Tiger's quest to break major record is 'tough,' says Arnold Palmer
Tiger Woods isn't playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week as he rests his ailing back, but he's still very much the topic of conversation at Bay Hill.
On Wednesday, Palmer himself was asked about Tiger's career-long quest to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional majors.
The King's take: It's going to be "tough" for Woods to break the record, for several reasons.
"I don't think 38 years [Woods' age] is the ultimate stopping point for his quest to do what Jack did," Palmer said. "I think it lessens the possibility of that happening. … It's going to be tough to keep the concentration and the type of the game that is necessary to win majors."
The King also believes that the ever-more-impressive collection of fast-rising young players poses a serious threat to Woods.
"These young guys are tough, and they're strong," he said. "And if they continue to play as well as they've been playing, it's going to be tough for anybody – whether it be Nicklaus or Tiger or whomever it would be – to continue to win major championships."
And as the younger generation improves in both skill and attitude, Palmer sees that Woods' aura of invincibility might not be what it used to be.
"The fear of a player being so good that they back off, I don't think that's the case anymore," Palmer said. "I think that the players that are going to win, and win major championships, have to be physically fit, mentally fit and they're going to continue to be tough to beat."
As for the Arnold Palmer Invitational itself, we've got it covered from head to toe. You can check out the tee times and leaderboard, see who TJ Auclair says are the five players to watch, read about how the tournament is carrying on without Woods, catch some inside scoop on the goings-on from Bay Hill's PGA Director of Golf Brian Dorn and even see our pre-tournament photo gallery.
The Associated Press contrbuted to this report.