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


sungho_kr

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

214 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1629
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      817


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Just now, ChrisP said:

Well most do and you need to respect that.

Look at the poll results and tell me again “most do.”

And I need not respect it any more than any other opinion. Particularly if I have good reasons to think it’s short sighted.

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

Majors and longevity are really the only things Jack has on Tiger as of now

And both are back in play.  Getting four more majors is still a long shot; that's a Hall of Fame career by itself.  But Tiger is now only one year behind Jack in longevity.  His winning span is now 24 years, to Jack's 25.

If you're interested, the longest PGA Tour winning span is 30 years, held jointly by Sam Snead and Ray Floyd.  The only other two golfers with more than 25 years are DLIII and Phil, both at 29.

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1 hour ago, mdl said:

 

 

 

 

At the risk of tarnishing my fanboy image, I have to point out that this distorts rather than illuminates.  You can see this very quickly if you look at DJ's average, recalculated on HIS last 26 events with a denominator of 26.  I've done that and it turns out to be around 15.  Is it because he has played so much better than in the prior events?  No, it is because those prior events get aged down.  Tiger's 26 events have not been NEARLY as significantly aged as DJ's 47 events.

I've made that same denominator argument myself, in the past, but once I realized the reality I had to abandon it.

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Look at the poll results and tell me again “most do.”

And I need not respect it any more than any other opinion. Particularly if I have good reasons to think it’s short sighted.

Exactly.  An opinion is due respect only to the degree that the accuracy of the facts and logic on which it is based deserve respect.

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5 minutes ago, turtleback said:

At the risk of tarnishing my fanboy image, I have to point out that this distorts rather than illuminates.  You can see this very quickly if you look at DJ's average, recalculated on HIS last 26 events with a denominator of 26.  I've done that and it turns out to be around 15.  Is it because he has played so much better than in the prior events?  No, it is because those prior events get aged down.  Tiger's 26 events have not been NEARLY as significantly aged as DJ's 47 events.

I've made that same denominator argument myself, in the past, but once I realized the reality I had to abandon it.

 

Yep, Tiger would be around #3 or #4 if we make proper adjustments for everyone based on the last 18 months or so. He would not be #1, at least not right now. But let's see how the next 6 months turn out. He might be about to go on a little run here, lol

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2 hours ago, ChrisP said:

It's the same in tennis, though. We go by majors to determine who the best is.

So the female GOAT tennis player is still Margaret Court?

Serena will be devestated, LOL.

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16 minutes ago, turtleback said:

So the female GOAT tennis player is still Margaret Court?

Serena will be devestated, LOL.

She'll get over it haha. She'll win at least a couple majors this year and pass Old Marge.

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22 hours ago, klineka said:

Ok so I'll ask you the question that I generally ask myself when I think about who the GOAT of a particular sport is.

What player had the best career in that sport?

In this case, as of right now (since Tiger is still active) who had the better overall career, Jack or Tiger?

Tiger's career stats are more impressive than those Nicklaus, except for the obvious majors victories.   Based on that, I would conclude that Tiger's career record was more impressive.

 

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19 hours ago, billchao said:

Majors and longevity are really the only things Jack has on Tiger as of now, and longevity actually works against Jack because Tiger has matched or surpassed most of Jack's achievements in far less time.

If Tiger retired tomorrow, his career would be better than Jack's IMO. It was better before the 2019 Masters.

Tiger is one win away from tying Snead, so one win and one major win would surpass Snead and in your eyes pass Jack as GOAT? Tiger is already eight wins ahead of Jack.

No, two wins and another major would IMO give Tiger the greatest career of all time - upping his longevity a bit.  I have already agreed that Tiger is the most talented golfer of all time, but do believe that Jack has a slight edge on career greatness.   

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2 hours ago, NJpatbee said:

No, two wins and another major would IMO give Tiger the greatest career of all time - upping his longevity a bit.  I have already agreed that Tiger is the most talented golfer of all time, but do believe that Jack has a slight edge on career greatness.   

Why?  Because of WHAT, besides 18>15?  15 majors isn't enough but somehow 16 is?  Why?

