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

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

194 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1634
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      815


6,761 posts / 519147 viewsLast Reply

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1 minute ago, Fidelio said:

No. I didn't. I made an argument about judgment and how it negatively influenced Tiger's career.

Nope.

You attempted to tie your comment in after the fact, but in doing so you didn't even make a statement of fact: you said it led to a "better career."

Tiger has had the better career, IMO. That's not a fact at all.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Nope.

Literally Jack's character was zero percent of why made that post. Zero point zero. I think I would know. I wrote it and know what was going on in my head.

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6 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Literally Jack's character was zero percent of why made that post. Zero point zero. I think I would know. I wrote it and know what was going on in my head.

So, the post saying his had "zero point zero" to do with Jack's character or life or decision making or whatever you want to call it?

45 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

Something people here don't like hear, Jack was just a lot better at life than Tiger was.

Right.

Bye bye.

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1 hour ago, Fidelio said:

Trevino might not adjust as well but do guys like Spieth, Koepka, DJ rank in the same stratosphere as Lee? Not even close at this point.

I pride myself on not pulling stats out of my ass, and always using logic and data to back up my points.  But I'm going to celebrate Tiger's win by making an exception, and say that if DJ and Koepka had turned 21 in 1960, they would have won 100 events and 20 majors between them.

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Jack has always been my guy, but what Tiger did today should put him with the best of all time. No one ever expected for him to win another major. Im happy he did! He has talent and what he did today should put a little scare in those young guys on tour...they all heard of what he can do but most have never faced him on sunday for a win...

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7 minutes ago, Kloeshuman said:

Jack has always been my guy, but what Tiger did today should put him with the best of all time. No one ever expected for him to win another major. Im happy he did! He has talent and what he did today should put a little scare in those young guys on tour...they all heard of what he can do but most have never faced him on sunday for a win...

I was a Jack guy too, but I recognized reality when Tiger came along.  Tiger didn't need this victory to establish himself with 'the best of all time'.  He was solidly entrenched in that group once he accomplished the Tiger Slam.  This victory merely reinforces what has been the case since the 2008 US Open, if not before - he is THE best of all time.

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I agree, but if he passes Jack for major wins.....that would end this debate. He has already proven himself

I will always love Jack and Arnold , its a different time and a different type of player these days

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IMO it’s hard to overstate how important today is for Tiger’s legacy. Yes people will say he was the GOAT before today and all of this is just gravy- and that’s fine- but I think without today, in 30+ years, he would have been remembered as much for what he didn’t accomplish as for what he did. For those who didn’t get a chance to witness his greatness first hand, I think the history books would have partially remembered his fall from grace, injuries, etc over his incredible talent and accomplishments. Well I think all of that noise gets thrown out with today.

Peak Tiger has always been the greatest the game has ever seen. That has never been a highly debatable topic IMO.  The debate in my mind at least has always been whether Tiger’s career was better than Jack’s. I’ve always been split on that question (and never voted on this thread) but after today, Tiger has answered that IMO. 

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With this performance Tiger won me over as the best golfer ever despite lacking 18 (he might beat that too!). He hit rock bottom after allowing himself to be coached by mr Magoo,  but he got away from the overthinky inexperienced dB.  

Now,  no coaches,  talent emerged again,  FINALLY!  No coaching screwing everything up.  Just hands and clubhead like EJ preached!

i believe it was eleven years between Jacks 86 win and eleven years prior to Tigers last Augusta win.  Coincidence?

Bravo Tiger.   You are the GOAT.  YOU CANT BE A GOAT WITHOUT A COMEBACK!  Case CLOSED.  

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vimZj8HW0Kg

 

 

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I keep hearing people on TV making an analogy between this and 1986, and I disagree.  In 1986 there was the palpable feel that this was an unexpected swan song.  This, while unexpected, and thought impossible as recently as 2 years ago, has none of that feeling at all.  This feels a lot more of the start of Tiger 2.0.


Bethpage Black, Pebble Beach, and then a return after 68 years to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.  It's going to be an interesting major season.

