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Objects In Nicklaus’ Rearview Mirror …

No one imagined when Arnold Palmer left Augusta National on the evening of April 12, 1964, having just won his fourth Masters by six strokes, that it would end there.
It was Palmer’s fourth Masters victory in seven years, the seventh major championship in his career. Four years earlier, Palmer had raised the notion of winning the professional Grand Slam, having played himself halfway there.
But Arnie stopped winning major championships 50 years ago. Just like that.
Has Tiger Woods reached that moment?
Was the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, when he limped around on a cracked leg, the 14th and final major Woods will win?
Has the quest crested?
Like so many other things, only time will tell.
There’s more urgency to the question now because of the uncertainty surrounding Woods’ participation in next week’s Masters Tournament. He has been dealing with a bad back for months, publicly dating back to the day he went to his knees last August after hitting a sideways shot at the Barclays.
Woods couldn’t finish the Honda Classic and barely finished the WGC-Cadillac Championship due to back
spasms. He couldn’t play the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as clear an indication of the severity of the problem as we’ll find, and he left open the possibility of missing The Masters if his back doesn’t improve.
My hunch is he’ll play The Masters because he believes he can will himself to do anything on the golf course. But it’s only a hunch.


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