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

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

199 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1633
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      816


6,793 posts / 541395 viewsLast Reply

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14 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's beside the point, but there have been people who have said "I don't think you can identify a GOAT, but if I had to pick, 18 > 14 so I would have to pick Jack." (Most are from back before April 2019.)

But like I said… beside the point.

I'm sure that's true. Just as I said above that if I was obligated to make a choice baaed on the data at hand, I'd go with Tiger. 

 

1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

But Jack didn't do this. He decide one variable would have more weight than all others. As an engineer who has done dozens and dozens of designed experiments myself, I find this odd. Without defining why, other than a sports writer calling them 'majors', Jack decided because he had the most, that would be the only variable that counts. He skipped over total wins, amateur wins, PGA Tour wins, etc. 

When others point out that a win against a weak field of mostly also-ran players (like the '66 PGA or early Open Championships) should not count any more that a tough, non-major tournament, Jack as GOAT defenders then say it is only speculation and opinion.

Jack defined himself which variable was most important. All the other math points to this not be a valid premise.

Have a nice day!

On this point I completely agree with the remarks made by iacas: we each get to choose what defines the GOAT for ourselves (apologies if my paraphrasing isn't 100% accurate). To that end, Jack can decide for himself what he thinks defines the GOAT  I do not think that major championships can be used to define the GOAT - I suppose that much is obvious. 🤔

 

Now,

I respect the views of people in this thread who view Tiger as the GOAT. There is a wealth of statistics and data to support that belief. I agree that from the statistical spectrum, Tiger's career achievements are more impressive than Jack's (or anyone, for that matter). If statistics and numbers define the GOAT for you, I understand your reasoning that Tiger is the guy.  👏🏻

I am also OK with opposing views in favor of other golfers. Everyone can choose their own criteria for this title. 👍🏻

in my mind, GOAT quite simply implies the person who would have dominated all other golfers throughout all eras (not in single head-to-head matches but over a career-like time span). That's why my belief is that GOTT is the best that we can do. **Addendum: I'm fine with people who disagree with my view - so long as it is done respectfully. I'm not attempting to change anyone's mind here. I'm just attempting to discuss another way of looking at the topic. 😇

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While a player's record in major championships is not the only measure of his or her skill, it does count for something. Woods has now played in 84 major championships (through the 2019 British Open). Here is his record compared to Nicklaus’s first 84:

Jack:
1st - 17
2nd - 16
3rd - 9
4-10 - 19

Tiger:
1st - 15
2nd - 7
3rd - 4
4-10 - 15

 

 

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13 minutes ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

While a player's record in major championships is not the only measure of his or her skill, it does count for something. 

Right. But strength of field is a component that must be considered as well. Nobody considers Margaret Court to be the greatest female tennis player despite having more grand slams than Serena. As has been presented ad nauseam many of Jack’s wins were against very weak fields. None of Tiger’s major wins were played against a field where only a handful of the top ranked world players were present. Jack has PGA championship wins where the field was actually predominantly club pros.

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3 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Jack has PGA championship wins where the field was actually predominantly club pros.

Now, that is just offensively false.

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18 minutes ago, PeaceFrogg said:

Now, that is just offensively false.

Actually no. And if you’re offended, sorry but facts don’t care about feelings.

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41 minutes ago, PeaceFrogg said:

Now, that is just offensively false.

There are two things wrong with this statement. 

1. That it’s false

2. That it’s offensive 

 

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43 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

There are two things wrong with this statement. 

1. That it’s false

2. That it’s offensive 

 

 

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Actually no. And if you’re offended, sorry but facts don’t care about feelings.

You two need to look up the definition of predominately. It is patently false to say that the PGA Championship fields that Nicklaus competed against in his 5 wins consisted of predominately club pros. That's just not a true statement. This is not an argument about strength of fields which I know were absolutely stronger during Tiger's run and now. It's about an erroneous statement.

Edited by PeaceFrogg

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1 hour ago, PeaceFrogg said:

 

You two need to look up the definition of predominately. It is patently false to say that the PGA Championship fields that Nicklaus competed against in his 5 wins consisted of predominately club pros. That's just not a true statement. This is not an argument about strength of fields which I know were absolutely stronger during Tiger's run and now. It's about an erroneous statement.

There were only 56 touring pros in the starting field of 168 players at San Antonio. One day a writer asked me about this ratio, and I said, "It's absurd and unfortunate." Only a third of the players at the PGA were regular tour competitors—or, in other words, the best players in the world.

- Jack Nicklaus

Sorry @PeaceFrogg. Take it up with Jack. You’re wrong. 

