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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 173

Poll Results: Tiger or Jack: Who's the best?

 
  • 69% (1632)
    Tiger Woods is the man
  • 30% (715)
    Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
2347 Total Votes  
post #3097 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by x129 View Post

Isn't 14>13? 

 

 

Yes, but if Woods fails to win next week, 14=14. Then there are the 2nds and 3rds. The majors factor in this thread has been built around wins. If that is the only thing that counts in major championships, anything other than a win essentially might just as well have been an MC. My argument is that performance in majors other than wins counts for something, too. 

post #3098 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Jack thought they should count.

 

Until Tiger won 3 of them and then started to threaten his majors record.  You NEVER hear him say they should count now.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

If major championships are the standard, here's the record.

 

Woods has played in 63 majors: 

 

1 -14

2 -  6

3 -  3

t10 other -  12

 

In Nicklaus's first 63 majors:

 

1 - 13

2 - 10

3 -  7

t10 other - 11

 

Edge is to Nicklaus so far. Next week's U.S. Open will be Woods's 64th major. Nicklaus won his 64th.

 

And here we have the perfect example of how some folks will never give Tiger his due.  He has more majors at this point in their respective careers so now wins aren't what counts, we have to bring in 2nds and 3rds to support a bias.  This is a preview of what we will see in some quarters if/when Tiger get 18 and then 19.  All of a sudden Jack's 2nd place finishes will assume great importance and override wins.  In some circles.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post


You make some good points. It's not black and white for sure. If you go back far enough you can say Bobby Jones "only" won 7 majors but his amateur titles were very prestigious at the time. And Jack has said you should include US Amateur titles as majors. Then there are questions as to which major is more valuable. Lets say a player won 3 PGA Championships and another 3 US Open Championships. All else being equal, I think many would think the US Open victories would hold more weight.

 

It's an interesting discussion topic but then again I've been told I lack critical thinking skills. a5_crying.gif

 

I bet you cannot name 5 players who played in the US Amateurs or British Amateur of the time without looking it up.  Amateur golf was strong only because of Jones.  It is not as if other Ams were regularly winning the Opens, other than Jones.  The Am wins may have been prestigious, but that is because of social reasons (only "gentlemen" played in the Ams) not for quality of golf reasons.  The US Amateur is probably a lot stronger event now than it was back then, but no one considers it a major any more.

 

If you had said it is not black and white and had not retreated to the 18>14 as the sole criterion argument your critical thinking skills would never have been questioned.

 

I think you make a good point about value of majors, but I look at it more in the sense of diversity of majors than saying any particular major is more valuable than another.  I would put a guy who has won 3 different majors one time each (trivia question: without looking it up who is the only golfer who has won 3 different majors one time each - disclaimer: I only know it because I did look it up), or one major twice and a different major once over a Hale Irwin  or a Jimmy Demaret, who each won one major three times.  Similarly I would put Trevino ahead of Faldo since, although they both have 6 majors,  Trevino won 3 different majors while Faldo only won 2 different majors. And I put the guys with career grand slams at the top of the pile no matter how their totals compare to those without the career grand slam.  Except for the guys who never had the opportunity to play them all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by x129 View Post

Isn't 14>13? 

 

I am curious does any one factor in nonPGA/major wins into the discussion? Do Tiger and Seve get any credit for the Euro wins? Does Tiger get any WGC? What about Jack for the WSOG or any senior events? I wonder where a guy like Rory would be ranked if he had like 18 majors (so we don't have to talk about that), 50 PGA wins and 50 Euro wins?  Is that better or worse than having 73 PGA wins? 

 

 

No,  It is the new math.  In certain circumstances 13>14.  LOL.  Brocks did a good job addressing the PGA vs. Euro wins issue so I won't address that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brocks View Post


Actually Rory will have his hands full just catching Tiger for Euro wins, since Tiger is third all-time with 38, and only needs four more to tie Langer for second. Seve is first with 50, and I wouldn't bet against Tiger breaking that record, too.
But the point turtleback is trying to make is that you can't just look at the numbers; you have to go deeper. The answer to your question about Euro wins is, "It depends." A Euro event today can match or even exceed the field strength of a PGA event played the same week. That was rarely, if ever, the case in Seve's day.
The British Open today may be the toughest event of the year, when you combine factors like field strength, weather conditions, and media pressure. In Jack's day, it probably had a weaker field than half of the regular PGA events, and just after WW II, when Hogan and Snead won their Opens, it was extremely weak. You could make a case for each of Hagen's British Open titles being worth two of Jack's, and three of Snead's. Or, you could make a case for each of his Western Open titles being a major.
It will be nice if Tiger gets to 18 majors, because then we can judge all future players against him, and we'll have an objective measure of field strength (the OWGR) to do it with. It would take a lot of work to figure out the field strength for most of Jack's events.

 

Thanks, I can always count on you to "get it".

 

One minor quibble:  The OWGR is really a relative ranking system, so it is no better suited to comparing strength of field over different time periods than analysis and judgment is.  But it does make it easier to compare strength of field between different tours (e.g., PGA Tour vs. EuroTour) within the same time frame. 

 

It would be interesting to see a compilation of total World Ranking Points earned over a career.  Maybe that will become the successor to majors as the measure of career greatness.  At least among those who insist on a single number. 

post #3099 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

Yes, but if Woods fails to win next week, 14=14. Then there are the 2nds and 3rds. The majors factor in this thread has been built around wins. If that is the only thing that counts in major championships, anything other than a win essentially might just as well have been an MC. My argument is that performance in majors other than wins counts for something, too. 

 

I heard Brandel (I think) say that Woods only has to win one of the next nine majors to be on Jack's pace.

 

I think he may have been going by age, though, not majors played in.

post #3100 of 4659

It would be nice to have a single number, but I find it VERY difficult to decide who is better when you are dealing with eras.  Are we to assume that Tiger is superior to Niklaus or Hogan when Tiger has high speed cameras analyze every part of his swing not to mention the scientific breakthroughs with clubs and balls?  It would honestly be like saying Sam Huff (Linebacker for NY Giants in 1956) is nothing compared to Lawrence Taylor.  The two cannot be compared.  Technology changed, equipment changed, the GAME changed.

 

Golf from the era of Palmer and Niklaus is COMPLETELY different compared to the modern game.  Whether we like it or not, there cannot be a definitive answer as to who is better.

post #3101 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

One minor quibble:  The OWGR is really a relative ranking system, so it is no better suited to comparing strength of field over different time periods than analysis and judgment is.  But it does make it easier to compare strength of field between different tours (e.g., PGA Tour vs. EuroTour) within the same time frame

Absolutely right, but I think that any discussion of all-time greats would be very short if you didn't make the tacit assumption that you will ignore the general improvement over time (although I refuse to ignore obvious aberrations, like the war-depleted fields of 1945). I guess it's a mistake to overestimate common sense among golf fans, but I really find it hard to believe that anyone would argue that the fields Bobby Jones faced, even in the Opens, had anything close to the strength of the fields in Jack's day, let alone Tiger's.

I do get a kick out of people who say in one breath that Tiger will never dominate again because the fields have suddenly become much stronger since 2009, but also maintain that there was no change, or even that they got weaker, between 1970 and 2000. But then, you should never expect rigorous logic in religious discussions.

You can get some idea of the comparative size of the talent pools from the number of entrants in the US Open. They had a guy from the USGA on TGC a few days ago, and he gave some interesting numbers. He said that when Bobby Jones won his first US Open in 1923, it caused a tremendous increase in interest and the number of entries, so that 1924 was the first year they needed to have off-site qualifying to handle the whopping 360 total entrants. From 1913 till then, all they needed to get the field down to 150 or less was a day or two of on-site qualifying, and before 1913, you just showed up and played.

The first year they had over 1000 total entrants was 1928; the first year they had over 3000 was 1968; over 5000 in 1982; and over 9000 in 2005. I'm not sure whether the handicap requirements were the same all those years, but he said they were strongly considering tightening up the present restrictions to keep it manageable, so I wouldn't be surprised if they had done it before.
post #3102 of 4659

Bobby Jones could only play against the people who showed up. I read this comment from Francis Ouimet some years ago, about playing against Jones in his prime. Ouimet said,

 

"I played a creditable game in the 1920s, but when I played against Jones he gave me two holes a side and still beat me. You have no idea how good he was!"

post #3103 of 4659

So here's the record after 64 major championships apiece:

 

 

 

Nicklaus:

1 - 14

2 - 10

3 -  7

top 10 other - 11

 

Woods:

1 -14

2 -  6

3 -  3

top 10 other -  12

 

 

 

 

post #3104 of 4659

Jack gets extra credit for 2nd and 3rd place finishes in majors.  Tiger gets criticized.

post #3105 of 4659

I really do not understand why people put all the weight on this topic on the majors. A typical golfer plays 20-25 events a year, with 4 of them being majors. So basically, in just considering major performance we are saying that 80% of their competitive playing career does not matter.

