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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 251

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

 
  • 69% (1634)
    Tiger Woods is the man
  • 30% (717)
    Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
2351 Total Votes  
post #4501 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

newtogolf, isn't the pro Tiger argument that we are debating here that in Jack's day the field included a bunch of club pros who had no chance of winning any major while in Tiger's day virtually anyone could win? I swear that is the argument being made. 

What am I missing? 

Yes, that is the argument in my opinion, since that is the only reason anyone would brain up club pros of jacks time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

No idea.  But I got into the office a little early today and was curious so this is what I came up with:

I took the entire stretch of Tiger's majors (1997 through 2008), and compared it to a similar stretch of Jacks (1962 through 1975).  To make it a little more even, I omitted 1968 and 1969 from Jack's side; two years in which he didn't win any majors.  That left me with a 12 year stretch for each of them, in which they both won 14 majors and they both lost 34 majors.  I wrote down all of the other major winners over that span to see how many different winners there were.  The hypothesis would be that there should be more unique winners during Tiger's stretch than during Jack's stretch since we know that the field is stronger.

In Jack's case, there were 24 unique winners of those 34 majors, and in Tiger's case there were 25 unique winners.

Soooooo .... my hypothesis seems to be false.  If more players are CAPABLE of winning now then shouldn't more players ACTUALLY be winning as well?

For the record:  If I added Jack's two drought years back into the total and then added two years to Tiger's total to even out the numbers, it starts to skew a little bit in Tiger's favor.  Adding '68 and '69 gives us 4 more unique major winners in Jacks 14 year span, bringing the total to 28, and adding '95 and '96 to Tigers span gives us 8 more unique winners, 33 total.  Or adding '09 and '10 to Tigers span would give us 6 more unique winners (31 total).  Splitting the difference and adding '96 and '09 gives us 7 (32 total).

Anywhos ... thoughts???

Bibliography:  Wiki-fricken-pedia. b2_tongue.gif

You have a lot of time at work ;)

That was the assumption that was being made and the numbers you have prove that assumption wrong in my opinion!

When we talk about who are the best 20 of all time, how many do we mention from jacks era and around it and how many do we mention from tigers era and around it?

I really don't care about the no names and the ones that win once every blue moon... I care about the guys that put their fingerprint on the map of golf, like jack did and like tiger did! That is where the conversation should be and not what are the chances of the 120th player of the field at winning... That "regular joe" at the open, did he have a chance?? (Yeah, I don't want to talk about him either). ;)
post #4502 of 4678

I'm with you, Abu. The lower ranked guys in the field rarely won when jack played, although they did win golf's majors some of the time. The lower ranked guys rarely win majors in Tiger's time, although they do win some of the time there too. 

 

I could list the 5 biggest outliers in the Tiger era and find 5 outliers just as big in Jack's era. That is if you make how many wins they have the primary criteria. They say anyone can win today, but the guys that have won are either very high end guys or the few not so high end guys that by any objective measuring stick are no better than similar guys from Jack's era. 

post #4503 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

No idea.  But I got into the office a little early today and was curious so this is what I came up with:

I took the entire stretch of Tiger's majors (1997 through 2008), and compared it to a similar stretch of Jacks (1962 through 1975).  To make it a little more even, I omitted 1968 and 1969 from Jack's side; two years in which he didn't win any majors.  That left me with a 12 year stretch for each of them, in which they both won 14 majors and they both lost 34 majors.  I wrote down all of the other major winners over that span to see how many different winners there were.  The hypothesis would be that there should be more unique winners during Tiger's stretch than during Jack's stretch since we know that the field is stronger.

In Jack's case, there were 24 unique winners of those 34 majors, and in Tiger's case there were 25 unique winners.

Soooooo .... my hypothesis seems to be false.  If more players are CAPABLE of winning now then shouldn't more players ACTUALLY be winning as well?

I had thought a while ago about doing something along those lines, but I could never convince myself that the results would be particularly useful.

First, there are only so many events. 4 majors a year isn't a lot of data at all.

Second, the actual act of winning a golf tournament involves a lot of luck and randomness. One thing I learned when I did the analysis of Z-scores last year to look at the POTY race was that the winner is often not the player who played the best. Sometimes a guy who finishes 10th actually played better than the winner by that metric, and quite often the actual tournament winner will finish 2nd or 3rd in Z-score.