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2 hours ago, PeaceFrogg said:

 

You two need to look up the definition of predominately. It is patently false to say that the PGA Championship fields that Nicklaus competed against in his 5 wins consisted of predominately club pros. That's just not a true statement. This is not an argument about strength of fields which I know were absolutely stronger during Tiger's run and now. It's about an erroneous statement.

You are pretty new to the board.  One of the things you will find out is that ALL of this stuff has been discussed and, more importantly DOCUMENTED here in this thread.  From the records we talk about and what was said at the time, personal experience from a guy who was there, etc.  And if someone like @iacas or @brocks makes a factual statement in this arena they absolutely know what they are talking about.

Don't you remember when instead of 125 exempt players there were only 60.  And the other tournament spots were filled up by rabbits qualifying on Monday, rabbits from the previous week who made last week's cut and sundry other non-touring pros?  Would you believe what a guy who was there and posts here and was one of the guys trying to qualify, @Phil McGleno?  How about the week to week story of the tour, in Jack's day, contained in Frank Beard's 'diary' book about the 1969 season when he was the leading money winner on tour. 

There was no Nike tour, no viable eurotour*, no foreign tours*, nowhere* that someone not in the top 60 could play full time tournament golf.  You were either one of the sixty or you were a club pro with aspirations.  And, frankly, the bottom of that top 60 was heavily populated by guys who were club pros and would return to being club pros after they lost their card.  It was a completely different golf world.

Since you are so 'offended' (really?  Golf is something you actually get offended over), what do you base YOUR statement on?


* i.e., nothing that a US club pro could make a living at to build up the experience to make the jump to the US (and only world class, at the time) tour.

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5 hours ago, PeaceFrogg said:

You two need to look up the definition of predominately.

Predominately, another word for mainly. Mainly, meaning consisting of more than anything else. Also known as over 50%. 

4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

There were only 56 touring pros in the starting field of 168 players at San Antonio. One day a writer asked me about this ratio, and I said, "It's absurd and unfortunate." Only a third of the players at the PGA were regular tour competitors—or, in other words, the best players in the world.

- Jack Nicklaus

This constitutes mainly, which constitutes predominantly.

56/168 = 33% touring pro's. A far cry from 50%. 

Yea, we know what the word means. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 2:00 PM, Vinsk said:

There were only 56 touring pros in the starting field of 168 players at San Antonio. One day a writer asked me about this ratio, and I said, "It's absurd and unfortunate." Only a third of the players at the PGA were regular tour competitors—or, in other words, the best players in the world.

- Jack Nicklaus

To be scrupulously fair, the PGA Championship that Jack is talking about (1968) was not one of his wins.  In fact, he missed the cut against that stellar field.  It was won by Julius Boros, then 48 years old, and hardly ever mistaken for Brooks Koepka.

Boros had a long career, finishing 7th in the US Open as late as 1973, 21 years after his first of two wins in that event.  But like most top US pros of that era, he didn't consider the British Open worth the time and expense to play.  He played in majors over a 30-year span, but played the Open only once. 

Another piece of data indicating that the majors of the 60's, with the possible exception of the US Open, were weaker than most of Tiger's regular tour wins.

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4 hours ago, brocks said:

To be scrupulously fair, the PGA Championship that Jack is talking about (1968) was not one of his wins.  In fact, he missed the cut against that stellar field.  It was won by Julius Boros, then 48 years old, and hardly ever mistaken for Brooks Koepka.

Boros had a long career, finishing 7th in the US Open as late as 1973, 21 years after his first of two wins in that event.  But like most top US pros of that era, he didn't consider the British Open worth the time and expense to play.  He played in majors over a 30-year span, but played the Open only once. 

Another piece of data indicating that the majors of the 60's, with the possible exception of the US Open, were weaker than most of Tiger's regular tour wins.

Do you know how that cut line was established?  Low x and ties? What would x have been?

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:51 PM, turtleback said:

Do you know how that cut line was established?  Low x and ties? What would x have been?

The cut was at 149, top 70 and ties.  76 players made it, including 56-year-old Sam Snead.  Jack shot 71-79 to just miss.


Here is a media guide (PDF) that has the full results of PGA Championships from 1916 through 2011.  If anyone knows of a more recent version, please post a link.
http://images.pgalinks.com/vmc/pressReleases/MG_2012_PGAChamp.pdf

Edited by brocks

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6 minutes ago, Wally Fairway said:

Nice math - but it's Brandel so I'm 95% discounting whatever he says as just trying to get some attention for himself

That's his job.

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