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Jack vs. Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?


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Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

214 members have voted

  1. 1. Tiger or Jack: Who's the greatest golfer?

    • Tiger Woods is the man
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    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
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51 minutes ago, klineka said:

How is that an irrelevant argument? 

Lets simplify this. Which is more impressive, a top 3 finish out of the top 50 golfers in your club tournament, or a 10th place finish out of the top 50 golfers in your tri-state region?

 

What's more impressive winning the 1962 US Open or finishing last at the 2018 US Open?

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4 hours ago, saevel25 said:

Everybody who accepts 18>14 must then say that Walter Hagen is better than Ben Hogan 11>9, or Hagen is better than Tom Watson 11>8.

I bet they would try to validate that Hogan and Watson is better than Hagen with the same arguments that we use to say Tiger is better than Jack. They just want the double standard.

For the record, this is a straw man argument that would get called out vehemently on this board if it were made by a "pro-Jack" guy. 

I am pretty solidly in the Tiger=GOAT camp at this point and don't feel like participating in this thread anymore, but just had to point out this double standard. 

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13 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

What's more impressive winning the 1962 US Open or finishing last at the 2018 US Open?

You didnt answer my original question.

I could argue that the person who will finish last at the 2018 US Open likely could have at least been in contention at the 1962 US Open. 

Which person is likely going to be the better golfer, the person who finished last at the 1962 US Open, or the person finishing last at the 2018 US Open?

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3 minutes ago, klineka said:

I could argue that the person who will finish last at the 2018 US Open likely could have at least been in contention at the 1962 US Open. 

 

Sure, you could argue that. It just means that you don't deserve to have an opinion.

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21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Sure, you could argue that. It just means that you don't deserve to have an opinion.

nonsense - "finish" last means they still made the cut in 2018 - that's a great player vs the entire 1962 field no matter how you look at it.

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25 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Sure, you could argue that. It just means that you don't deserve to have an opinion.

That is by far the most rude thing anyone has ever said to me on this site and was absolutely uncalled for.


The person who finished dead last in the 2017 US Open was former Masters champion Danny Willet (1 PGA tour victory and 4 international victories), who withdrew after the first round. 

Other golfers who finished in the bottom 10 of the 2017 US Open:

Wesley Bryan (95th in the OWGR, 1 PGA tour victory)

Billy Horschel (91st in the OWGR, 4 PGA tour victories)

Jason Day (14th in the OWGR, 11 PGA tour victories)

All of those golfers are good enough to have been in contention in the 1962 US Open. 

Going by what @rehmwa said for finishing last, in 2017 US Open, that was HaoTong Li, who finished 3rd in the 2017 Open Championship, has 3 international victories, and recently finished T32 at the 2018 Masters. Easily good enough to have been in contention in the 1962 US Open.

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11 minutes ago, klineka said:

That is by far the most rude thing anyone has ever said to me on this site and was absolutely uncalled for.

Challenge accepted.....(give me a bit to think something up)

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7 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

nonsense - "finish" last means they still made the cut in 2018 - that's a great player vs the entire 1962 field no matter how you look at it.

Most people would take finishing last to mean 156th but it doesn't change anything. A person who makes the cut and finishes 65th in 2018 is not like finishing 5th in 1962,  There is no point in arguing. It is like saying 9-11 was a government conspiracy. Just because people have opinions doesn't mean they are worth taking seriously.

14 minutes ago, klineka said:

Other golfers who finished in the bottom 10 of the 2017 US Open:

Wesley Bryan (95th in the OWGR, 1 PGA tour victory)

Billy Horschel (91st in the OWGR, 4 PGA tour victories)

Jason Day (14th in the OWGR, 11 PGA tour victories)

All of those golfers are good enough to have been in contention in the 1962 US Open. 

 

Not that week they weren't. 

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4 hours ago, Wally Fairway said:

Again if you go back long enough the Am championships were considered majors. As noted in this article.
https://www.golfdigest.com/story/david-fay-history-of-majors

They weren't really "majors." They were the biggest tournaments Bobby Jones could really win, but a pro couldn't win four majors. They weren't called "majors" and they only get the press they got because of Bobby Jones.

4 hours ago, Fidelio said:

That has little to nothing do with with who the greatest golfer. A fund manager doesn't get to throw out their bad years. Tiger has 6 winless years vs 2 for Jack at this point. Tiger missed twice as many cuts in majors and would have missed more had he not sat out so many tournaments. Tiger's last major was at age 32. Jack won 10 majors after age 30. Jack also had 8 senior majors.

Senior majors? Really?

Missed cuts in majors?
If you count their pro careers - 6 for Tiger, 29 for Jack
If you count their entire careers - 7 for Tiger, 32 for Jack
If you count only Jack 1962-1986 and Tiger 1997-2013 - 3 for Tiger, 6 for Jack

Winless years?
In what? Majors? Tiger also had more multiple-major seasons than Jack. Tiger also won held all four majors at one time, unlike Jack. Tiger also dominated in his majors more than Jack ever did. Hell, Tiger, in his FIRST professional major, broke a scoring record held by Jack and Ray Floyd.

4 hours ago, Fidelio said:

Here are the TKO stats.  Tiger faced tougher fields. So what? Tougher and deeper fields would matter if their accomplishments were close. They aren't. Jack  almost has as many top 3's as Tiger has top 25s. 

Jack top 3s- 46    Tiger - 24

Jack top 5's- 56    Tiger- 31

Jack Top 10's-73   Tiger -38

Jack Top 25's -95  Tiger- 55

TKO stats? Ha ha ha.

In your opinion. You think that a top 25 finish in a major matters? Cool. Fine. You get to do that… but we also get to point out how silly that is.

  • You're on record as saying that 14 ~= 18 because of the strength and depth of field, and yet you seemingly don't consider that at all when considering how many people finish ahead of you when you do NOT win a major.
  • 79 > 72. I consider that to be a pretty strong punch, considering that EVERY one of those tournaments was also played against the stronger fields. Again if you say 14 ~= 18, then that's a factor of almost 30%, and 79 * 1.286 = 102 >>> 72.

And that's just two basic points. It doesn't get into the match play of their ranked seasons competing against each other. It doesn't get into the awards each accumulated. It doesn't get into the dominance one displayed that the other did not.

TKO? Ha. Only if you're so far in Jack's corner that you think finishing T24 in a major in which very few of the top players even bothered to play in matters at all.

I am not in that camp.

3 hours ago, Fidelio said:

But these bad arguments cut both ways.  When I post Jack has almost as many Top 3s as Tiger has top 25s, that is devastating. That is a tough argument to overcome.

I don't agree.

3 hours ago, Fidelio said:

Instead of acknowledging that it is a great argument, even if you think Tiger is best and want to point out the arguments for Tiger, I noticed there is no response other than some variation of sports talk radio barker "You ain't first ur last" or just repeating the irrelevant tougher field argument.

It's not an irrelevant argument. You are on record as saying 14 ~= 18. IIRC, you even said you might give the slight edge there to Tiger.

That field doesn't just determine who finishes first. It determines who finishes second. Third. Fourth. Fifth.

What's better? Finishing T3 in your local club championship, or finishing T43 at the U.S. Open?

And yes, that's a pretty extreme example, but it highlights the point that a stronger field matters even in determining placements that go beyond winning.

3 hours ago, Fidelio said:

There isn't even an acknowledgement that it is reasonable to say Jack belongs ahead of Tiger based on his major record.

I don't think it's reasonable. I think 14 > 18, and I don't care about the years Jack OR Tiger didn't win.

I think it's ridiculous - completely, utterly ridiculous - that you don't consider 102 (or 79) > 72. Golf is more than just the majors. The players play against each other - and Tiger plays most of his events against the stiffest competition available, unlike Jack, who played a lot of ho-hum events - in those events, too. Winning those events matter (to me and likely a hell of a lot of other people), too.

But they don't matter to you… conveniently so, because Tiger > Jack in regular PGA Tour wins even without any consideration for the strength and depth of field.

1 hour ago, skydog said:

For the record, this is a straw man argument that would get called out vehemently on this board if it were made by a "pro-Jack" guy.

No it's not.

There are some people who have said "18 > 14 and that's all that matters." In that case those people are not considering anything but the actual raw number.

1 hour ago, skydog said:

I am pretty solidly in the Tiger=GOAT camp at this point and don't feel like participating in this thread anymore, but just had to point out this double standard. 

@saevel25 wasn't addressing @Fidelio. I think @saevel25 recognizes that @Fidelio has a more nuanced version than that.

52 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Not that week they weren't. 

The weeks Jack missed the cut he was still - prior to 1997 - the greatest golfer in the history of the game.

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5 hours ago, turtleback said:

No, a lot of us use actual facts and analysis.  Thankfully you didn't try to buttress your feelings with those, as it never goes well.  You are entitled to your opinion and no one can say boo about that.  But if you want to explain or justify it, which you are under no obligation to do, then the things you use to do so will be tested by the facts.

