AGE AT FIRST MAJOR VICTORY:
AGE AT SECOND MAJOR VICTORY:
Jack Nicklaus won his final major, the 1986 Masters, at the age of 46 — making him the oldest player to ever win that tournament. But the victory was an aberration, considering his most recent prior major championship came in 1980. Nicklaus ended his career with 18 majors, the most of any player in PGA history. For McIlroy to match Nicklaus’ hardware, and assuming he’d have to do it by his early 40s, he’d basically need to average one major championship a year for the better part of two decades.
At 36 years old, Tiger’s won 14 major championships. That’s an average of about one a year since his first, when he was 21, but the 2012 season was actually his fourth without a major victory — a longer cold streak than Nicklaus ever dealt with during his 1962-1980 period of dominance (he never went without for more than two seasons). So, if you trace back from the 2008 season, when he took the U.S. Open, and start at the 1999 Masters, when he kicked off his virtuoso years, Tiger won 13 majors in 10 seasons. If we’re truly to hold McIlroy to Tiger’s standard, we should expect a similar burst of potency from him, to the tune of about 4 majors every 3 years for a decade or so. That’s how he tops Woods.