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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 215

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 #3853 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 
 
I don't think Jack had tougher competition. I think that's an old-timer speaking about "the way things used to be" a little bit.

I think Tiger is the best. But that's if you look at it at this point in their careers. Tiger still has a ways to go and a pace to maintain to keep that title in my eyes.

Jack certainly had tougher competition, and it's provable anytime you want to look at the details.  All the Tour's "deeper field" nonsense (totally pumped by virtually all announcers, players, etc.) is self-interest, since it would be directly against their interests and potentially harmful to profits if they admitted that the competition of any other era were better.  

 

The truth is, the "deep fields" of today simply don't matter.  Take a look at the guys making between $600K and $800K around the #125 spot.  Does it really matter to the legacy of a best-of-generation player like Woods how many guys like this were in the field?  What matters is what the top competition is like, not how deep the money goes to provide a living for players who rarely, if ever, even sniff a win.  And if you want to take Woods' top four competitors against the top four during any part of Nicklaus's prime, or the top five when Hogan was at the top with Snead, bring your money and let's have them play.  I've got Palmer, Player, Trevino, and Casper (check the record before you laugh).  Today, you'd have Scott, Stenson, Rose, and Mickelson.  In 2003, you'd have had Singh, Els, Love, and Furyk.  Fine players, all of them, and I'm a big fan.  But against Jack's top four, in a seven-match series?  On a course where hitting fairways and greens actually matters?  Really?

 

Also:  Look at Woods' record regarding how many times he's won playoffs with pars, or how many times everybody else around the lead completely collapsed during final rounds, leaving him to shoot 70 or 71 to win easily.  His well-known record as a frontrunner, and his equally well-known record as a chaser (as in, he hardly ever wins a major when he's behind going into the final round), is a refelection of just how exceedingly rare it is that anybody else put up a credible challenge to him in the final round of a major.  Idiot announcers often cite the "frontrunner" part of that to pump his image, but the truth is that it's just as much a measure of how his competition just isn't up to the level of what Jack had to face at every major.

post #3854 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Jack certainly had tougher competition, and it's provable anytime you want to look at the details.  All the Tour's "deeper field" nonsense (totally pumped by virtually all announcers, players, etc.) is self-interest, since it would be directly against their interests and potentially harmful to profits if they admitted that the competition of any other era were better.

 

The truth is, the "deep fields" of today simply don't matter.  Take a look at the guys making between $600K and $800K around the #125 spot.  Does it really matter to the legacy of a best-of-generation player like Woods how many guys like this were in the field?  What matters is what the top competition is like, not how deep the money goes to provide a living for players who rarely, if ever, even sniff a win.  And if you want to take Woods' top four competitors against the top four during any part of Nicklaus's prime, or the top five when Hogan was at the top with Snead, bring your money and let's have them play.  I've got Palmer, Player, Trevino, and Casper (check the record before you laugh).  Today, you'd have Scott, Stenson, Rose, and Mickelson.  In 2003, you'd have had Singh, Els, Love, and Furyk.  Fine players, all of them, and I'm a big fan.  But against Jack's top four, in a seven-match series?  On a course where hitting fairways and greens actually matters?  Really?

 

Also:  Look at Woods' record regarding how many times he's won playoffs with pars, or how many times everybody else around the lead completely collapsed during final rounds, leaving him to shoot 70 or 71 to win easily.  His well-known record as a frontrunner, and his equally well-known record as a chaser (as in, he hardly ever wins a major when he's behind going into the final round), is a refelection of just how exceedingly rare it is that anybody else put up a credible challenge to him in the final round of a major.  Idiot announcers often cite the "frontrunner" part of that to pump his image, but the truth is that it's just as much a measure of how his competition just isn't up to the level of what Jack had to face at every major.

Guess you didn't read the entire thread.  If you did you'd have seen the same quote from Jack at least five times where he even admits the fields are tougher today than when he played.  Could he have said that out of modesty or to help pump up the field for one of his tournaments, possibly, but nonetheless he said it.

post #3855 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

Guess you didn't read the entire thread.  If you did you'd have seen the same quote from Jack at least five times where he even admits the fields are tougher today than when he played.  Could he have said that out of modesty or to help pump up the field for one of his tournaments, possibly, but nonetheless he said it.

Shockingly, I didn't read all two-hundred-plus pages of the thread, no.  And I didn't have to, to know what Jack has said about the fields -- which anybody who has been around the game (as I have, as a lower-level playing pro, a teaching pro, and a sportswriter) knows is completely promotional.  Jack is just not the kind of guy who's going to tell you "Yeah, the top competition was way better when I played, so this thing you're seeing today is substandard product, nobody should get all that excited about Tiger's wins, everybody go home."  Just not going to happen no matter how true it is.

 

Besides, what does it matter whatever Jack said about it anyway?  You can do an analysis of competitive rounds, vastly improved conditions, much less penal golf courses (hardly anybody knows this, because most courses are designed now with as much scare value for amateurs as possible, without affecting the difficulty for pros), and equipment that minimizes error and maximizes distances, and you can arrive at a pretty accurate measure of the strength of the field now versus then.  As much as I love Jack Nicklaus, if he says the sun comes up in the west, that doesn't mean it doesn't come up in the east.

 

The question still remains:  Will you take his top four versus Tiger's top four, lay your money down, and have them play a series on a golf courses that actually penalizes bad shots?

 

Incidentally, this is not to diminish Wood's skill or his status as the best player of his generation, not one bit.  Nobody has been more critical of Woods for his appalling behavior both on and off the course, but there is no argument against his best-of-generation status as a scorer and competitor.  He is a tireless practicer, really wants to understand the swing, is a man among boys in terms of mental strength and competitive ability, and maintains all this despite what would be an understandable disregard, almost a contempt, for the rest of the field.

post #3856 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Jack certainly had tougher competition, and it's provable anytime you want to look at the details

 

Nope. If it were provable, people would have proven it by now.

 

It's not a fact. It's an opinion, and as such, since it can't be proven, it will remain an opinion; one held by, among others, Jack Nicklaus.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

The truth is, the "deep fields" of today simply don't matter.  Take a look at the guys making between $600K and $800K around the #125 spot.  Does it really matter to the legacy of a best-of-generation player like Woods how many guys like this were in the field?  What matters is what the top competition is like, not how deep the money goes to provide a living for players who rarely, if ever, even sniff a win.

 

If there are 80 people capable of winning the major being played, then that's far more daunting a task than beating eight, ten, or even twenty other people capable of winning the major. Jack faced far fewer people capable of winning the major than Tiger.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

And if you want to take Woods' top four competitors against the top four during any part of Nicklaus's prime, or the top five when Hogan was at the top with Snead, bring your money and let's have them play.  I've got Palmer, Player, Trevino, and Casper (check the record before you laugh).  Today, you'd have Scott, Stenson, Rose, and Mickelson.  In 2003, you'd have had Singh, Els, Love, and Furyk.  Fine players, all of them, and I'm a big fan.  But against Jack's top four, in a seven-match series?  On a course where hitting fairways and greens actually matters?  Really?

 

I'll take the current guys. :)

 

 

Let me put it to you this way. Let's assume that a "star" player is someone who is rated an A. A "good" player is someone rated like "B" or above.

 

Let's assume 100 players to keep things simple:

 

Jack vs. Tiger A Players B Players C Players D Players E Players
Fields in Jack's Era 5 10 30 30 25
Fields in Modern Era 10 50 38 2 N/A

 

I'm just making this up, but this speaks to the point I and others make: the fields are stronger today. If "C" players are capable of winning a major if the stars align, and "B" players simply need a good week, then in which era is it more difficult to win majors?

 

Let's do something crazy, even, and take the "10" in the modern era and make it a "3" and put the other 7 players wherever you choose. Do you still think that with 50 B players it's easy for the top three to win a bunch of majors?

 

Jack had less competition. In fact, you can name most of them (especially if you prefer to ignore the fact that many of the eras in which they won majors overlap at the edges of Jack's time).

 

Of course the stats (major victories) of Jack's peers are similarly inflated - they too benefited from the weaker fields.

 

Here's more of the foundation to my argument: far fewer people played golf at a high level in the 1960s and 70s. There was a much smaller pool of golfers to pull from. There was less money involved, so there was less training. The average ability of the average player on the PGA Tour is way, way higher now. Rather than pulling from the top 5% of pro golfers (making these percentages up, but you should get the point), we're now filling major championship fields from the top 0.5% of pro golfers. There are just so many more of them, that alone raises the bar, undeniably.

post #3857 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Jack certainly had tougher competition, and it's provable anytime you want to look at the details.  All the Tour's "deeper field" nonsense (totally pumped by virtually all announcers, players, etc.) is self-interest, since it would be directly against their interests and potentially harmful to profits if they admitted that the competition of any other era were better.

 

The truth is, the "deep fields" of today simply don't matter.  Take a look at the guys making between $600K and $800K around the #125 spot.  Does it really matter to the legacy of a best-of-generation player like Woods how many guys like this were in the field?  What matters is what the top competition is like, not how deep the money goes to provide a living for players who rarely, if ever, even sniff a win.  And if you want to take Woods' top four competitors against the top four during any part of Nicklaus's prime, or the top five when Hogan was at the top with Snead, bring your money and let's have them play.  I've got Palmer, Player, Trevino, and Casper (check the record before you laugh).  Today, you'd have Scott, Stenson, Rose, and Mickelson.  In 2003, you'd have had Singh, Els, Love, and Furyk.  Fine players, all of them, and I'm a big fan.  But against Jack's top four, in a seven-match series?  On a course where hitting fairways and greens actually matters?  Really?

 

Also:  Look at Woods' record regarding how many times he's won playoffs with pars, or how many times everybody else around the lead completely collapsed during final rounds, leaving him to shoot 70 or 71 to win easily.  His well-known record as a frontrunner, and his equally well-known record as a chaser (as in, he hardly ever wins a major when he's behind going into the final round), is a refelection of just how exceedingly rare it is that anybody else put up a credible challenge to him in the final round of a major.  Idiot announcers often cite the "frontrunner" part of that to pump his image, but the truth is that it's just as much a measure of how his competition just isn't up to the level of what Jack had to face at every major.

 

Somebody in the room just got Bingo!

 

Today's fields are deeper with talent but, IMO, it is also lacking the competiveness of those days because of the 125 player exemption and the backup of the Web.com Tour, where you can still make hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is very easy to get comfortable with top 10's. Guys back in the day were playing weekly for their livlihood, where even a win didn't guarantee you a card for the next season. You had to finish in the top 60 on the money list to be guaranteed an exemption, for one year. TOP 60!! Monday qualifying was a way of life for many of the guys on the tour if they didn't make the cut on any given week. Q school graduates only got the priivilege to play in the Monday qualifiers. If you didn't have a killer instinct you were gone in a flash.

post #3858 of 4659
Phan52 If you think people are just happy with top 10's then you have never competed in any way in your life.
post #3859 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

Phan52 If you think people are just happy with top 10's then you have never competed in any way in your life.
Do caddie races count?
b2_tongue.gif
post #3860 of 4659
Quote:
Quote:
Today's fields are deeper with talent but, IMO, it is also lacking the competiveness of those days because of the 125 player exemption and the backup of the Web.com Tour, where you can still make hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is very easy to get comfortable with top 10's. Guys back in the day were playing weekly for their livlihood, where even a win didn't guarantee you a card for the next season. You had to finish in the top 60 on the money list to be guaranteed an exemption, for one year. TOP 60!! Monday qualifying was a way of life for many of the guys on the tour if they didn't make the cut on any given week. Q school graduates only got the priivilege to play in the Monday qualifiers. If you didn't have a killer instinct you were gone in a flash.
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

Phan52 If you think people are just happy with top 10's then you have never competed in any way in your life.

 

Thanks dude, as if you have any idea about who I am and what I have ever competed for. Just speak for yourself iin that regard, thank you.