Well, after 331 pages and counting we're no closer to answering the question.  Reading through this thread is pretty humorous and reminds me of some other similar debates.  We might have better luck determining whether Callaway or Ping makes the greatest drivers of all time.

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1 minute ago, fishgolf said:

Well, after 331 pages and counting we're no closer to answering the question.

That's not possible, nor is it a goal.

It's a discussion. You get to have your opinion, and base it on whatever you want. And others get to call your opinion stupid and point out why. And then you can point out why you think their opinion is stupid, if you want.

I've answered the question for myself and have shared my reasons why. You've answered the question for yourself and, well, your reasons seem to be "because you think so," which is fine.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

That's not possible, nor is it a goal.

It's a discussion. You get to have your opinion, and base it on whatever you want. And others get to call your opinion stupid and point out why. And then you can point out why you think their opinion is stupid, if you want.

I've answered the question for myself and have shared my reasons why. You've answered the question for yourself and, well, your reasons seem to be "because you think so," which is fine.

The correct answer is Callaway drivers. Also Chevy trucks, Mercury outboards, and Scott fly rods. :-D

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16 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

Well, after 331 pages and counting we're no closer to answering the question.  Reading through this thread is pretty humorous and reminds me of some other similar debates.  We might have better luck determining whether Callaway or Ping makes the greatest drivers of all time.

Actually we HAVE answered the question.  There are just some who refuse to look at facts and logic.

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5 minutes ago, turtleback said:

Actually we HAVE answered the question.  There are just some who refuse to look at facts and logic.

C'mon now @turtleback. There's no "right" answer. It depends on what you give weight to and what you don't.

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22 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

Missed cuts in majors?
If you count their pro careers - 6 for Tiger, 29 for Jack
If you count their entire careers - 7 for Tiger, 32 for Jack
If you count only Jack 1962-1986 and Tiger 1997-2013 - 3 for Tiger, 6 for Jack

Winless years?
I

TKO stats? Ha ha ha.

 

TKO? Ha. Only if you're so far in Jack's corner that you think finishing T24 in a major in which very few of the top players even bothered to play in matters at all.

 

It's not an irrelevant argument. You are on record as saying 14 ~= 18. IIRC, you even said you might give the slight edge there to Tiger.

 

Why would you use entire career? Jack missed a lot cuts as an old man? Why not compare missed cuts and wins vs age? Tiger is 42. So compare Jack up through 42.

Total  missed cuts as a professional  Nicklaus through age 42=  4  (I counted three earlier but it is 4)

Tiger missed cuts -6  (and has 3 more majors to go as a 42 year old and he missed 14 tournaments)

Jack's first winless year on tour was age 39. He was also winless at age 41. Tiger has been winless 6 times and has to win once these year to not make it 7.

As far as field strength, the difference in field strength in and of itself isn't a deciding factor on who is better. It only matters as an adjustment to records. Ben Curtis and KJ Choi played in tougher fields than Jack. They aren't better. When I make an adjustment for field strength, I still think Jack has a better record.

The point of listing top 25 finishes wasn't to make the case that Jack had a zillion top 25 (though he did and it does matter) but to point out that Jack had almost as many top 3s as Tiger has top 25s.  

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16 minutes ago, turtleback said:

Actually we HAVE answered the question.  There are just some who refuse to look at facts and logic.

There hasn't been a good  argument to refute the point that Jack has more top 3's than Tiger has top 10s in majors and almost many top 3s as Tiger has top 25s?  You get judged on everything but most people weight majors the heaviest. Jack's entire body of work - with emphasis on major wins plus top finishes adjusting for field strength- surpasses Tiger's body of work.

The only arguments I see are

1. Variations on Ricky Bobby "If you ain't first you're last." (that's the sports radio argument) I don't agree. Greg Norman and Phil were top players and all of their seconds in majors count. Greg Norman and Ben Crenshaw have similar win totals and majors. Ben Crenshaw isn't in the same stratosphere as Greg Norman though,  because of all of Greg's top finishes.

2. "Finishing last in a modern major is like contending in a major in Jack's era" (that was only one person but obviously ridiculous) That is variation on overrating how tough fields are today.

3. "Majors only became majors like 20 years ago or something" (clearly wrong. Jack built his schedule around majors. Sure the British Open was weaker. It still had a tough field and was considered a major by everyone.)

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21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Why would you use entire career? Jack missed a lot cuts as an old man? Why not compare missed cuts and wins vs age? Tiger is 42. So compare Jack up through 42.

