While its tempting to argue strength of field or equipment, etc, the fact remains, major wins and finishes is the hallmark of pro golf, Wins-Jack has 18, Tiger 14. Add the 46 top 3 finishes by Jack and I think the question answers itself.
Additionally remains to be seen if Tiger regains his former self.
Talk to me when Tiger has 18 wins, and a bunch of top 3 finishes. Till then I think Jack remains at the pinnacle of pro golfers.
Unless you think the greatest golfer of all time was Walter Hagen, prior to Jack, then your argument is nonsense. No one in the history of golf has ever been considered the greatest of all time on the basis of the number of majors they won except for Nicklaus. Not one. No one, in the 50s considered Hagen as clearly the GOAT.
See, Erik - there are a lot more of them out there than you think.
Snowfly, what about the guys who played in an era where everyone did NOT gear themselves to peak at the majors? One group are the guys who played prior to Jack who did not even have the chance to play some majors because of travel time/cost (more significant before modern jet travel) and the majors lost to WW2. Another group are contemporaries of Jack's early years when not all of the the majors were held in the high regard you now do. One of the greatest players during Jack's career, Billy Casper, won 50 PGA events but only played in 3 British Opens. And Jack was actually the very first guy to completely build his schedule around the majors, so when he was racking them up it is not true that the pros were all gearing themselves up for the majors. That may be true today but it was NOT true prior to Jack coming on the scene and it was not true for much of Jack's career, even if it might be the case now.
If Jack is truly the GOAT then shouldn't HIS goal be the standard? Or at least the goal he started out with (Snead's number of PGA event wins), since he later changed it when he couldn't reach it. And HIS goal was most PGA victories, NOT most majors. By the time Tiger had come along Jack, with the help of the media, had written off every other possible contender for the GOAT title by insisting that the fairest way of comparing golfers of different generations was their record in majors. But the problem was that this was about the UNFAIREST way of comparing players of different generations because players of different generations had far fewer opportunities to win majors as Nicklaus did. He played 4 majors a year for virtually his whole career, something that no earlier golfer really had the opportunity to do.
So when Tiger adopted that standard for himself he was just acknowledging Jack's success in changing the standard. Now if Tiger was like Jack he would be lobbying for the GOAT to be based on the total number of majors/Players/WGC victories. Yeah I know, Jack didn't have a chance to play many WGCs, but how is that any different from the fact that Hogan didn't get to play anywhere near as many majors as Jack? It is to Tiger's credit that so far he has not tried to follow Jack in trying to influence the media to declare him the GOAT based on some new standard that he just thought up after having already reached it. Because that is EXACTLY what Jack did to get himself labeled as GOAT in the first place.