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1badbadger

Are Major Championships Really That Important?

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Another thread that was started today about Rory McIlroy being overrated inspired this question.  Many players and golf fans place a lot of weight on how many majors a player has won, and use it as a yardstick to determine how successful their career has been.  Nicklaus is often given credit for bringing awareness to the importance of winning majors, and it's now a huge factor on how players are judged.  In 2013 Tiger won 5 times, but every article that was written about that season or him winning Player of the Year point out that none of those tournaments were majors.

Of course majors are important, but is too much emphasis placed on them?  Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomery, John Cook and Sergio Garcia have not won a major, so are their careers considered sub-standard?  And I hate to use this example because he's my boy, but should Andy North's career be included with the all-time greats because he is a multiple major winner? If you had to look at only one aspect, which would give a better indication of a player's success...to look at wins in the majors and not regular tournaments, or to look at regular tournament wins and not the majors?

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1 minute ago, 1badbadger said:

Another thread that was started today about Rory McIlroy being overrated inspired this question.

The thread's from 2010… ;-)

3 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

Of course majors are important, but is too much emphasis placed on them?  Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomery, John Cook and Sergio Garcia have not won a major, so are their careers considered sub-standard?

IMO, yes.

3 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

And I hate to use this example because he's my boy, but should Andy North's career be included with the all-time greats because he is a multiple major winner?

No. He didn't have enough of the other things (like his one regular Tour win) to be considered one of the all-time greats.

In other words, IMO, you can't be an all-time great without multiple majors, but you also can't really be an all-time great  with ONLY a major or two.

Andy North was basically a fluke win that happened twice.

I think the majors ARE important. Rightly so. They have fields where, if you're invited, you pretty much are sure to attend. You can't say that about many of the other full-field PGA Tour events. Or European Tour events. Etc.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I think the majors ARE important. Rightly so. They have fields where, if you're invited, you pretty much are sure to attend. You can't say that about many of the other full-field PGA Tour events. Or European Tour events. Etc.

I think this is the most important part. Winning a major means you were up against all of the best in the world. Winning just any other event could mean winning against a handful of great players and rest just good players. That's why I think majors are that important. 

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Are they important absolutely they are.  Is it the best way to decide who has had a better career overall I don't think so.  Is Walter Hagen better than Arnold Palmer because he has 4 more majors?   Not in my opinion.

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2 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Three words...  Depth of field.

Yep, they're that important.

So how does the players championship and WGC events compare in you opinion?

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Just now, Jakester23 said:

So how does the players championship and WGC events compare in you opinion?

Close behind.  

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1 hour ago, 1badbadger said:

Of course majors are important, but is too much emphasis placed on them?  Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomery, John Cook and Sergio Garcia have not won a major, so are their careers considered sub-standard?  

 

1 hour ago, iacas said:

The thread's from 2010… ;-)

I didn't realize the Rory thread was from 2010...I guess I looked at when the last reply was made instead of when it started.  Oh well, it still triggered this one,

IMO, yes.

 

In other words, IMO, you can't be an all-time great without multiple majors, but you also can't really be an all-time great  with ONLY a major or two.

 

Wow...you can't be an all-time great without multiple majors?  As Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction would say, "That's a bold statement."

Let me throw this example at you...Jim Furyk.  27 Professional wins.  17 wins on PGA Tour.  1 major (U.S. Open...tied lowest 72 hole score). Vardon Trophy.  FedEx Cup Champion.  Player of the Year.  Shot 59 on PGA Tour.  Shot 58 on PGA Tour. Played in 9 Ryder Cups and 7 Presidents Cups.  Over $67 million in career earnings.  Sub-standard or great?
 

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8 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Close behind.  

I agree Id think WGC's are almost half of a major.

5 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

 

Wow...you can't be an all-time great without multiple majors?  As Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction would say, "That's a bold statement."

