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Rick Reilly
June 09, 1997
Tiger Woods's chances of winning the Grand Slam are seemingly better than any other golfer's in history
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June 09, 1997


Tiger Woods's chances of winning the Grand Slam are seemingly better than any other golfer's in history

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Delicious, isn't it? Just to be able to say, "Tiger Woods could win the Grand Slam this year." Not since Jack Nicklaus has there...

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up a second, Golf Boy! Are you actually going to try to convince these people that a 21-year-old rookie is going to win the Grand damned Slam ? Let me give you some advice: Don't go there.

O.K., it's a long shot. But not that long. Before the Masters, British oddsmakers had him at 5,000 to 1 to do it. Now they're down to 25 to 1 and not sleeping very well.

The guy won the Masters, the first major of the year. Big freaking deal! Last I checked, genius, you had to win all four!

True. But look at it this way: Since he's been a pro, he's never lost a major.

Cute. You heard of Byron Nelson, am I right? Well, Byron Nelson says guys like you ought to lay off the airplane glue.

"You might be the best player in the world and not win the Grand Slam," Byron says. "Some of the greatest players I've ever seen—Sam Snead, Tom Watson—never even won the four Grand Slam tournaments in a lifetime, much less in a single year." In fact, only four guys ever did win it in a lifetime: Sarazen, Hogan, Nicklaus and Player. I mean, Tiger Woods has a better chance of his caddie, Fluff, standing up and singing the entire works of Puccini than winning the Slam. Nice try, though.

I didn't say it was going to be easy. But for once, we have someone who's not afraid of it. Other guys, they'd roll their eyes and say stuff like "It's preposterous even to think about it in this day and age." This kid, though, is looking right into the Slam's dental work and not even blinking. He's coming at it in a whole new way. "I think it's possible," he says. He figures Phil Mickelsen won four times last year; why couldn't they have been the four majors? "It may be just that realistic," Tiger says. "Just that simple."

Because he doesn't know how freaking hard it is!


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