 

The Tour today encourages it. As David Gould said, today's tour is "fairway socialism and a gravy train for marginal players." They get to set up their schedule way in advance, get proper rest, never have to worry about where they will practice, and probably never heard of the term "rabbit". Even guys who just got their card can map out their early schedule without worry. Making cuts and gaining enough top 10's assures them of their cushy lifestyle.

post #3861 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

Thanks dude, as if you have any idea about who I am and what I have ever competed for. Just speak for yourself iin that regard, thank you.

 

The Tour today encourages it. As David Gould said, today's tour is "fairway socialism and a gravy train for marginal players." They get to set up their schedule way in advance, get proper rest, never have to worry about where they will practice, and probably never heard of the term "rabbit". Even guys who just got their card can map out their early schedule without worry. Making cuts and gaining enough top 10's assures them of their cushy lifestyle.

 

At this point it probably behooves everyone to state that the above is your opinion, and nothing more.

 

You routinely get into trouble when you keep stating your opinion as if it's fact, and I'll caution you against that here, particularly since you have no real insight into what the top players (or even those ranked around 100th) feel or think about playing, competing to win, etc.

post #3862 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

At this point it probably behooves everyone to state that the above is your opinion, and nothing more.

 

You routinely get into trouble when you keep stating your opinion as if it's fact, and I'll caution you against that here, particularly since you have no real insight into what the top players (or even those ranked around 100th) feel or think about playing, competing to win, etc.

 

I have stated multiple times that it is my opinion.  But you have zero knowledge of my insight, as you have zero knowedge about who I know and who I talk to on that level. And besides that, I have also heard players being interviewed talk many times about how inportant top 10's are for them to keep their status. They talk about it all the time.

post #3863 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

 

Today's fields are deeper with talent but, IMO, it is also lacking the competiveness of those days because of the 125 player exemption and the backup of the Web.com Tour, where you can still make hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is very easy to get comfortable with top 10's. Guys back in the day were playing weekly for their livlihood, where even a win didn't guarantee you a card for the next season. You had to finish in the top 60 on the money list to be guaranteed an exemption, for one year. TOP 60!! Monday qualifying was a way of life for many of the guys on the tour if they didn't make the cut on any given week. Q school graduates only got the priivilege to play in the Monday qualifiers. If you didn't have a killer instinct you were gone in a flash.

I agree with you that players of today make a better living than Jack's day.  Who wouldn't?  That isn't really even debatable.  However, I disagree that you can use that as any kind of barometer of field strength or depth.  It's not like they aren't trying to win.  And I could just as easily make the counter-argument that not having the stress of playing for food actually makes you play better, so the fields - because the players don't have any worries other than the shot at hand - are actually STRONGER because of that.**

 

Think about playing in a scramble and you're the last guy to hit a tee-shot.  Are you more likely to crank one long and down the middle after all 3 of your playing partners just sliced theirs OB, or after one of them is already safely in the fairway?

 

**  I'm NOT making that argument - My opinion is that it's a non-factor - but I think that argument is equally as valid as yours.

post #3864 of 4659
So phan52 who are you talking about? Do you think guys in the top 50 really go into events hoping for a top ten? If you are talking about guys ranked 150-200 then I can see what your saying.
post #3865 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

So phan52 who are you talking about? Do you think guys in the top 50 really go into events hoping for a top ten? If you are talking about guys ranked 150-200 then I can see what your saying.

Yeah, but even if they are hoping for a top ten or happy with a top ten, it's not like they try LESS hard to win.  That's silly.  They are all competitors.  They always have been and they always will be.  They will do anything they can for a higher finish or a win every time out.

post #3866 of 4659

Until Tiger calls it a career and the numbers are official and on paper, Jack Nicklaus is the best. You can state the fact that the golfers of today are trained better, better athletes, better equipment etc... but the fact remains that everyone from Jack's era as well as everyone from Tiger's era are at the same levels for their respected periods. You can't say of Jack was better because he trained more than everybody and was coached better because the competition of those days.....let me put it this way. If you take the guys of today, give them the clubs, training and everything else that was available in 1975 and put them in 1975, how on earth can anyone say that they would be better than who Jack had to play against. A lot of these guys couldn't swing a 1 iron...but Jack could! And most others from that time too. It's not like Jack was using a 460 degree driver head and the others weren't....