I think any analysis with that little data and that much reliance on winning is a bit flimsy.
post #4504 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post


When we talk about who are the best 20 of all time, how many do we mention from jacks era and around it and how many do we mention from tigers era and around it?

This part of the argument doesn't interest me because there is nothing objective about it.  It's about nostalgia and romanticism, as well as comparing guys who have had full careers with guys who are still playing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


I had thought a while ago about doing something along those lines, but I could never convince myself that the results would be particularly useful.

First, there are only so many events. 4 majors a year isn't a lot of data at all.

Second, the actual act of winning a golf tournament involves a lot of luck and randomness. One thing I learned when I did the analysis of Z-scores last year to look at the POTY race was that the winner is often not the player who played the best. Sometimes a guy who finishes 10th actually played better than the winner by that metric, and quite often the actual tournament winner will finish 2nd or 3rd in Z-score.

I think any analysis with that little data and that much reliance on winning is a bit flimsy.

I hear ya.  OK, maybe then a similar analysis could be performed on those same 48 majors, however, instead of just comparing the winners, we look at it a little more comprehensively.  Since Tiger and Jack didn't finish in second every single time they didn't win, perhaps the comparison should be made between the quantity of unique guys that finished ahead of them in each major they lost, instead of just the winners.

post #4505 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

This part of the argument doesn't interest me because there is nothing objective about it.  It's about nostalgia and romanticism, as well as comparing guys who have had full careers with guys who are still playing.

Well, we can always list the next best 9 players in jacks era and the next 9 best players from tigers era.. Then put both lists side by side, and let us see who we would give the nod to from 2-10 excluding jack and tiger.. We can consider them square if you like.. The way I see it, if more players from tigers era are given the nod then obviously tiger has stiffer competition, and if it is the other way around, well you get the picture!

I would do it, but I would rather someone who knows more about the golfers than my self! Anyone up to it? I feel like jacks era might run away with this one, but can't be certain!
post #4506 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

Well, we can always list the next best 9 players in jacks era and the next 9 best players from tigers era.. Then put both lists side by side, and let us see who we would give the nod to from 2-10 excluding jack and tiger.. We can consider them square if you like.. The way I see it, if more players from tigers era are given the nod then obviously tiger has stiffer competition, and if it is the other way around, well you get the picture!

 

That would be a pointless exercise.

 

If Jack played in an era with 5 As, 10 Bs, and a shitload of C players, while Tiger played in an era of 15 As, 150 Bs, and virtually no Cs qualified for the PGA Tour or major events, the careers of ALL of the As and Bs in the first group will appear to be better.

 

They too played against the weaker competition!

 

And as has been pointed out several times now, Jack Nicklaus agrees. He's said a few times that the guys who are just middling PGA Tour players these days would have been stars in his day.

 

Now, that alone doesn't mean that Jack wasn't better than Tiger… you can only beat the guys who play against you, after all. But it starts to paint a picture…

post #4507 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

This part of the argument doesn't interest me because there is nothing objective about it.  It's about nostalgia and romanticism, as well as comparing guys who have had full careers with guys who are still playing.

 

I hear ya.  OK, maybe then a similar analysis could be performed on those same 48 majors, however, instead of just comparing the winners, we look at it a little more comprehensively.  Since Tiger and Jack didn't finish in second every single time they didn't win, perhaps the comparison should be made between the quantity of unique guys that finished ahead of them in each major they lost, instead of just the winners.

 

 

I think we run the risk of over thinking this. Let me explain. Tiger beat Phil by several strokes to win the 2002 US Open. He was never threatened on Sunday and many at the time said he won easily. By contrast, Tiger needed a playoff to beat both Rocco Mediate in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines and, similarly, to beat Bob may at the PGA held at Valhalla. Does this mean that May and Mediate are tougher than Mickelson? I don't think it does. It just means they were the hot players that week, and that is who Tiger had to beat.

 

The same thing happened with Jack. He beats Arnie by 4 strokes to win the 1967 US Open, and in his next major victory he needs a playoff to defeat Doug Sanders. Palmer is the better player compared to Sanders. That can't be argued reasonably. But beating Sanders in 1970 was indeed the bigger struggle than beating Palmer in 1967 for Jack. 

