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


sungho_kr

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

216 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1629
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      816


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On 6/23/2021 at 5:11 PM, onthehunt526 said:

This whole Jack won 18 majors, so Jack is  the GOAT, and Tiger’s 15 make him not the GOAT, is comparable to Bill Russell being the GOAT of the NBA for winning 11 titles in 13 years, when the most teams in the league when he was playing was 14. No one says that Michael Jordan is any but the GOAT in the NBA. MJ won 6 titles in 8 years while taking a break to play minor league baseball. With a league that had 27 teams and then 29 when he came back. 

When Jack won his pre-1975 majors, the talent pool was not that deep. From 1976-1986 Jack won just 4 majors. Tiger yes had a drought with injuries, his vices, more injuries, etc. The talent pool where Tiger won the first 14 of his 15 majors, was three or four fold as deep as Jack’s ‘86 Masters. There were guys that would’ve and should’ve won a major or more majors in Tiger’s era, that didn’t because Tiger was just that dominant.

From 2000-08, Tiger Woods played in 34 majors championships, he WON 12. Post World War II no golfer in even there strongest 10 year stretch comes close (maybe Watson’s 8 and 5 out of 9 Open Championships, Nicklaus had 8 in the 1970s)

All I’m saying is no one has ever dominated the sport as thoroughly for an extended period of time, as Tiger Woods.

I totally agree. Tiger brought a game that was head an shoulders above the rest. Primarily he introduced serious workout regimens. He inspired many talented athletes to take up golf. Todays golf is being played seriously worldwide. No longer just a game for the privileged country club players.

 

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Here's the most compelling objective/hard data based argument I've ever seen on Tiger vs. Jack. Or, Old Timers vs. 21st Century Players.

In 1980, Jack's last great year, only 40 players finished within 2 shots of the PGA Tour Leader (Lee Trevino: 69.732) in scoring average.

In 2021, 130 players finishes within 2 shots of the PGA Tour Leader (John Rahm: 69.300) in scoring average.

Does the not definitively prove that fields were a lot deeper (and a lot more people could win every week) in Tiger's Era versus Jack's?

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4 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

Here's the most compelling objective/hard data based argument I've ever seen on Tiger vs. Jack. Or, Old Timers vs. 21st Century Players.

In 1980, Jack's last great year, only 40 players finished within 2 shots of the PGA Tour Leader (Lee Trevino: 69.732) in scoring average.

In 2021, 130 players finishes within 2 shots of the PGA Tour Leader (John Rahm: 69.300) in scoring average.

Does the not definitively prove that fields were a lot deeper (and a lot more people could win every week) in Tiger's Era versus Jack's?

Well this topic is more about Tiger’s era vs Jack’s yes? 1980 vs 2021 isn’t really representing the two. I’d like to see those stats for say, 1965-1980 and 1997-2015.

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23 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Well this topic is more about Tiger’s era vs Jack’s yes? 1980 vs 2021 isn’t really representing the two. I’d like to see those stats for say, 1965-1980 and 1997-2015.

I don't have PGA Tour scoring leaders (top 50-150) before 1980. Do you?

Looking at more years, here we go:

1980: 40 players finished within two strokes of the PGA TOUR Lead.

1990: 80

1995: 75

2000 (excluding Tiger): 104

2005 (excluding Tiger): 91

2010: 158 

2015: 95 

2021: 130

I strongly suspect if were were to run a linear trendline through these plotted results, for 42 years (1980-2021), it would be a general trendline indicating increasing difficulty of winning golf tournaments. E.g., Far ore players closer to winning every week. 

It would be much more dispositive.

Thoughts, everyone?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

I don't have PGA Tour scoring leaders (top 50-150) before 1980. Do you?

Looking at more years, here we go:

1980: 40 players finished within two strokes of the PGA TOUR Lead.

1990: 80

1995: 75

2000 (excluding Tiger): 104

2005 (excluding Tiger): 91

2010: 158 

2015: 95 

2021: 130

I strongly suspect if were were to run a linear trendline through these plotted results, for 42 years (1980-2021), it would be a general trendline indicating increasing difficulty of winning golf tournaments. E.g., Far ore players closer to winning every week. 

It would be much more dispositive.

Thoughts, everyone?

 

 

I don’t think there’s any question that Tiger’s time had a stronger SOF. Unfortunately there are still so many dopes who cling to the 18>15 which is really the only stat worth mentioning that Jack has over Tiger. I recently heard on PGA XM radio two old timers who claimed Jack the GOAT based on that alone. People like that will never change their minds regardless of any facts or stats. Too stubborn.

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A side note: Since career money won is an important barometer of dominance:

Based on my research in Newspapers.com, Jack took over the leader from Arnie in all time money won on 3/7/1972 by winning Doral. He ended up with 1,477,200 in his 11th season, passing Palmer with $1,471,226 (in his 18th season).  Jack held that record until September, 1988 when Watson finally passed his career mark of $5,002,885.

Tiger took over that mantle in February of 2000 with 13.36 million won (passing Davis Love).

You might enjoy this amazing infographic:


Each week a new interactive data visualization sheds light on a new topic in the world of golf.