32 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

With this performance Tiger won me over as the best golfer ever despite lacking 18 (he might beat that too!). He hit rock bottom after allowing himself to be coached by mr Magoo,  but he got away from the overthinky inexperienced dB.  

Now,  no coaches,  talent emerged again,  FINALLY!  No coaching screwing everything up.  Just hands and clubhead like EJ preached!

i believe it was eleven years between Jacks 86 win and eleven years prior to Tigers last Augusta win.  Coincidence?

Bravo Tiger.   You are the GOAT.  YOU CANT BE A GOAT WITHOUT A COMEBACK!  Case CLOSED.  

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vimZj8HW0Kg

 

 

It would be.  Except it is 14 years since Tiger's last win in the Masters.

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There's far too many posts in this thread for me to read up on everything, but it seems to be almost consensus that the talent Tiger has faced far exceeds the talent Jack faced. 

I disagree with that assessment, and here's why:

1. In the early part of Tiger's career (late 90s - early 00's), the talent in the game wasn't all that great; look at your multiple time major champions (Mark O'Meara, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, etc) are certainly very good golfers, but with the exception of Ernie, you're not talking about all time greats. 

2. Nick Faldo and Greg Norman are at the latter part of their careers, and really after 1996 aren't all that relevant (Norman does have success in 1999, and Faldo has some success at the US Open in the 00's). 

3. The other guys of that era, specifically Couples and Love III, never really live up to their potential. Couples does perform very well at the majors, but he doesn't win anything. 

Now, we move into the 00's, where the competition is a little more fierce. 

I think we can all agree that the second best player of that generation is Phil Mickelson; Sergio Garcia has to be the third best. Phil finds success at the majors, but Sergio doesn't. The rest of the field is a who's who of very good golfers, but very few all time greats. Tiger has his run, and dominates the sport. But who's out there to give Tiger a run for his money on a consistent basis in the majors? Phil's like the only guy. I guess you could say that Padriag Harrington was pretty great (he was my favorite player for a very long time), but he's really only relevant from 2007-08. 

Now, we're at the later part of Tiger's career, and the game is full of really great (and even all time great) players: Rory, Jordan, Rose, and Jason Day are going to make the next few years very hard for Tiger; throw in Lefty as another potential guy who can win, and about another half dozen names or so of really good players (Bubba, Thomas, Molinari, Koepka, etc.) and we're starting to see a golden era for the game. I have no doubt that Tiger is the greatest athlete to ever play the game, but I WANT to see him win in an era with heavy competition to top Nicklaus. That's just my opinion. 

Because this is far too long, here's the thing with Jack:

1. The game was much different back when he played; short game and finesse seemed to be valued more. That era had guys who could really putt, chip, scramble, etc. 

2. In the 60's Jack had to face Arnie and Player; guys like Venturi, Peter Thomson (at the end of his career), and others were still around and playing well. 

3. In the 70s you've got Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino, Seve, and Tom Watson battling Jack. The Duel in the Sun is still probably the finest closing round in Open History. 

4. Hale Irwin is often under appreciated in terms of all time greatness: He won the US Open '74, '79, and '90 because he was one of the greats. 

The point of my post is this: Jack had tougher, and more consistent Nemesis' during his run, and still managed to set the record. Tiger, while certainly much more gifted, hasn't yet had the kinds of rivalries, which to me, signify true GOAT significance. I am confident that in the next three or four years, Tiger is going to break Jack's record, and I think playing in this era (with this competition), he'll over take Jack for me. Right now, I have him tied for second best of all time (with Bobby Jones, who shouldn't be forgotten about when we talk about GOAT) and that's not a bad place for him. Tiger will end his career as the greatest, but there's still a few road blocks ahead of him before he really achieves that status. 

Edited by iggywriter

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For me this is more worthy of greatness than 1986. I was cheering for Jack of course but at that time it was just the greatest of all time playing a great tournament and actually winning. Jack hadn’t gone through an awful injury and wasn’t coming into a group, a very large group, of players half his age who had won majors, tournaments and set records all while playing zero golf for 2 years. Once again, Tiger has out done Jack.

6 minutes ago, iggywriter said:

There's far too many posts in this thread for me to read up on everything,

I know it’s a lot, but unfortunately you should because your points have been addressed and debunked by @turtleback, @iacas and @brocks countlessly.

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I know it’s a lot, but unfortunately you should because your points have been addressed and debunked by @turtleback, @iacas and @brocks countlessly.

Forgive me, then, folks! There's just so much. To make it clear, I really think at the end of his career, Tiger's going to be the GOAT; it's just really hard, given the quality of players during Jack's era, to really just say the competition has been better. It might have more depth, but the top guys were so good when Jack played. That's really the point. Anyway, I'll go back in read up and see if I change my mind. Cheers! 

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1 minute ago, iggywriter said:

Forgive me, then, folks! There's just so much. To make it clear, I really think at the end of his career, Tiger's going to be the GOAT; it's just really hard, given the quality of players during Jack's era, to really just say the competition has been better. It might have more depth, but the top guys were so good when Jack played. That's really the point. Anyway, I'll go back in read up and see if I change my mind. Cheers! 

You will find many posts that explain the strength of field argument very well.  In fact, there is an entire other thread specifically devoted to that one topic.

You (and several others) argue that Jack faced better competition and the proof is a bunch of names of great players who have won several more majors each than the collection of players Tiger has had to face.

The counter to that, though, is that if there are fewer players in Tigers day with more majors, then there are more players with majors, hence several more players he has to beat each week.  Alongside this point, they’ll also remind you that half the fields in Jacks era were club pros, whereas in Tigers era the vast majority of guys teeing it up all had a legit shot at winning.

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Here's something to think about.  A lot of people get so caught up in the Tiger v. Jack debate (I'm a Tiger guy).  To me, this retrospective debate is moot as Tiger had already won the contest and even gathered in some "on the fence" with today's win. 

 

Here's something I'd like to throw out there that's maybe a little off topic: if Tiger is the greatest, what will it take for someone to pass Tiger?  We have the stats and the anecdotes of Tiger's greatness surpassing Jack.  Well, what calculations will go into determining who is the next "Tiger?"  Tiger did so much against such great competition, and it's getting even harder.  Tiger's win today was even more impressive than some of the things he did in his "prime."  I mean come on, Tom Kite, Rocco Mediate, Bob May,  Justin Leonard, Chris DiMarco, etc. are no Brooks Koepka or DJ or any of those other guys today.  Just curious to see what you guys think.  What'll it take?  I foresee one day even hitting 5 or 10 majors might one day be better than Jack's 18 or Tiger's 15 when most people on tour are like Finau, DJ, Champ, etc.

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I honestly laugh that this is still a discussion and there are actually people still debating that it's Jack. 

This isn't LeBron vs. MJ, this is MJ vs. Bill Russell. 

The "Jack faced tougher competition" argument is laughable. No sporting competition ever gets easier. People get stronger, faster, tougher...etc., in sports decade after decade. And beaten down middle-aged Tiger just beat the best field of golfers we've ever seen. In history. 


If there was anyone teetering on the edge of this debate, there's a 0% chance they haven't cemented their opinion after this weekend. 

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22 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

 

You (and several others) argue that Jack faced better competition and the proof is a bunch of names of great players who have won several more majors each than the collection of players Tiger has had to face.

The counter to that, though, is that if there are fewer players in Tigers day with more majors, then there are more players with majors, hence several more players he has to beat each week.  Alongside this point, they’ll also remind you that half the fields in Jacks era were club pros, whereas in Tigers era the vast majority of guys teeing it up all had a legit shot at winning.

