Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/18/14
Despite the rules controversy and calls for him to withdraw, and even with the club tossing and liberal dropping of F-bombs every time a camera panned his way, Tiger Woods could have won the Masters. In fact, he was probably one bad break and one brain lock away from walking away with his fifth green jacket. Think about it: Tiger finished tied for fourth, four shots behind Adam Scott. Had his ball not hit the flag and bounded back into the water on the 15th hole on Friday a shot that could have just as easily flown in the hole for eagle he likely would have saved two shots and taken the lead into the weekend. Two minutes later, Tiger made the controversial bad drop, stepping two yards behind his original position to insure that he didnt hit the flag again. That resulted in a two-shot penalty that wasn't assessed until Saturday morning. A whirlwind of controversy ensued, as amateur rules aficionados wondered how he could sign an incorrect scorecard and still be in the field. Still, he was just a few early Sunday putts away from pulling it off. Tiger has become one of the most polarizing figures in the game with almost no one taking a neutral stance. You either love him or hate him either pull for him or pull for him to fail. But emotions aside, the guy is the best player in a generation and arguably the best golfer who ever lived, despite remaining four major titles behind Jack Nicklaus' record. Unless he ruptures another knee or wrecks another car, Tiger (77 victories) will better Sam Snead's PGA Tour record of 82 wins and probably become the all-time leading winner on both the U.S. and European Tours since the majors and World Golf Championships events count for both. As staggering as those statistics are, careers are defined by majors, a point Tiger has made repeatedly. At the 2002 Ryder Cup at the Belfry, one of the European reporters asked him how he rated the Ryder Cup in relation to the majors. After looking at the guy like he was a barking dog, Tiger said, "How many people in here know Jack Nicklaus Ryder Cup record?" It's 17-8-3, but at the time, nobody had those numbers on the tip of their tongue. Everyone with a passing knowledge of the game knows Jack won 18 major championships. At 14 majors and holding, Tiger has to feel as though the clock is ticking on history. If he remains competitive until he is 45 a big if given the toll his swing has taken on his body that gives him 35 more major starts. He needs four to tie, five to hold the record on his own. Phil Mickelson, arguably the second best player of his generation behind Tiger, has been playing the tour for 21 years. He only has four major wins. It's too early to say it's now or never for Tiger, but that time is not far off. Merion and the U.S. Open present his best chance this year. He continues to struggle to find fairways with the driver, but because of the relatively short length of the course and the importance of finding the fairways, driver will be the least important club in the bag that week. Muirfield, site of the Open Championship, also suits his game. He can hit stinger 2-irons and hold-off 3-woods and remain in the hunt. Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., site of the PGA Championship, is a little different in that it favors precise iron play. Anyone hacking it out of the rough, as Tiger has been prone to do of late, will struggle. If he continues to play the way he has, Tiger will be the favorite in every major, just as he was at the Masters. And if he continues to put himself in contention, that 15th title is bound to come sooner or later.

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison


Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

Five most surprising NFL players through seven weeks

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.