Tiger can add to 14 majors if he's healthy: Kaymer

Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:34pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Martin Kaymer believes back injury victim Tiger Woods can add to his haul of 14 major championship wins as long as he returns to golf with a clean bill of health.

Woods said last week that he hoped to make his comeback at next month's Safeway Open in California after spending more than a year on the sidelines.

The 40-year-old American has a long-standing ambition to eclipse Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major victories and Kaymer told Reuters in a telephone interview that he would not rule anything out for one of the greatest players of all time.

"At the end of the day it all comes down to Tiger's health," the German said. "If he can practice the way he wants to practice, as hard as he wants, then I think he can win any golf tournament in the world.

"He's proved it before so I don't see why he can't do it again. The competition now is obviously a lot harder but I think it would be very disrespectful to take him out of consideration for winning any tournament in the world."

Woods, who has undergone multiple back operations, last played competitively at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina in August 2015.

If all goes well at the Safeway Open, the former world number one also plans to feature at the Turkish Airlines Open in November and the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge in December.

Double major champion Kaymer, who spent eight weeks at the top of the rankings in 2011, said the American must take things step by step.   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. stands on the 12th green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo