AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I think it’s been as good for me as it has been for him,” Nicklaus said on Sunday after receiving the Roy Firestone Award from the Westcoast Sports Associates at the Omni downtown. I’m sorry. How is this a good thing for Jack? Woods is just 32, and he should smash Nicklaus’ record, one that before Woods came along seemed unbreakable. Some believe Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time, but many believe Tiger Woods owns that distinction. How many majors can he win? Twenty- two? Twenty-five? “I’m grateful for Tiger’s greatness,” Nicklaus said. “Every time Tiger is mentioned, I’m mentioned in the same breath.” Jack Nicklaus hears it all the time. Tiger woods needs seven … six … five … more victories to break his record of 18 majors. People routinely debate when, not if, Woods will break that magical record. Nicklaus obliges in the same conversations with strangers at gala dinners, during interviews and at charity functions. Woods needs five more majors to catch Jack, and Nicklaus has every right to crinkle his tanned nose and roll his soft blue eyes around, but that would imply it bothers him. And that’s simply not the case. Nicklaus is retired from golf, but we’re still talking about him. We’re talking about him over coffee, on ESPN, and in columns. We bet our friends over how long it will take Tiger to eclipse Jack. We try to emulate him at the golf course, nearly falling forward with that back-breaking putting stance. Woods has revived Nicklaus’ career while Nicklaus isn’t even playing. It’s a brilliant P.R. move even Nicklaus’ team must kick back and admire. But the best thing for Nicklaus is that he’s not being mentioned in the same breath with someone less-than-admirable. Nicklaus is thankful the Tiger chasing him is so darn likeable. “First of all, I like Tiger,” Nicklaus said. “We could have someone who heads up the sport that would be a very poor example, and we don’t have that. He sets a very good example. Every time his name is mentioned, my name is mentioned, too. It’s probably kept me in the sport a lot longer than people expected. It’s certainly good for me. “I think it’s good for the game. It’s a rivalry over time.” We’ll never know what would’ve happened, but it sure is fun to size them up and take a guess. Nicklaus admires Woods for the man that he is and the charity work that he does. Woods has the Tiger Woods Foundation in addition to many other worthy causes. Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, are involved in 14 charities. Now don’t get Nicklaus wrong. His competitive fire still burns bright. Roy Firestone interviewed Nicklaus during the Westcoast’s awards dinner and asked whether he or Tiger would win – turning back the clock – if both were 26 years old and staring each other down on the back nine of a major. “I’d beat him like a drum,” Nicklaus said to a roar of applause. “I honestly don’t know the answer and we’ll never know the answer. If you ask Tiger, he thinks he would win. If you ask me, I think I would win.” The only way to stage that is via video game. Nicklaus doesn’t play much golf anymore. He’s too busy logging 750-some hours a year on his private jet. He’s even gained 20 pounds, much to his dismay, because he can barely find the time to work out and he no longer takes the daily walks on 6,000-yard golf courses. While Woods takes his private jet from PGA Tour spot to sponsor engagement to charity function, Nicklaus is flying around the world. His golf course design business is the best in the business. He’s busy planting golf courses in remote corners of the world where people don’t know a putter from a driver. He’s so generous with his time and money. He puts people at ease. You could argue Nicklaus is making an even bigger impact on the golf world and in the philanthropist department than when he was playing golf for a living, introducing the sport to people who’ve never heard of it. He wondered why there was no children’s hospital in West Palm Beach, where he resides, so he and his wife had one built. Sure, Woods will break Nicklaus’ record someday all right. And Jack might be a little sad, but not for the reason you think. Nicklaus need not worry. We’ll still be talking about him. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!