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Tiger can beat Nicklaus’ record, says niece Cheyenne

DUBAI — Cheyenne Woods believes his famous uncle Tiger Woods has many more wins in him and he can beat Jack Niclaus’s long-standing record of 18 major victories.

“I haven’t spoken to Tiger for a month or two, but I was really excited to see him not only on the course, but on the course playing well (at the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas) last week,” Cheyenne said ahead of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters where she is making her second appearance in three years.

“That’s the Tiger we have all missed. I think everybody was happy to see his trademark fist-pump and see Tiger making birdies and holing out bunker shots, because that’s the Tiger we all remember.

“Tiger is to me the greatest golfer that has played, and the greatest golfer in my lifetime, at least. It was really nice to be able to see him playing well,”

The next season will be really exciting to see him play, hopefully, a full schedule or whatever he might put together. I think he definitely has a chance (of beating Niclaus’s record).

A 14-time major champion Tiger made his much-anticipated return to the golf course for competitive action for the first time in 466 days, finishing 15th at the elite 18-man event in the Bahamas — 14 shots behind winner Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.

Tiger, who turns 41 later this month, was the oldest player in the field, but made the most birdies for the week at 24.

Meanwhile, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen also felt Tiger would soon be back to winning ways.

“Tiger is still Tiger. I guess he has proved us all wrong; that he won’t back. There were a lot of people that doubted that he would ever come back from all the injuries he has had,” said Pettersen, who is making her first appearance in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.

“It was fun to see him back on the golf course. He creates the buzz he has always done. Just to see him swing a golf club, pain-free, kind of leads to the next step which will probably be to go out and win tournaments again.

“For him, it must have been a huge relief to have been able to compete last week. Will he ever win a major? I really hope so, because I am huge Tiger fan.

“But the world has also developed since his absence and golf is in great place, talent-wise. You have great Europeans, great Americans. You have Jordan Spieth, you have Dustin Johnson.

“The competition has only gotten harder. It’s not going to be easier for him to come back to where he was, but I am sure he is going to make a huge effort,” said Pettersen, herself a two-time major winner.


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