I wasn't. I was simply listing all of the comparables, trying to figure out how you arrived at "Jack missed half as many cuts in majors as Tiger" or whatever you said.

Turns out you were simply flat out wrong, any way you compare them.

21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Jack's first winless year on tour was age 39. He was also winless at age 41. Tiger has been winless 6 times and has to win once these year to not make it 7.

So what? You're cherry picking an occasional thing that favors Jack, while ignoring actual wins that favor Tiger.

14 ~= 18 according to you, yet 102 (or 79) > 72.

21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

As far as field strength, the difference in field strength in and of itself isn't a deciding factor on who is better.

I don't agree, and you don't get to decide for others what is and isn't a "deciding factor" (even though you've tried to now several times).

21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Ben Curtis and KJ Choi played in tougher fields than Jack. They aren't better.

That's a pretty stupid thing to say. Nobody is suggesting that, or anything remotely close to that.

Ben Curtis and KJ Choi are better than a LOT of the guys Jack played against, though.

21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

When I make an adjustment for field strength, I still think Jack has a better record.

Again, whoopty doo. You're considering only majors, and you've already said that Tiger's 14 ~= Jack's 18.

And you were wrong about the missed cuts.

21 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

The point of listing top 25 finishes wasn't to make the case that Jack had a zillion top 25 (though he did and it does matter) but to point out that Jack had almost as many top 3s as Tiger has top 25s.  

Whoopty doo.

I don't care about a T3 or a T19 finish in a major. I care about wins.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

There hasn't been a good  argument to refute the point that Jack has more top 3's than Tiger has top 10s in majors and almost many top 3s as Tiger has top 25s?

Sure there has: "I don't care about a T3 or a T19 finish in a major. I care about wins."

You see, I get to determine what matters to me in determining the GOAT. Just as you get to care about how many times Jack finished in the top 25. I don't. You do. Cool.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

You get judged on everything but most people weight majors the heaviest.

And, seemingly in your world, they are the ONLY thing that matters.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Jack's entire body of work - with emphasis on major wins plus top finishes adjusting for field strength- surpasses Tiger's body of work.

I disagree.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

The only arguments I see are

That's a pretty stupid thing to say, or illustrates that you haven't been paying any attention at all.

  • Tiger's 79 PGA Tour victories trump Jack's 72.
  • Tiger's dominance trump Jack's (relative) non-dominance.
  • Tiger's awards trump Jack's awards.

Those are three other arguments just off the top of my head.

You're crossing into dangerous territory here @Fidelio… the area of intellectual dishonesty. Not only did you misrepresent the missed cuts in majors argument, you flat out lied (or you were incredibly ignorant) in making the statement above.

Continue down this road and it won't go well for you.

I'm fine with someone having a different opinion, and happy to debate it. I hate - hate - liars and those who are intellectually dishonest.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

1. Variations on Ricky Bobby "If you ain't first you're last." (that's the sports radio argument) I don't agree. Greg Norman and Phil were top players and all of their seconds in majors count.

Not to me.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Greg Norman and Ben Crenshaw have similar win totals and majors. Ben Crenshaw isn't in the same stratosphere as Greg Norman though,  because of all of Greg's top finishes.

Nope. Because Greg Norman was #1 in the OWGR, because Greg Norman won a bunch of other events, because of other things… (awards among that list).

Again, you get to define GOAT for yourself however you like.

You do not get to define it for everyone else.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

2. "Finishing last in a modern major is like contending in a major in Jack's era" (that was only one person but obviously ridiculous) That is variation on overrating how tough fields are today.

Pretending that's an argument advanced by many people here is, again, intellectually dishonest.

8 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

3. "Majors only became majors like 20 years ago or something" (clearly wrong. Jack built his schedule around majors. Sure the British Open was weaker. It still had a tough field and was considered a major by everyone.)

Nobody's said that. People have, however, pointed out that as late as the 80s, major champions didn't even really play in the British Open, that some of the majors that Jack played in were not well attended, and so on. It's a strength of field argument, which of course you hate, because they don't do Jack any favors.


I'll be very clear: continue this pattern of intellectual dishonesty and you'll receive warning points.

There are plenty of other topics here. I strongly encourage you to participate in them instead of here, as I feel we've exhausted the exploration of your shallow (IMO) opinions (only majors count) here.

In fact, I'm going to lock the topic for a day or so, and I again strongly encourage you to use that time to explore the many other areas of the site, the many other discussions, etc. Golf is about more than Tiger vs. Jack. Way, way, way more.

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