• PGA Tour

Couples fears injuries could beat Tiger

ESPN staff
June 2, 2011
Tiger Woods' swing is under scrutiny

Fred Couples has admitted he fears Tiger Woods' injury problems may prevent him from overhauling Jack Nicklaus as golf's winning-most major champion.

Woods has 14 majors to his name, four shy of Nicklaus' record, but he has not won one of the big-four tournaments since the US Open of 2008.

The former world No. 1's form has been wildly inconsistent since the revelations about his private life broke in the winter of 2009 and he has shown only flashes of brilliance. He looked to be heading back towards his best at this year's Masters, but knee and Achilles problems have set him back and Couples feels the body is starting to show signs of real strain.

"At Tiger's age (35), I'm more concerned about his body than his game," Couples said. "His game will come back. But it's hard to come back when you've got knee problems and hip problems and Achilles problems and all that stuff.

"I don't think he swings violent at it. I don't think he does anything different than Charl Schwartzel when they swing. I just think his knee is a little tender and he's got to get it right so he can come out and start to play every day feeling good."

Couples will captain United States at this year's Presidents Cup and he has left the door ajar for Woods to play.

"If he's not ready to play, he'll be the one to tell me, 'Don't waste your pick on me'," Couples said. "I don't even know how much he'll play, but he doesn't have to prove a lot to any captain."

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