Let me throw this example at you...Jim Furyk.  27 Professional wins.  17 wins on PGA Tour.  1 major (U.S. Open...tied lowest 72 hole score). Vardon Trophy.  FedEx Cup Champion.  Player of the Year.  Shot 59 on PGA Tour.  Shot 58 on PGA Tour. Played in 9 Ryder Cups and 7 Presidents Cups.  Over $67 million in career earnings.  Sub-standard or great?
 

Neither.  Its like any sport.  In the football HOF all the players are good but Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Joe Montana, ect.... are better than most of the other guys.

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9 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

Wow...you can't be an all-time great without multiple majors?  As Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction would say, "That's a bold statement."

I don't think it's that bold.

9 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

Let me throw this example at you...Jim Furyk.  27 Professional wins.  17 wins on PGA Tour.  1 major (U.S. Open...tied lowest 72 hole score). Vardon Trophy.  FedEx Cup Champion.  Player of the Year.  Shot 59 on PGA Tour.  Shot 58 on PGA Tour. Played in 9 Ryder Cups and 7 Presidents Cups.  Over $67 million in career earnings.  Sub-standard or great?

Jim? No. Not one of the all-time greats. Closer to Scott Hoch than Billy Casper.

The choice is not between "sub-standard" or "great." That's a false dichotomy. Jim had a very good career. Maybe even a "great" career. But not an All-Time Great Career.

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There's good... there's really good... and there's great.  

I'd have to say that to be in that great level, you'd have to have a combination of a number of regular tour wins and a handful of majors.  It's an individual sport where success is measured in victories.  The largest victories will be against the most difficult fields.  The majors provide exactly that.  

A major winner is a major winner.  A multiple major winner is at another level.  A multiple major winner with a proven track record of winning is at the level of greatness.  

For all of Tiger's success in majors... what makes it stand out even more is the fact that for years, he entered ONLY some of the toughest events and he's STILL got a 24% win percentage.  In effect... he's won nearly 1 out of every 4 tournaments he's entered.  That's greatness.  

Short answer... in my opinion, yes, majors are that important in defining a career.  

CY

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14 minutes ago, Fairway_CY said:

A major winner is a major winner.  A multiple major winner is at another level.  A multiple major winner with a proven track record of winning is at the level of greatness.  
 

I disagree. Angel Cabrera got on a hot streak in two majors. He only has 8 total wins between the PGA Tour and European Tour, two of them majors. I would not consider him at the level of greatness. 


I agree that majors are important. They should have some weight in defining the best golfers, but I think many put too much weight on them. 

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IMO, my list of greats...but not all-time greats (Name/Wins/Majors)

  • Davis Love/21/1
  • Tom Kite/19/1
  • Ben Crenshaw/19/2
  • Curtis Strange/17/2
  • Jim Furyk/17/1
  • Mark O'Meara/16/2
  • Fred Couples/15/1
  • Cory Pavin/15/1

Nick Price, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin are all very close but I'd put them in the grey area.  Multiple majors and, especially Price and Norman, were dominant at certain points in their career.  Irwin cemented his legacy on the Senior tour...i'm not basing it totally on that but man he was amazing late in his career.

Flame away. :-)  Davis Love is one of my all-time favorites.  Absolutely love him but I don't think of him as an all-time great.

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10 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

This is kind of like saying "Super Bowls don't matter!'

That's a pretty good comparison.  There are quarterbacks, with Super Bowl wins to their credit, who we do not consider to be among the all-time greats; just as there are golfers, with a major or two, who do not rank among the games elite.  Also, we tend to view either, who do not have the requisite hardware, as lacking somehow...no matter how long and successful their careers have otherwise been.  Granted, participants in team sports have an apologetic not available to individuals (i.e. the poor guy played for_____) but still the suspicion lurks.  One ring, or claret jug, does not seem to matter until its absence seems incongruous with the rest of the data.  Once that point is reached...once it comes to represent the icing on the cake...it matters very much.

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I have always thought there should be a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Very Good. Kurt Warner is definitely in the latter. Tom Brady is an all-time great. If you have an argument over a guy, he's not. The ones that there is no argument, like Tiger and Ali, are the real thing.

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