I don't think it's a matter of better competition overall (depth is certainly beneficial to the Tiger argument; anyone can get hot and win the whole thing; Willett or Weir is an example of this) but rather more direct competition. Tennis offers a really good comparison:

Roger Federer is certainly the best player of all time, but would he have been perceived as great if it weren't for the competition he faced? Look at Sampras (another guy who deserves to be considered here) and the guys he faced in majors. Until Nadal and Djokovic arrive on the scene, Sampras looks like the guy with much better competition (Agassi, Goran, Edberg, Becker) because Roger's beating guys like Roddick and Hewitt (good players; not greats). The competition level gets much more fierce when Nadal bursts on the scene and Federer falters at Roland Garros year after year. Then, he conquers, and finds his way back to the top. He builds his resume (not just with Major victories), but with legendary matches, and the success of the other guys (who are also all time greats; the big three era of tennis is probably the best era in the sport's history). 

Basically, my point is this: Greatness isn't necessarily just skill. Tiger is a better player than Jack, just like Federer is a better player than Sampras. But, the story (or legacy for lack of a better word) is built on the perception  of competition and the rivalries that develop. Jack had Tom, Arnie, Lee, etc. all building towards that legacy by their own success. Tiger has basically just had Phil. 

That's how I look at this; it's not just the end product; if that's all that matters, then sure, it's Tiger all day long. No question, no debate. The story is important; the success of the other guys is just as important. It builds the narrative; it becomes more interesting. It keeps us coming back and talking about '77 at Turnberry, or '82 at Pebble Beach. Really, until this Masters, all we had from Tiger were the shots ('05 Masters for example) and the Tiger Slam. I guess I'm wanting more. 

I probably don't think about this the same way that most people here do. Greatness for me is all about the stories. I haven't felt that Tiger has given us all that much, in comparison to Jack, or even Bobby. 

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48 minutes ago, iggywriter said:

I don't think it's a matter of better competition overall (depth is certainly beneficial to the Tiger argument; anyone can get hot and win the whole thing; Willett or Weir is an example of this) but rather more direct competition. Tennis offers a really good comparison:

Roger Federer is certainly the best player of all time, but would he have been perceived as great if it weren't for the competition he faced? Look at Sampras (another guy who deserves to be considered here) and the guys he faced in majors. Until Nadal and Djokovic arrive on the scene, Sampras looks like the guy with much better competition (Agassi, Goran, Edberg, Becker) because Roger's beating guys like Roddick and Hewitt (good players; not greats). The competition level gets much more fierce when Nadal bursts on the scene and Federer falters at Roland Garros year after year. Then, he conquers, and finds his way back to the top. He builds his resume (not just with Major victories), but with legendary matches, and the success of the other guys (who are also all time greats; the big three era of tennis is probably the best era in the sport's history). 

Basically, my point is this: Greatness isn't necessarily just skill. Tiger is a better player than Jack, just like Federer is a better player than Sampras. But, the story (or legacy for lack of a better word) is built on the perception  of competition and the rivalries that develop. Jack had Tom, Arnie, Lee, etc. all building towards that legacy by their own success. Tiger has basically just had Phil. 

That's how I look at this; it's not just the end product; if that's all that matters, then sure, it's Tiger all day long. No question, no debate. The story is important; the success of the other guys is just as important. It builds the narrative; it becomes more interesting. It keeps us coming back and talking about '77 at Turnberry, or '82 at Pebble Beach. Really, until this Masters, all we had from Tiger were the shots ('05 Masters for example) and the Tiger Slam. I guess I'm wanting more. 

I probably don't think about this the same way that most people here do. Greatness for me is all about the stories. I haven't felt that Tiger has given us all that much, in comparison to Jack, or even Bobby. 

Tiger was just that much better than the field. You’re letting that trick you into thinking his competition wasn’t as stiff as Jack’s. It’s really simple actually. You enter a tournament with 20 people. Of that 20 there are 5 top tier golfers 10 average players and 5 club pros who really have no chance. As a top tier player what are your chances?

Now you have a tournament with 20 people. 15 are top tier players and 5 are average players. Which tournament do you do best in?

This is basically what Tiger vs Jack tournaments were like. This isn’t even mentioning that Jack played and won majors where not even the top 10 ranked golfers even showed up. It was handful of great golfers mixed with club pros and absolute nobodies.  

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