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brocks last won the day on March 18

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  • Birthday 11/30/1952

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  1. brocks

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

    Exactly. The Mark McCormack-created "Big Three" of Arnie, Jack, and Gary each won two British Opens during the years 1959-1970, with only a handful of Americans in the fields. It probably wasn't until the 90's that most of the world's best players showed up for all four majors. European golf was so devastated by WWII that the British Open wasn't even considered a major (except by players from the British Empire) during the 50's, before Arnie revived it and the Wide World of Sports started hyping it. And I can prove it. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=AtlQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=O9AMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5796%2C6443962 Anybody who doesn't want to click on a blind link, I don't blame you, but you'll miss out, because there is a picture of Elvira Snodgrass at the bottom of the page. Hubba hubba. But briefly, it's the April 9, 1951 sports page of an Ohio newspaper containing an article about Ben Hogan's win in the Masters that weekend. The headline is, "Masters Victory Gives Hogan All of Golf's Major Trophies." Right, everybody knows Hogan won the pro Grand Slam. Except that he won the British Open in 1953. And that was the first time he played it. He had never played it when the paper said he had won all of golf's majors. So the headline is saying there are only three pro majors. Sometimes headlines don't actually reflect what their article says, but this isn't one of those times. The article says the same thing. It says if Hogan wanted to retire right now, he could check through his collection of titles and find not one of major importance missing. This is a small-town paper, because the big ones are behind pay walls, but it's a nationally syndicated article from the AP. Assuming they have their top reporter cover the Masters, the article was written by arguably the most important sports reporter in the US, since there was no Sports Illustrated at the time. And it's not like European sports were ignored in general. Right above the Masters article that dismisses the British Open as a non-event, there's an article about the Davis Cup --- the US vs Europe in amateur tennis. And right below it (but above the picture of Elvira Snodgrass) is an article mentioning the European featherweight champ in boxing. It's just a fact --- the majors weren't the MAJORS until the 80's at the earliest. As @Turtleback showed with Hale Irwin, probably not even then. And I honestly don't understand why this is even controversial. Nobody has any problem saying Vardon played against weaker competition than Jack. But the exact same factors -- smaller talent pool, smaller fields, fewer international competitors, and swing theory and technology changes that helped good players more than great players --- that make it obvious that it was easier to win in Vardon's day, also apply when comparing the Jack era to the Tiger era.
  2. brocks

    The Tiger Woods/PED Thread

    Great summary. And having finished the book, I can assert that the only mention of PEDs after that chapter is this, from Chapter 31 about his breakup with the always tactful Hank Haney: ***** Days later, Haney was interviewed on Golf Channel by Jim Gray, who asked him if he had ever known of Tiger taking performance-enhancing drugs. Haney said he believed that Tiger never took PEDs. “The only thing I knew about was his issue with sex addiction," Haney said. Tiger wasn’t pleased. Right after the interview, he shot Haney a text: "Thanks for telling everyone that I was in sex-addiction treatment." Steinberg was more outspoken. Fuming, he telephoned Haney. "How could you do that?" he yelled. "How could you say that? How can he raise any money? This will kill his foundation." "I didn’t mean to hurt him or cause him any problems. I apologize if I did," Haney said. "You better not be doing any more interviews," Steinberg threatened. "Mark, you don’t control me anymore. I’m going to talk to who I want to talk to." ******** I blame the popsicle incident. I agree with you --- the authors desperately wanted to find a shred of evidence that Tiger used PEDs, but were unable to. About the best they could do was quote a 2010 Sports Illustrated poll of PGA pros. Out of the hundreds of pros they surveyed, only 71 responded, and 17 of those said they thought Tiger might be taking HGH. No evidence, just their stupid, uninformed opinion. MY stupid opinion is that it's obvious Tiger didn't use steroids. As much as he works out, if he did use steroids, he would look like Phil Heath. Instead, he looks pretty good for a golfer. Serena Williams has bigger arms than he does. Heck, I had bigger arms when I was 15, after one year of lifting, with my PEDs being peanut butter and chocolate milk. God, those were the days, when I could eat anything I wanted, as much as I wanted, and not gain weight unless I really stuffed myself.
  3. brocks

    Tiger Woods Master Catch-All Discussion

    The Euro Tour is apparently not happy about Tiger. Not only is he third on their all-time wins list, but he is miles ahead of everyone else in career winnings. Ten years or so ago, this was acknowledged on the official Euro Tour website, but now there's no mention of Tiger, and a footnote that only players who are official members of the Tour are listed. Also interesting to note that if you don't count WGCs and majors, Tiger still has 8 wins in Euro tour events, which is one more than Rory.
  4. Actually nobody can know, period. No amount of effort could answer the question, because it was a different golf world then. You didn't have all the good international players competing in PGA events, and for the first dozen years or so of Jack's career, you didn't even have most of the top players in the world at the majors. There would simply be no basis for comparing golfers that would be statistically valid.
  5. brocks

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

    Whatever it is, Tiger's favorite flavor is better.
  6. brocks

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

    I disagree. I think most people would interpret it the way I did. Probably 80% or more. Start a poll if you want, and see who's right. Depends on the context. If I say Tiger could have won more events in 2008 if he hadn't broken his leg, then it's pretty clear I don't think that he deserved to win the British Open that year. But when you say the POY is not a good measure because Jack could have won it for six straight years but didn't, and then go on to say that he won two majors in '63 but didn't win POY, and won the money title in '64 and '65 but didn't win POY, then it's a very reasonable interpretation that you think he deserved to win those years. And it is IMO a thoroughly unreasonable interpretation that you were whining about the majors and money titles he won without getting POY just because you thought it was "conceivable" that he could have won. When I whine about Tiger winning 5 out of 7 events played in 2008, including the US Open on a torn up knee and fractured leg, you can be very sure I mean that I think he should have been POY. I have no idea what you believe, I only know what you write. And I don't read all your posts, let alone memorize them. I was just replying to a single post where IMO you made it clear that you thought Jack was treated unfairly for not winning six POYs in six years, even in years when (as I showed) he clearly was not the best player. Geez, in a later post you even made that explicit, saying you thought that the voting was tilted against him. Unlike you, I don't immediately assume people are liars, so I accept that I misinterpreted your post. I do not accept that it was my fault, because IMO anybody would interpret your post the way I did. But I won't call you a liar; I'll just call you a poor writer.
  7. brocks

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

    You do realize I've been attending The Memorial every year for 15 years, right, as a member of the media and often also as an instructor/coach. I didn't say Jack ever said he was a better driver. I said he said Tiger was a better irons player. Jack's also said that Tiger's a better wedge/short game player. Jack says they'd be neck and neck with the putter. I don't know where you got the "Tiger is a better driver" stuff. It's your own invention. I never said it, and I never said Jack said it. Let's look at what I actually said: Wow, there must be two Fidelios in this thread, because someone who so thoroughly mischaracterized your posts surely can't be the same person who accused me of outright lying about his posts, when all I did was interpret them the way any sane person would.
  8. brocks

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

    Nobody knows what someone else might do, but in 2006, Tiger was one event short of qualifying for the Vardon, and chose not to play. There were events left on the schedule very close to his home in Florida that wouldn't have required much travel, and he was so far ahead in scoring average that he could have mailed it in and still won the Vardon. He did win the Byron Nelson award that year, which only required 50 rounds. Edit: I see that Dr. Manhattan beat me to this. Good job; that's a fairly obscure fact.
  9. brocks

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

    Scoring average is IMO useful only for comparing players of the same year, because it's so easy to make course setups easier or harder to manipulate the score. Even on the same course in the same year, it's easy. Compare the scores for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to the US Open played at Pebble Beach the same year, or the scores at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines in 2008 to the US Open at the same course four and a half months later. As for Jack's Vardon Trophy story, you might find this post interesting.
  10. brocks

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

    Tiger has won over $111 million on tour. Jack only won $5 million. Numbers don't lie. And don't give me any commie hippie BS about inflation. Jack should have thought about that before he decided to be born, just like Hagen should have thought about the PGA and Masters not being founded before he was born. And in 1963, when the Masters paid $20,000 to the winner, the British Open paid only $1500 -- not enough to cover expenses, even if you won. That's why the Opens of the 60's had only a dozen or less Americans in the field, which made them weaker than almost any regular PGA event of the same year, let alone the modern era.
  11. brocks

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

    I have been asked not to use that term any more, and I will comply, but if you google it, you will see that it means " a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial." No insult was intended. I just don't like to call my debate opponents "Jack fans," because I am a huge Jack fan myself. In fact, I think he was the second greatest golfer of all time. So you are calling me a liar for believing that when you said this: "That Player of the Year award is not a good a measure though. Jack didn't win a Player of the Year award until his sixth year on tour even though he could have won it every year up to that point. Jack won two majors in 1963 and wasn't player of the year. He won the money title in 64 and 65 but no player of the year." you meant that Jack should have won POY those years? Any player on tour COULD have won the POY. Do you really expect anyone to believe that your only point was that Jack was one of over a hundred guys eligible? And how does "very subjective and probably tilted against Jack" not mean that you think he deserved to win? Oh wait, let me guess -- like majors, you think that seconds and thirds in POY are very important factors in determining the GOAT, and you think Jack got robbed of being third place for POY 1964? You must have a very frustrating life, making all these crystal clear points and having people misunderstand you.
  12. brocks