 

A guy could win 5 WGC events playing against 48 of the top 50 in the world, but they mean nothing. However, he could win the Masters against virtually the same guys and it means everything. Yes I know that major pressure is greater than a regular tour event and should be given a higher weight, but the other wins have to count for something.

 

When determining who the greatest of all time is in any sport, you have to take into account their entire career, not just major performance, not just performance in the playoffs, etc.

post #3106 of 4659

I don't think anyone is counting majors ONLY. I think if Tiger had 14 majors and 25 regular PGA Tour victories he wouldn't be nearly as well regarded as he is with 14 and 73.

post #3107 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh531 View Post

It would be nice to have a single number, but I find it VERY difficult to decide who is better when you are dealing with eras.  Are we to assume that Tiger is superior to Niklaus or Hogan when Tiger has high speed cameras analyze every part of his swing not to mention the scientific breakthroughs with clubs and balls?  It would honestly be like saying Sam Huff (Linebacker for NY Giants in 1956) is nothing compared to Lawrence Taylor.  The two cannot be compared.  Technology changed, equipment changed, the GAME changed.

 

Golf from the era of Palmer and Niklaus is COMPLETELY different compared to the modern game.  Whether we like it or not, there cannot be a definitive answer as to who is better.

 

You basically answered the question without knowing it but there is a definitive answer.  TIGER WOODS IS THE GREATEST GOLFER OF ALL TIME PERIOD!!!  For now that is.....that is because Tiger is playing right now and as my Exercise Science coach in college said "The greatest player to play every sport is playing right now because that is simply the evolution of the athlete."  And this is true because of the evolution of the athlete has not hit a plateau because athletes continually have increased in size, agility, and speed and therefore each generation is superior to the next. Until this plateau happens the current generation is always going to be better than the next because even the average athlete is better so the great ones are really really great.  Therefore it is much more difficult to win today than it ever has been. 

 

The very first sport that will show this plateau will be 100M sprinters because they are quickly approaching what is believed to be the fastest time that is humanly possible.  No one questions whether or not Usain Bolt would beat Carl Lewis in a race because we already know the answer no matter if Carl Lewis won more races against lesser competition.  If you think that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever you are very sadly mistaken because that torch was passed to Kobe Bryant, and is being passed to LeBron as we speak/type.  LeBron James is the same size as Karly Malone....WHO WAS A CENTER.....and that is who M.J. would have to deal with....only he is just as fast, just as quick, and every bit as athletic.  No contest....Jim Brown is another one who for some reason believes that he would dominate today's NFL.  Jim Brown's size and speed at his time don't even register on the meter compared to today's athlete and they didn't even train in the offseason back then.  

 

Back to golf now...when Tiger dominated...no one else was even close, and that wasn't even that long ago. He hit it further, and was more athletic than everyone by a long shot.  Now there are many many golfers that hit it further than he did and are just as athletic (Dustin Johnson is a pure athlete that happens to play golf) . It will happen again as it always does in sport.....there will be another freak of nature that comes along that hits just as far as Bubba, puts it in the fairway a high percentage of the time, with the short game of Tiger in his prime, and that same mental tenacity and toughness that Tiger brought.  And he will dominate golf and run up a bunch of majors and approach Tiger and Jack in the number of majors and this conversation will begin all over again. 

 

Such is sport


Edited by Righty to Lefty - 6/23/12 at 3:38pm
post #3108 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I don't think anyone is counting majors ONLY. I think if Tiger had 14 majors and 25 regular PGA Tour victories he wouldn't be nearly as well regarded as he is with 14 and 73.

 

I guess my reply was in response to the folks that say Tiger will never be considered the greatest unless he gets to 19 majors. To them it is as clear cut as that - he needs to get to 19. It is not just folks on this forum, but professional golf writers and analysts as well. I just do not understand this line of thinking.

 

Tiger is already going to finish his career with a greater margin of victory average, more/longer cut streaks, greater winning percentage, and more Vardon trophies. He is 1 win away from surpassing Jack out right for number two all time in PGA tour victories and is currently third all time in European Tour victories.

