Tiger came up frustratingly short again Sunday in a Major, losing to Angel Cabrera at the U.S. Open. Thus continues the rather bizarre inability of Tiger to win a Major in which he is not in the lead or tied for the lead entering the final round.
Even though Tiger didn't get any closer to Nicklaus on Sunday in terms of Majors won, he actually did get closer to Niklaus in another category. Second-place finishes in Majors.
Everyone knows that Nicklaus owns the record for most Majors in golf history with 18. But a lot fewer people know that he also finished second or tied-for-second in an astounding 19 Majors as well. With a few extra lucky bounces, it's conceivable Nicklaus could have won 22 or 23 Majors. If he had had Robert Horry's luck he might have won 30.
And get a load of these stats. During the 1970s alone, Nicklaus finished in the top 5 in 31 out of 40 Majors. He also made the top-10 in an astounding 73 Majors during his career. That's over 18 straight years of finishing in the top-10 in Majors. Woods hasn't even been on the Tour for 18 years. Woods also only has 26 top-10 finishes in Majors at this point in his career.
While it does seem inevitable that Woods will win 19 or more Majors at some point, it's hard to imagine he could possibly surpass Nicklaus in 2nd place finishes and top-10 finishes at Majors.
Tiger Woods may some day be the greatest golfer in terms of Majors won, but there's still a very legitimate argument to be made that Nicklaus was a superior golfer to Woods in terms of sheer consistency in Majors.