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

    You mean guys like Phil, Ernie, Clarke, Cink, Cabrera, Zach Johnson, and Sergio? They were all pros in the 90's, and they have all won majors in the last ten years, beating your 20-something phenoms. They were that good. Tiger was just better. No, you really didn't. I know what you mean, I started watching golf in the 50's, but watching golf then was not the same as watching golf now. Today, you see every shot Tiger hits, and almost every shot the other big names hit. You see all their bad drives, flubbed chips, and wayward irons. When you and I were watching golf in the 60's, you got maybe two hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday. With very few exceptions, you only saw the guys who were playing well, and you only saw their good shots, and you didn't get 24 hours of Chamblee telling you what was wrong with their swings afterward. So it was easy to think that Jack's opponents were machines, and that they never missed a shot, while the guys Tiger played hit lots of bad shots. But ask guys who PLAYED in both eras, including Jack himself, and they know better. Jack famously wrote in 1996 that the middle of the pack on tour at that time was as good as the top golfers of his era. He had no reason to say that if it wasn't true. But that's exactly why it's so much harder to win today. Only one golfer in a hundred is going to find his optimal swing if he has to spend years "digging it out of the dirt" like Hogan did. But today, players have not only better teaching, but all kinds of tech to tell them their launch angle, spin rate, apex height, etc. every time they make a tweak. So now instead of one Hogan who owns his swing, you have dozens.
  13. brocks

    Faldo's Masters commentary is awful (as usual)

    I like Faldo fine when he talks about golf. Unlike some of the announcers who have never played golf at a high level, he's very credible when he describes what must be going through a player's mind over a crucial putt. He's won more majors than anyone active in the game today, other than Tiger, so he knows what he's talking about. I concede that I could do without him trying to shoehorn pop culture references into his commentary.
  14. brocks

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

    The fact that he won two majors in '63 and didn't win POY should tell you something. Majors were not as big a deal back then, especially the Masters and British Open. They had tradition and prestige, but they had weaker fields than some regular tour events, and the players knew it. That's why two majors didn't guarantee POY. And that's why "most majors" is a very bad way to decide GOAT -- it's bad enough to judge entire careers by one number, but it's ridiculous to use it for players who weren't especially trying to win the most majors, which was just about everybody before Jack. You also exhibit a very common fault of Jack apologists, namely asserting that he was the best player on tour almost every year. He wasn't. He was very good for a very long time, but there were IMO only five years when he was clearly the best player on tour. Let's look at the six years you claim he should have won POY. The next few paragraphs are excerpted from a much longer article I wrote years ago, examining Jack's entire career. **************************************** =================== 1962 --- Jack: 26 starts, 3 wins, 3rd on money list. POY -- Arnold Palmer. Vardon winner --- Arnold Palmer. Money leader --- Arnold Palmer. Most wins --- Arnold Palmer (8). Major winners (in order): Arnie, Jack, Arnie, Gary Player. Jack had a very strong rookie year, debuting at number 3 on the money list. But it was no contest - Palmer DOMINATED 1962, leading every category, and coming within one shot of winning three majors in a row. He was clearly the best golfer in the world. My 1962 POY: Arnie (dominant). =================== 1963 --- Jack: 25 starts, 5 wins, 2nd on money list. POY -- Julius Boros. Vardon winner -- Billy Casper. Money leader -- Arnie. Most wins -- Arnie (7). Major winners: Jack, Boros, Bob Charles, Jack. This is a very tough year to call. Jack's two majors would make him a shoo-in today, but majors weren't as big a deal then, except for the US Open, which is the only conceivable reason Boros won POY. Arnie had the most wins and most money, and Casper won the Vardon (and not even Jack claims this as one of the years he was jobbed out of it), so there was no dominant golfer. I'm giving 1963 to Arnie by a whisker, for the following reason: the Western Open was bigger than the British Open back then, and Arnie won it in a playoff against Jack and Boros, his chief rivals for best of the year. I consider that a pretty good tiebreaker, in a week they were all playing well. My 1963 POY: Arnie (Jack was close). ======================== 1964 --- Jack: 26 starts, 4 wins, first on money list. This is also the first year Jack claims he had the actual low scoring average, even though he didn't win the Vardon. POY -- Ken Venturi. Vardon winner: Arnie. Money leader: Jack. Most wins: Tony Lema (5). Major winners: Arnie, Venturi, Lema, Bobby Nichols. Once again, it seems that anyone who wins the US Open plus anything else is the automatic POY winner by the standards of that time. But it appears to me that Tony Lema had the best year, with five wins including the Open (where Jack finished second by five shots). Jack beat Lema for the money title only because the very limited-field Tournament of Champions (the equivalent of today's SBS/Mercedes) paid three times more than the Open, and the Open was unofficial money. