What if somebody had been ahead of you with, say, 20 majors? Would that have impacted how long you played or how seriously you would have played?
JN: I'm sure it might have. But that wasn't the case. I passed [Bobby] Jones when I was . From then on I played golf because I enjoyed it and enjoyed the competition. I wasn't trying to set a record for majors. It never even entered my mind.
Do you still feel like Tiger has a good chance to catch you?
JN: Oh, he'll probably catch me. Tiger's too focused not to. He's still a young guy, and he's got at least 10 more years of really competitive golf, if he wishes to do so.
Have you talked to Tiger recently?
JN: No, not at all. Obviously I saw Tiger at the Masters when he came back. It was the first time I've seen him [in a while]. I've always gotten along well with Tiger. He's been on my Presidents Cup team that I captained four times. He's a terrific player, and I wish him well. After he hurt himself after the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines [in 2008], I gave him a call a couple days afterward. And I said, "Tiger, obviously I don't want you to break my records, but I don't want you to not break my records because you're not healthy enough to do that."
What do you think is fair game for the media with his personal life?
JN: I don't think it's any of their business. This is his own private life. He's entitled to his privacy on that. I know he's not going to get it, but I think that he and his wife have to figure that out themselves. It's certainly none of my business.
If it impacts his game, isn't it something that the media has a right to explore?
JN: You're going to anyway, no matter what happens. I had some financial issues in the mid-'80s. That became a big topic of conversation. "Jack, are your financial issues going to affect how you're playing golf?" Tiger has been living his life a certain way for a long time, and he's been playing golf. I don't think that's going to impact him, just like with my financial issues. When I got to the golf course, those financial issues were behind me. That solved those financial issues. I'm sure he'll solve his own personal issues.