And why does Tiger need to break Snead's record to satisfy you?  Jack never broke Snead's record and was acclaimed GOAT, why do you put that requirement on Tiger?  (although it is moot, since Tiger will automatically break Snead's if he breaks Jack's, it is still telling that you would even mention that)

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24 minutes ago, turtleback said:

Why?  Because of WHAT, besides 18>15?  15 majors isn't enough but somehow 16 is?  Why?

And why does Tiger need to break Snead's record to satisfy you?  Jack never broke Snead's record and was acclaimed GOAT, why do you put that requirement on Tiger?  (although it is moot, since Tiger will automatically break Snead's if he breaks Jack's, it is still telling that you would even mention that)

Prepare to be disappointed in the response.

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2 hours ago, turtleback said:

Why?  Because of WHAT, besides 18>15?  15 majors isn't enough but somehow 16 is?  Why?

And why does Tiger need to break Snead's record to satisfy you?  Jack never broke Snead's record and was acclaimed GOAT, why do you put that requirement on Tiger?  (although it is moot, since Tiger will automatically break Snead's if he breaks Jack's, it is still telling that you would even mention that)

 

Even better question here...Why does Snead's number at 82 mean anything? Once you account for all the bogus small field and team wins on Snead's list of wins, he drops down closer to 70 than 82. Even when you take out victories in the Tour Championship & Tournament of Champions for Tiger, he is at 76 wins right now. Clearly the most ever once you adjust everyone to larger field events. 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Manhattan said:

 

Even better question here...Why does Snead's number at 82 mean anything? Once you account for all the bogus small field and team wins on Snead's list of wins, he drops down closer to 70 than 82. Even when you take out victories in the Tour Championship & Tournament of Champions for Tiger, he is at 76 wins right now. Clearly the most ever once you adjust everyone to larger field events. 

It probably falls under the same reason why so many 'old school' people still believe putt for dough, drive for show: Pure stubbornness. As @brocks has mentioned Jack got it all going with his moving the goal posts and apparently at that time he just had his way. And some of the guys here just can't let that 'Major wins' thing go despite it being shown quite clearly that 15>18. And I wouldn't doubt that despite Jack himself admitting the superior fields these days he'll hold on to that 18 as long as he can as the sole determining factor of greatness. 

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I've posted something like this before, but it's now lost in the dim and distant past, so I will reiterate. There's an author, John Feinstein, who has written a few books about golf. Among them are A Good Walk Spoiled and The Open. Perhaps you've heard of them. He has covered golf as a professional writer and has seen both Jack and Tiger in their primes. In his mind there is no doubt. Tiger was the better golfer! And, I agree with him!

Now, does that make me a Nicklaus "hater"? Absolutely not! I grew up as a fan of his, and I still am. I also happen to be a fan of Tiger. These are not exclusionary choices. Being one does not abrogate the other! 

In Nicklaus' case, I do think that longevity counts for something. This reminds me of arguments I'd have with other baseball fans about Cal Ripken, who maintained he was only able to set his record because he stuck around for so long. My position was that if you suck, or are a marginal player, you won't have the chance to stick around that long! 

In Tiger's case, consider what he came back from, admittedly, some of it self inflicted. 4 major knee surgeries, the last of which completely rebuilt his left knee. 4 back surgeries, the last of which involved fusion of vertebrae, which was thought would simply allow him to stand, walk, and sit something like a normal human being, which he could not do before! Turns out it allowed him to swing a golf club as well, and he learned yet another new swing which allowed him to play competitive golf again. 

And there was the personal stuff, which made him a running joke on sports talk radio and the late night TV shows! 

What kind of bugs me is how quickly some people moved off of the Masters to start speculating about how many more majors Tiger might win! Are we really in that much of a hurry? Can't we just slow down a bit and savor what we just witnessed?

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I’m sure once Tiger hits 19 majors Jack will say, ‘you know...senior tour wins should count .’

 

Edited by Vinsk
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35 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Really? Jack won his last PGA tournament in his 25th year. Tiger is in his 24th year. Tiger has longevity.

To play devils advocate, some of those 24 years were washouts with injuries.

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