 

10 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I don’t think there’s any question that Tiger’s time had a stronger SOF. Unfortunately there are still so many dopes who cling to the 18>15 which is really the only stat worth mentioning that Jack has over Tiger. I recently heard on PGA XM radio two old timers who claimed Jack the GOAT based on that alone. People like that will never change their minds regardless of any facts or stats. Too stubborn.

Do you have that 1994 or so article where Jack is quoted (loosely paraphrasing) "When I played they had to beat 10 guys. Hell's Bells! Today they have to beat 100!"?

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28 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I don’t think there’s any question that Tiger’s time had a stronger SOF. Unfortunately there are still so many dopes who cling to the 18>15 which is really the only stat worth mentioning that Jack has over Tiger. I recently heard on PGA XM radio two old timers who claimed Jack the GOAT based on that alone. People like that will never change their minds regardless of any facts or stats. Too stubborn.

28 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I don’t think there’s any question that Tiger’s time had a stronger SOF. Unfortunately there are still so many dopes who cling to the 18>15 which is really the only stat worth mentioning that Jack has over Tiger. I recently heard on PGA XM radio two old timers who claimed Jack the GOAT based on that alone. People like that will never change their minds regardless of any facts or stats. Too stubborn.

Do you have that 1994 or so article where Jack is quoted (loosely paraphrasing) "When I played they had to beat 10 guys. Hell's Bells! Today they have to beat 100!"?

It took Jack 370 stars from 1962-1980 to win 70 golf tournaments.

It took Tiger 231 starts from 1996-2009 to win 70 golf tournaments.

Edited by csh19792001
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1 hour ago, csh19792001 said:

This might be worthy of a new thread, but- assuming Tiger retired from the PGA Tour today- how long to people think it'd be before someone passes Tiger in career money won?

10 years? 20? Never?

Agree on this needing a new thread. I think it could happen in the next 5-10 years. Purses will keep growing, so could could be DJ or JT or someone relatively young.

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8 hours ago, csh19792001 said:

This might be worthy of a new thread, but- assuming Tiger retired from the PGA Tour today- how long to people think it'd be before someone passes Tiger in career money won?

10 years? 20? Never?

Career money isn’t the best indicator of the greatness of a golfer relative to their peers. Tiger could’ve played in a lot more tournaments than he did and he could’ve made a lot more money. The fact that he chose not to, didn’t make him less of a golfer.  Also, due to inflation, career money earnings doesn’t translate over time.

6 hours ago, chspeed said:

Agree on this needing a new thread. 

Call me when someone wins either 18 Majors or 82 careers wins…we’ll revisit this then.

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2 hours ago, woodzie264 said:

Career money isn’t the best indicator of the greatness of a golfer relative to their peers. Tiger could’ve played in a lot more tournaments than he did and he could’ve made a lot more money. The fact that he chose not to, didn’t make him less of a golfer.  Also, due to inflation, career money earnings doesn’t translate over time.

Call me when someone wins either 14 Majors or 82 careers wins…we’ll revisit this then.

What's the best indicator, then? 

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19 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

What's the best indicator, then? 

I would think the best indicator of a players dominance over their peers is number of wins. That’s the point, to win. Others here have (and will continue to) look at majors.  Both of those markers translate over time and are unaffected by inflation. 

Besides, the modern purses are only as large as they are because of Tiger. So it’s silly to look at career earnings after Tiger because he was the one who exponentially increased the earning potential of all those who followed. Tiger changed the whole industry; If it weren’t for him, those after him wouldn’t have earned what they did

On 10/24/2021 at 10:16 AM, iacas said:

 

And total wins aside, stats like these are fairly convincing…IMHO

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22 minutes ago, woodzie264 said:

And total wins aside, stats like these are fairly convincing…IMHO

Here’s another from Lou yesterday,

Picking Top 10s closes the skill gap a little too. Yet, Tiger is well ahead. I wonder what top-25 would look like. We already know his streak without missing a cut. 

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10 hours ago, csh19792001 said:

A side note: Since career money won is an important barometer of dominance:

I'm joining those who will say that's not an important barometer of dominance. Longevity, maybe.

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22 hours ago, csh19792001 said:

A side note: Since career money won is an important barometer of dominance:

Not really. 

You would have to come up with an acceptable inflation adjusted number. Just not assuming your normal CPI inflation, but good luck determining how much extra inflation in purses was caused by Jack and caused by Tiger. 

I do not think career money won is an indicator of dominance since you are now taking a much more good stat, like top 10 finishes and winning, and assigning a cost benefit analysis done by accountants. 

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22 hours ago, csh19792001 said:

This might be worthy of a new thread, but- assuming Tiger retired from the PGA Tour today- how long to people think it'd be before someone passes Tiger in career money won?

10 years? 20? Never?

AS Jack himself said in his famous 'majors are the only fair measuring stick' claim, money is a terrible way to measure greatness.

Edited by turtleback
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7 hours ago, turtleback said:

AS Jack himself said in his famous 'majors are the only fair measuring stick' claim, money is a terrible way to measure greatness.

Yes. Of course he said this after he realized he wouldn’t be able to surpass Snead’s total wins.😃

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