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Tiger's weekend scores are 'major' problem

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images

In order to win his 15th major, Tiger Woods will need to improve his weekend play.The PGA Championship tees off on Thursday and all eyes will be on Tiger Woods, who will once again try to win his 15th career major championship. Seventeen majors have been played without a Woods win, beginning with the 2008 Open Championship, the longest stretch since Woods’ first full professional season in 1997.

Tiger Woods Victories in Majors

Without Woods’ domination in the majors, we have seen a lot of new faces holding the winner trophy on Sundays. The last 16 major championships have been won by 16 different players, the longest such streak since an 18-event streak from 1983-87.

Also, each of the last three PGA Championship winners (and nine of the last 10 major champs) has been a first-time major winner, including last year’s champion, Keegan Bradley, who won in his first career major start.

Weekend troubles

In addition to his 15th professional major, Woods is also going for his fifth PGA Championship. He would be the third man to win five PGA Championships, joining Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus.

Woods won this event in 2006 and 2007, but didn’t compete in 2008 after undergoing knee surgery. In 2009, he failed to win after holding the outright 54-hole lead – the only time it’s happened in his professional career.

Tiger Woods
In 2012 Major Championships

Woods ended his two-and-a-half-year victory drought with a win at Bay Hill in March and now has three PGA TOUR wins this year.

If he doesn’t get first-place this week, it would be the third time in his career that he’s had three wins in a season without a major. It also happened in 2003 and 2009.

Tiger has put himself into contention to win in all three majors this year, but his play on the weekends has been brutal. He has shot a combined -4 on Thursday and Friday at the 2012 majors, but is +13 on Saturday and Sunday.

Where is Tiger Woods coming up short? His wedge play from close range has been extremely inconsistent over the last two seasons. From 2006-08 he ranked in the top five on the PGA TOUR each year in approach proximity from 50-125 yards, but was ranked 163rd in 2011 and is 134th this season.

Running out of time?

This will be Tiger Woods’ final major at age 36, as he turns 37 in December. With Woods still four major titles shy of tying Jack Nicklaus, it’s worth noting that only three players have ever won four-or-more majors after their 37th birthday: Ben Hogan (6), Nicklaus (4) and Sam Snead (4).

However, Woods is still keeping pace with Nicklaus through 59 majors played as a professional. His 14 major wins are the same number Nicklaus had at this point, though Nicklaus had more runner-ups and top-three finishes. Woods, on the other hand, has been far more dominant with a -138 score to par in his first 59 majors, compared to -3 for Nicklaus.