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How young was Tiger Woods when 1st comparing to Jack Nicklaus?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

As a Brit I'm a big fan or Rory Mcilroy. Obviously he's a bit of a slump now but even before he had won his first major there was a lot of talk about how he had the potential to win 10 majors and possible even challenge Woods and Nicklaus. Even if this turns out to be true I think this was a bit of a leap in my opinion but I guess it came from Rory was miles ahead at the 2011 Masters. Although he collapsed it showed how he could dominate a field.

 

I'm 25 so a bit young to remember Tiger's early years. Can anyone remember how young Tiger was when his reputation had grown to the point when people thought he could beat Nicklaus's 18 golf majors record?

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfly777 View Post

I'm 25 so a bit young to remember Tiger's early years. Can anyone remember how young Tiger was when his reputation had grown to the point when people thought he could beat Nicklaus's 18 golf majors record?

 

He had Jack's records on his walls as a kid. That's what your subject kind of implies.

 

But to answer your question about the exact moment where people thought that he could break 18 majors? I think April, 1997 is as good a date as any.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

He had Jack's records on his walls as a kid. That's what your subject kind of implies.

 

But to answer your question about the exact moment where people thought that he could break 18 majors? I think April, 1997 is as good a date as any.

 

I guess winning the Masters by 12 strokes as a 22 year old will probably do that. I guess it's similar to Rory nearly dominating the 2011 Masters in the same way.

 

Cheers.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfly777 View Post

I guess winning the Masters by 12 strokes as a 22 year old will probably do that. I guess it's similar to Rory nearly dominating the 2011 Masters in the same way.

 

That wasn't Rory's first major as a pro, and - this is bigger - he didn't win, so no, really not "the same way." I don't know if you watch the 1997 Masters but in no way was it "the same way."

 

P.S. Rory's a white dude, too. That has nothing to do with ability, but it was another reason "the same way" isn't true - Tiger's win broke some barriers.

post #5 of 15

For me it came when he rattled off 4 majors in a row, thought not in the same golf year. That is when i knew he had a chance, when you get nearly 25% of them in basically 1 calendar year, that helps.

 

Honeslty i hate comparing him to Jack. Tiger is Tiger, Rory is Rory, Jack is Jack. It doesn't matter if he breaks his record or not, Tiger will be Tiger. 

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

That wasn't Rory's first major as a pro, and - this is bigger - he didn't win, so no, really not "the same way." I don't know if you watch the 1997 Masters but in no way was it "the same way."

 

P.S. Rory's a white dude, too. That has nothing to do with ability, but it was another reason "the same way" isn't true - Tiger's win broke some barriers.

 

What I meant was that for the first 3 rounds it was "the same way". My point was that by leading comfortably for 3 rounds he showed he had the technical ability to beat fields in the same way that some of the great players could. Obviously the gap was only 4 shots and he collapsed in the 4th round which was partly a mental obstacle that others may not have had but it still showed that he had technical supremacy over that field for three rounds of a majors.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

For me it came when he rattled off 4 majors in a row, thought not in the same golf year. That is when i knew he had a chance, when you get nearly 25% of them in basically 1 calendar year, that helps.

 

Honeslty i hate comparing him to Jack. Tiger is Tiger, Rory is Rory, Jack is Jack. It doesn't matter if he breaks his record or not, Tiger will be Tiger. 

 

I actually agree. The cause of my question was initiated by my belief that players are touted as being possible "all-time greats" far too young.

 

I personally think that Rory which win quite a few more majors, but whether he'll retire with 5, 8, 10, 12, 14+, no-one knows. The issue is that if he retires having won say 8 majors then people will say he fell short of the marks of Tiger and Nicklaus which is completely unfair as that many majors would be a great amount.

post #7 of 15

I think Rory has yet to prove that he can win a Major when the chips are down - his two Majors have basically been blow outs (both by 8 shots, if I'm not mistaken) and coming down the stretch it was more of a coronation than anything else.  Don't get me wrong, I think he's a great player and would love to see he and Tiger battle in Majors for years to come - but that will only come with doing it under real pressure.

 

Yes, Tiger has had his share of blowouts (particularly his Tiger Slam days), but he has also ground out majors when he didn't have his best stuff or when others were just playing out of their mind (I'm looking at you Bob May and Rocco Mediate).  Those huge putts on the 18th holes are what has defined Tiger - Rory needs a little more of that to prove he's not just an all-time great when he has his Grade A stuff that week.

 

Even look at Tiger's 2005 Masters win - he hit that all-time pitch shot on 16, had a 2 stroke lead, bogeyed 17 and 18 to fall into a playoff and still ground out the win.  Ror'y lost lead at the Masters was similar - I think he was up 1 shot on #10, hit that awful duck hook, proceeded to triple, then bogey, then double and it was all over.  had he been able to grind out a bogey on #10, who knows - but he didn't.  He let one horrendous shot get the better of him and he gave up.

post #8 of 15

My dad passed me an article about Tiger in about 1991 or 1992 and said "They say this kid will be better than Nicklaus." That was the first time I had ever heard of Woods.

 

I think the expectation has always been he might win 19 majors. For me, his early years weren't about winning 19 majors as much as trying to win the calendar grand slam. Especially in 2000, he was winning everything heading into the Masters. I don't think they should have made his entire career about catching Jack, if he wins 14 or 16 majors, that shouldn't be considered a failure. They did however make it a chase from the day he turned pro if not the day he won his third consecutive US Amateur or even earlier. 

 

For me, if Rory had shot 72 and finished 2nd or so at the Masters, then followed with his big US Open win, that wouldn't have impressed me nearly as much as rebounding from a choke. He looked very shaky from the first tee. That rebound was when I thought "Hey, this kid is for real!" I became aware of Rory when he was about 15 or 16 and noticed a steady upward trend so I always felt the pundits were correct about him but that rebound escalated my belief from Rory being a good candidate to have a good career to somebody who can be the most successful European golfer ever.

 

His PGA win also reminded me of Garcia losing to Harrington a few years ago at the British Open. The field played well and you sensed the pressure transferred from the field to Garcia early. The field played well vs Rory, in particular Poulter but I never got the sense that the pressure transferred to Rory. Over here a lot of Tiger fans want Rory to choke and he must know that, so to withstand that kind of pressure I think shows his fortitude. Remember it was still close when Rory entered the back nine. I think he has a chance to win 8 majors and hopefully 10 and I'd bet he's the next guy to win the career grand slam which I think is consistent with the predictions I've heard about him since he was 15 or so. They just seem to know how good certain athletes are from a very young age.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by btwhite View Post

 

I think the expectation has always been [Tiger] might win 19 majors. For me, his early years weren't about winning 19 majors as much as trying to win the calendar grand slam. Especially in 2000, he was winning everything heading into the Masters. I don't think they should have made his entire career about catching Jack, if he wins 14 or 16 majors, that shouldn't be considered a failure. They did however make it a chase from the day he turned pro if not the day he won his third consecutive US Amateur or even earlier. 

 

 

 

The only one that would consider it a failure if he doesn't break Jack's record will be Tiger.  He is already #2 on the career wins list and the only reason Snead is even ahead is because his win total also counts 6 "team" wins (e.g. Bing Crosby Pro-Ams).  Tiger will probably catch him early next year if his game stays consistent.  

 

Looking back at Rory's collapse, I didn't realize he still had a 4-shot lead standing on #10 at Augusta.  I don't care how bad that drive was, he has to find a way to get out of there at worst with a double and grind out the win.  

post #10 of 15

so true.

his 3rd shot was the biggest problem. He hit a fairway wood back in trouble he should have laid up and give himself a chance for bogey and at least make double.

 

On the other hand, it was a great learning experience for Rory he came back hard with his US open win!! ( record breaking ) 

post #11 of 15

Not an answer to "people thought" because what does that even mean? Reading some of the comments here on TST would lead me to believe a large percentage of people don't think he is comparable or will ever get 18.

 

However, when Tiger played for his third consecutive US Amateur was the first time I remember watching media coverage that kind of nauseated me with the constant unprecedented record this and that, lives to set records, wall of records, and on and on.  Obviously some of those comparisons were to Jack (more than just 18 majors).

 

I watched him win his second US Amateur and don't remember it being quite so over the top, maybe I just tuned it out better. But since the media is basically paid to provide entertainment value it doesn't meet the "people thought" criteria even though it was presented as if he might be the one to rewrite EVERY record in golf. Or to put it another way, when you tout ever new player that looks to have potential as the "NEXT BIG THING!" eventually you might be right but I don't think you deserve any credit.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by M2R View Post

However, when Tiger played for his third consecutive US Amateur was the first time I remember watching media coverage that kind of nauseated me with the constant unprecedented record this and that, lives to set records, wall of records, and on and on.  Obviously some of those comparisons were to Jack (more than just 18 majors).

 

I watched him win his second US Amateur and don't remember it being quite so over the top, maybe I just tuned it out better. But since the media is basically paid to provide entertainment value it doesn't meet the "people thought" criteria even though it was presented as if he might be the one to rewrite EVERY record in golf. Or to put it another way, when you tout ever new player that looks to have potential as the "NEXT BIG THING!" eventually you might be right but I don't think you deserve any credit.

This.  It was 1996 is when I remember Tiger being thrown into the media spotlight as the 'Next Big Thing' in golf... But why not?  I mean the putt on 17, during that run of his 3rd consecutive US Amateur win was really an exclamation point of such a historical event.

 

 

I was playing High school varsity golf from 1992 to 1995, and remember reading about Tiger in Golf Digest first in 1994, and then watching him as he won those three consecutive US Amateur's. Also, to add to my interest in Tiger, I lived in Central Ohio - the home of Jack Nicklaus.  There was a lot of comparisons to the accomplishments of Tiger and Jack as amateur golfers (winning two consecutive US Amateur's) in 1995.  And then to see Tiger go and get that third in a row... It definitely resonated in the Ohio media (local and regional news outlets) as well as the golfing community.  

post #13 of 15

I want to say that for me it was during the 1996 Pumpkin Ridge (his 3rd US Am title). I remember running a summer golf camp and the documentary Tiger's Triple http://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Triple-Tiger-Woods/dp/B0001YY6JG really hammered it home. Then soon after the 1997 Master's just furthered the cause. The documentary was one of our rain delay fillers, and it had all the highlights. He was insane making all those putts. 

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfly777 View Post

 

I guess winning the Masters by 12 strokes as a 22 year old will probably do that. I guess it's similar to Rory nearly dominating the 2011 Masters in the same way.

 

Cheers.

 


 

TW was 21 when he won the 1997 Masters. Rory's 2011 Masters was more of a sign that he probably wouldn't have the consistency that Tiger has shown through the years. He has similar talent to Tiger, but he is much streakier. He is basically a combination of Phil's streakiness and Tiger's raw talent.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by btwhite View Post

My dad passed me an article about Tiger in about 1991 or 1992 and said "They say this kid will be better than Nicklaus." That was the first time I had ever heard of Woods.

 

I think the expectation has always been he might win 19 majors. For me, his early years weren't about winning 19 majors as much as trying to win the calendar grand slam. Especially in 2000, he was winning everything heading into the Masters. I don't think they should have made his entire career about catching Jack, if he wins 14 or 16 majors, that shouldn't be considered a failure. They did however make it a chase from the day he turned pro if not the day he won his third consecutive US Amateur or even earlier.

 

 

That was Tigers goal, not the media's. Tiger knew from a very young age that only the Majors were truly important.

 

He has something like 77 wins, and theres only 14 of them where it was important to him. The rest of it was just staying sharp. He has planned his season around training for the majors since he was a young pro. Not playing every weekend, all over the world like some. All the hard work was about playing four tournaments a year.

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