 

In the end does it really matter who was there opposite Tiger or Jack? Didn't they still have to win to get that major on their resume? Does it matter who, or does it matter how much, meaning the final score? There is a reason the runner up's name isn't on the trophy. 

post #4508 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

And as has been pointed out several times now, Jack Nicklaus agrees. He's said a few times that the guys who are just middling PGA Tour players these days would have been stars in his day.

 

Now, that alone doesn't mean that Jack wasn't better than Tiger… you can only beat the guys who play against you, after all. But it starts to paint a picture…

 

 

Jack is very smart to say that. The media hounds those that pump their own chests or their own side of the debate while heaping praise on the humble and modest. BTW, and this needs to be added for context, the guys of today would have to accomplish this feat using the old equipment. No way of knowing how they'd play with that equipment and long grasses due to greens not being cut so slick as they are cut today. 

post #4509 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

 

 

I think we run the risk of over thinking this.

 



Run the risk? Think that threshold was crossed about 249 pages ago. ;)
post #4510 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

The field is far, far deeper than 25 now. Virtually anyone who qualifies can win.

 

 

Erik, who are the 5 best examples of "anyone" winning a major during the Tiger era. I know who I would choose, but what is your take on who these players are. 

post #4511 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunther View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

 

 

I think we run the risk of over thinking this.

 



Run the risk? Think that threshold was crossed about 249 pages ago. ;)

 

 

Touche!

post #4512 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

I think we run the risk of over thinking this. Let me explain. Tiger beat Phil by several strokes to win the 2002 US Open. He was never threatened on Sunday and many at the time said he won easily. By contrast, Tiger needed a playoff to beat both Rocco Mediate in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines and, similarly, to beat Bob may at the PGA held at Valhalla. Does this mean that May and Mediate are tougher than Mickelson? I don't think it does. It just means they were the hot players that week, and that is who Tiger had to beat.

 

The same thing happened with Jack. He beats Arnie by 4 strokes to win the 1967 US Open, and in his next major victory he needs a playoff to defeat Doug Sanders. Palmer is the better player compared to Sanders. That can't be argued reasonably. But beating Sanders in 1970 was indeed the bigger struggle than beating Palmer in 1967 for Jack.

 

In the end does it really matter who was there opposite Tiger or Jack? Didn't they still have to win to get that major on their resume? Does it matter who, or does it matter how much, meaning the final score? There is a reason the runner up's name isn't on the trophy.

I think you are misinterpreting what I was saying.  I don't care how many strokes they lost by or won by, and it doesn't even matter specifically who was ahead of them in the end.  What does matter (in my little theory here) is how many different guys were ahead of them each time.  Take the sentence I bolded above.  I completely agree with that.  But what my little experiment might show is that there was a larger pool of "hot players that week" during Tigers run than during Jacks run.  If true, then Jack would have had an easier time getting his pool of 20 (just making numbers up) to all have bad or mediocre weeks at the same time than would Tiger and his pool of 100.  He would have a much harder time winning with less than his best than would've Jack.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunther View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

I think we run the risk of over thinking this.

 

Run the risk? Think that threshold was crossed about 249 pages ago. ;)

LOL, amen to that.

post #4513 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

That would be a pointless exercise.

If Jack played in an era with 5 As, 10 Bs, and a shitload of C players, while Tiger played in an era of 15 As, 150 Bs, and virtually no Cs qualified for the PGA Tour or major events, the careers of ALL of the As and Bs in the first group will appear to be better.

They too played against the weaker competition!

And as has been pointed out several times now, Jack Nicklaus agrees. He's said a few times that the guys who are just middling PGA Tour players these days would have been stars in his day.

Now, that alone doesn't mean that Jack wasn't better than Tiger… you can only beat the guys who play against you, after all. But it starts to paint a picture…

Maybe it is a pointless exercise the way you are thinking about it.. What I am trying to show is that who are the best players that would be giving each of the golfers a run for their money in winning!

I mentioned in earlier posts that I don't care about the no name players.. Also, I don't car about the players that strike lightning in a bottle, If you want them categorized then I don't care about B or C players.. I only want to compare the A players in each era against each other!

