Tiger Woods is teeing off this week with fair odds around 15% according to the Vegas odds. Let’s ignore that this is the lowest Tiger Woods will ever be, and assume that Tiger tees off at those odds for this year’s PGA and the next 8 years. That’s 33 majors until Tiger turns 43.
Using those numbers and a binomial distribution, there is a 75-percent chance Tiger Woods wins 4 or more majors in that time. A 57-percent chance that Tiger has 19 majors in that time. If, Tiger returns back to his form(~25% to win a major), there is a 97% chance he will BREAK Jack Nicklaus’s record by the end of that 33 major stretch.
Then, of course, Tiger has all the majors until he doesn’t feel like playing anymore to break the record. Let’s say Tiger plays competitively until he is 50 with an average 10-percent(This most likely low) chance to win each major. That’s 66 majors counting this week. Again in this case, Tiger has a 80.1-percent chance of breaking Jack’s record by the time he is 50. Now, let’s say he doesn’t win this week. His chances of winning at least 5 majors in 65 events with a 10-percent chance at each major drops to 79.0-percent. That’s a whopping one-percent difference in his overall chance to break Jack’s record by not winning this week. Hardly a turning point.
It’s important to remember that for those numbers to be true, Tiger’s next 15 years would have to be significantly worse that his first 15. That seems highly improbable. I think you could easily reason that Tiger has an average 20-percent chance of winning each major from here until he is 50 based on the careers of guys who have stayed relevant until leaving for the senior tour. If that’s the case, there is a 99.9-percent chance Tiger breaks the record and I would set the over/under at 16.5 MORE majors.
There are a ton of factors here, but if Tiger stays as motivated to break the record as he has been so far in his career, there is no reasonable way to assume he won’t break Jack’s record. If he doesn’t retire early with both middle fingers held high to the world(who could blame him?) he really has a chance to leave Jack in the dust.