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Gary Player is adamant Tiger Woods would have won at least 22 majors had he not made a decision that “ruined his career.”

Woods sits behind only Jack Nicklaus in the pantheon of major winners with 15 titles, his most recent being that unforgettable Masters win back in 2019.

Few will dispute Woods’ transformative impact on the sport during a garlanded career that has now spanned three decades. Player, however, is firmly in the camp that Woods still should have achieved more with such extraordinary talent.

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Injuries, surgery and scandal have derailed a golf career like no other. It’s easy to forget that Woods’ 14th major – his win with a torn ACL at the 2008 US Open – came when he was only 32.

But Player has told KW Golf that the most costly error of Woods’ career was his turnover of swing coaches.

“Tiger Woods had his career completely ruined by golf coaches,” the nine-time major champion insisted.

The South African then recalled Woods’ win by 15 shots at the 2000 US Open. “You know what that’s like? That’s like running the 100 meters in seven seconds.” he said. “The next week, he’s having a lesson from a man who, if he played in The Masters, I don’t know if he could break 80.

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“He couldn’t. But Tiger is having a lesson from this guy. And then he goes to another guy who probably couldn’t break 85 in The Masters or the British Open or the PGA [Championship]. And he’s having lessons from him. Why did Tiger do that?”

Woods won his first eight majors while working with the renowned instructor Butch Harmon, before teaming up with Hank Haney for a six-year-spell, which yielded six more majors.

Later on his career there were further spells with Sean Foley and Chris Como, but Player is convinced that Woods did not need to tinker his swing at all.

“He was so good,” he added. “But I understand he wanted to get better. But if he just went along and never changed he would have won a minimum of 22 Majors – maybe more.”

“He would have gone down as the greatest athlete the world had ever seen, man or woman. But he made the wrong decision. And it’s very easy to do, because we’re all trying to get better.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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