A statistical study I saw last year said that NFL running backs are, almost without fail, done by age 30. ( I play a lot of fantasy football, so this was an important point). The exception: those who started football late, and those who took a year or more off in the middle of their career.
Of course, golfers don’t take the physical punishment. But I would argue that they take a far greater mental beating. The “yips” that golfers get is a mental problem, not physical.
Most telling may be how far back Tiger has finished in the last several majors. He simply hasn’t been a factor.
Which makes Jack Nicklaus all the more remarkable. In addition to his 18 major victories, he finished second 19 times.