 

We can't see into the future, but it is not unrealistic to think that over the next 10-15 years he could end up with 20+ more PGA Tour victories. Heck, he averaged close to 6 a year for over a decade and has 2 only half way through this season. Imagine, you take the person who is considered the greatest of all time (Jack) and add 20+ victories on top of his career total (nearly Johnny Miller's entire career). However, to the "he needs 19" crowd, if his major total ends at 17, all of these other accomplishments are really irrelevant and Tiger will have to settle for #2 on the list.

 

I believe greatest player of all time and greatest major champion of all time, while intertwined, can be two separate things.

post #3109 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I don't think anyone is counting majors ONLY. I think if Tiger had 14 majors and 25 regular PGA Tour victories he wouldn't be nearly as well regarded as he is with 14 and 73.

The impression I get from this thread is that for many posters the number of major victories is all that matters. I keep reading it over and over, that if Tiger wins 19 majors, that means he is better than Nicklaus. I don't agree with that position at all, but if majors is even the chief factor, we should be taking a more expansive view of the matter.

 

I know you were just making a point, but 14 majors and only 25 PGA wins total would be a rather odd résumé.

post #3110 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

The impression I get from this thread is that for many posters the number of major victories is all that matters. I keep reading it over and over, that if Tiger wins 19 majors, that means he is better than Nicklaus. I don't agree with that position at all, but if majors is even the chief factor, we should be taking a more expansive view of the matter.

Perhaps they're saying that because even several years ago, five more major victories would also have bumped Tiger past Jack's PGA Tour win total too, so there's no sense talking about that.
post #3111 of 4659

I was not around to see Jack play, but after seeing the pure dominence Tiger has displayed in his era I would have to say Tiger is the greatest. Tiger has won over 27% of the tournaments he has played in, including winning 53% of the tournaments he played in in 2006. While Jack only won 14% of the tournaments he played in.

post #3112 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connorgolfer96 View Post

I was not around to see Jack play, but after seeing the pure dominence Tiger has displayed in his era I would have to say Tiger is the greatest. Tiger has won over 27% of the tournaments he has played in, including winning 53% of the tournaments he played in in 2006. While Jack only won 14% of the tournaments he played in.

I'm not sure where you got the 14%, but if you're looking at Jack's whole career, that's not really fair, since he played till he was over 60.

It's more work than it should be to get his exact percentages, because most compilations of his record include unofficial events, and some exclude the British Open (which was not sanctioned by the PGA during Jack's prime). His own website lists two different figures for the number of events played in most years. But using the lower numbers (which is the most favorable to him when calculating his win percentage), he won 15.8% of his events through 1986, his last winning year.

As you indicated, Tiger's winning percentage to date is 27.3%. At the time he hit the fire hydrant, it was 29.7%.

To try to make it more apples to apples, Jack's winning percentage was 19.55% through 1976 (when he was the same age as Tiger is now), and it was 19.26% through 1974 (when he had played as many events as Tiger has to date). He never reached 20% at the end of any year in his career.

It's notable that Tiger's winning percentage is not only the highest (by far) of anyone who played over 100 PGA events, but that he compiled it against the toughest fields in history. He typically plays only majors, WGCs, and elite invitationals, with a few exceptions to keep his sponsors or the Tour happy. The old Buick Open had a weak field, and he played Fall Finish events to get his card in 1996, but I think it's safe to say that his overall strength of schedule is second to none.
post #3113 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by brocks View Post
As you indicated, Tiger's winning percentage to date is 27.3%. At the time he hit the fire hydrant, it was 29.7%.
To try to make it more apples to apples, Jack's winning percentage was 19.55% through 1976 (when he was the same age as Tiger is now), and it was 19.26% through 1974 (when he had played as many events as Tiger has to date). He never reached 20% at the end of any year in his career. It's notable that Tiger's winning percentage is not only the highest (by far) of anyone who played over 100 PGA events,

 

in my opinion, the percentage of wins is what makes tiger the greatest. thats really the only fair way to compare the two. (and also majors)

post #3114 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by plum View Post

 

in my opinion, the percentage of wins is what makes tiger the greatest. thats really the only fair way to compare the two. (and also majors)

 

Bobby Jones won 13/31 majors he played in through the Grand Slam in 1930.  That's 42%.  Is he better than both Jack and Tiger?  Winning percentage is part of the equation, for sure, but it's not the whole equation. 

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