 

My father is the all time club champion at my local golf club. He won an unprecedented 9 times. When he passed away, we decided to have a tournament in his honor to raise money for kids who couldn't afford to play local sports.Long story short, this guy comes up to my bros. and I and says "I bet your Dad won all of his championships when the golf course was only a 9 hole course, he never won when it was an 18" Though true, I let him know that whether he was on a 9 hole course or an 18, he still beat the guys he was going to beat, on the same course, with the same equipment, didn't matter how many holes the course was. (They would play the 9 hole course twice)

 

It's like saying the Montreal Canadiens won 24 Stanley Cups. Fact is, they won most of them when the NHL only had 6 teams. So, do you say Montreal won 24 cups or they won them because....see my point? 

post #3867 of 4659
That's my point golfingdad. Its not like the guys in the wgc events go there for a top ten. They all want/expect to win.
post #3868 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

I have stated multiple times that it is my opinion. But you have zero knowledge of my insight, as you have zero knowedge about who I know and who I talk to on that level. And besides that, I have also heard players being interviewed talk many times about how inportant top 10's are for them to keep their status. They talk about it all the time.

 

I've talked to hundreds of PGA Tour players, and they all want to win more than ever. So I too can say "You have zero knowledge of my insight." <sarcasm>See how fun this game is? We could go on forever!</sarcasm>

 

I'd typed out a whole lot more, but I'm reminded that you're the same person who was "right" about Merion being a lousy host course, despite a BUNCH of people saying otherwise (people with plenty of first-hand experience), so we've all been down this path with you, the "I know stuff I can't tell you so my opinion is what it is because I said so." Nobody can challenge you because you just play the "you have zero knowledge of my insight" card.

 

So I've decided not to waste my time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrodeur86 View Post
 

but the fact remains that everyone from Jack's era as well as everyone from Tiger's era are at the same levels for their respected periods.

 

Many feel the levels of the other players in Jack's era was lower than the levels of the competition today, in Tiger's era.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrodeur86 View Post
 

It's like saying the Montreal Canadiens won 24 Stanley Cups. Fact is, they won most of them when the NHL only had 6 teams. So, do you say Montreal won 24 cups or they won them because....see my point?

 

Many people do in fact discount many of their Stanley Cups. It's easier to be the best team out of six than out of 20+.

post #3869 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

So phan52 who are you talking about? Do you think guys in the top 50 really go into events hoping for a top ten? If you are talking about guys ranked 150-200 then I can see what your saying.

 

Well, that is exactly what I am saying. The guys in the top 50 assuredly have expectations but, again, even for them there are other factors. Staying in the top 50 gets them further privileges (exemptions in to Majors, for example), as does getting in the top 30, and so on. The rankings gets them bonuses from their sponsors. For players on the PGA Tour today there are so many perks for where they are ranked that it has to be a part of their thinking every week, in my opinion.

post #3870 of 4659
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

 

Thanks dude, as if you have any idea about who I am and what I have ever competed for. Just speak for yourself iin that regard, thank you.

 

The Tour today encourages it. As David Gould said, today's tour is "fairway socialism and a gravy train for marginal players." They get to set up their schedule way in advance, get proper rest, never have to worry about where they will practice, and probably never heard of the term "rabbit". Even guys who just got their card can map out their early schedule without worry. Making cuts and gaining enough top 10's assures them of their cushy lifestyle.

Professional Football, Baseball, Soccer and Hockey players make a lot more money now than they did before. They have a lot more resources available to them as well.  Are they not as good players and athletes as before because of the better salaries?  I think this logic is the opposite of reality.

 

When more money is involved, the sport becomes more competitive. Today's players are fighting a much larger field of competitors because of the money available.

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