Anyway, it was just a suggestion.. Maybe someday I'll undertake it for fun!
post #4514 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

I think you are misinterpreting what I was saying.  I don't care how many strokes they lost by or won by, and it doesn't even matter specifically who was ahead of them in the end.  What does matter (in my little theory here) is how many different guys were ahead of them each time.  Take the sentence I bolded above.  I completely agree with that.  But what my little experiment might show is that there was a larger pool of "hot players that week" during Tigers run than during Jacks run.  If true, then Jack would have had an easier time getting his pool of 20 (just making numbers up) to all have bad or mediocre weeks at the same time than would Tiger and his pool of 100.  He would have a much harder time winning with less than his best than would've Jack.

 

LOL, amen to that.

 

 

 

I think it is impossible to quantify what you are suggesting. I think all you can do is look at the actual results and try to draw some conclusions from them. Erik stated that anyone in the field can win. In theory this is correct, but this would be correct, in theory, ay any time. So all you can do is look at the actual results and see who actually did win. Then you can ask yourself what those results actually imply, if anything.

 

I think I can make a strong case that for every back of the field guy that actually won a major during Tiger's run, using objective standards I can find a similar player in Jack's era.

 

I think part of the pro Tiger thesis is that equipment is better, golf course management is better, so it naturally follows that players are better. To me that does not make it any easier or harder to win. Winning is about finding some difference, some edge, or just being plain better than the next best guy. In Tiger's 14 major wins he was that guy, but in his losses he was not. Same for jack in his 18 wins, and same in his losses. Both of them not only had to beat 1 player, but 10 or 20 or 30 players. The hardest guys to beat weren't the guys that missed the cut, or even those that came in 47th. They were the guys closest to the top of the leader board. I believe that those guys look remarkably similar in terms of accomplishment in each era.

post #4515 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post



I think it is impossible to quantify what you are suggesting. I think all you can do is look at the actual results and try to draw some conclusions from them. Erik stated that anyone in the field can win. In theory this is correct, but this would be correct, in theory, ay any time. So all you can do is look at the actual results and see who actually did win. Then you can ask yourself what those results actually imply, if anything.

I think I can make a strong case that for every back of the field guy that actually won a major during Tiger's run, using objective standards I can find a similar player in Jack's era.

I think part of the pro Tiger thesis is that equipment is better, golf course management is better, so it naturally follows that players are better. To me that does not make it any easier or harder to win. Winning is about finding some difference, some edge, or just being plain better than the next best guy. In Tiger's 14 major wins he was that guy, but in his losses he was not. Same for jack in his 18 wins, and same in his losses. Both of them not only had to beat 1 player, but 10 or 20 or 30 players. The hardest guys to beat weren't the guys that missed the cut, or even those that came in 47th. They were the guys closest to the top of the leader board. I believe that those guys look remarkably similar in terms of accomplishment in each era.

The strength of field argument needs a metric though.. Unless the tiger camp is willing to drop this part of the argument and look some where else.. Just like they don't like the 18>14 argument I am sure the jack side rolls their eyes every time the strength of field is brought up!
post #4516 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post


The strength of field argument needs a metric though.. Unless the tiger camp is willing to drop this part of the argument and look some where else.. Just like they don't like the 18>14 argument I am sure the jack side rolls their eyes every time the strength of field is brought up!

 

 

They do more than just roll their eyes, though. They say that anyone could win during Tiger's time. Anyone at all in the field. I want to explore this line of thought by naming names of who won majors and how far off the pace they were before they won. Then I want to find out how many times this actually happened. In other words, relative to jack's day, will it hold up to scrutiny or will it not.

post #4517 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post


They do more than just roll their eyes, though. They say that anyone could win during Tiger's time. Anyone at all in the field. I want to explore this line of thought by naming names of who won majors and how far off the pace they were before they won. Then I want to find out how many times this actually happened. In other words, relative to jack's day, will it hold up to scrutiny or will it not.

They don't really believe that anyone can win though! I think they just say it in jest.. Otherwise, I'd love to see the gamblers out there put $500 for example on the 115 ranked player at the next major! Any takers?
post #4518 of 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post


They don't really believe that anyone can win though! I think they just say it in jest.. Otherwise, I'd love to see the gamblers out there put $500 for example on the 115 ranked player at the next major! Any takers?

 

 

I wouldn't go that far. Maybe they do believe it. I just want to see the evidence and compare it to what actually happened in Jack's era. I don't believe there is all that much difference. Not where actual winning is concerned.

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