Originally Posted by westcyderydin
I agree...but I also wonder. If Tiger were to just get onto the tour the same time Rory did, would he dominate the same way he did in the late 90's and 2000s? Would you guys agree the the tour is deeper and more talented over the last few years than it ever has been?
But then on the other hand Tiger did win player of the year last year winning 5 tournaments when people were saying he was done...
Greg Norman, at 42, was still the world's top-ranked player at the end of 1997; 50-year-old Jumbo Ozaki was ranked in the top ten. Before Tiger ascended to world number one that year, no number-one had been born as late as 1959. When he won his first Masters, the runner-up was 47-year-old Tom Kite.
For whatever reason, the generation of players who should have been in their primes when Tiger Woods came onto the scene (e.g. those born in the early-mid 60s) never produced a world-beater. Colin Montgomerie and Davis Love were perennial top-ten guys, but neither of them could make that last step. Jose Maria Olazabal struggled with injuries; John Daly became a cautionary tale of bacchanalian excess. Vijay Singh eventually became the most decorated player of this generation, but that journey didn't start until his mid-thirties, and after Tiger's ascendance.
The late-50s generation that produced the likes of Norman, the great Europeans, Nick Price, et. al., had been the game's primary force since the early 1980s, and was very long in the tooth by the time Tiger emerged as a successor. That power void allowed Tiger to become so great, so soon, and that situation seems very different that what we've seen in recent years. There's another thread going on about this being the end of the "Tiger Era," but in reality, the Tiger era ended when he lost the world number-one ranking in 2010. That's not because of Rory on his own, but several players are hitting their primes at the same time, including guys who couldn't live up to expectations of being the next Tiger Woods in their early twenties.
For what it's worth, I think Tiger at 25 was a lot better than Rory is right now, but if Rory and Tiger swapped lives, Rory 1975 would have enough majors to count on two hands by now, while a young Tiger 1989 would have four.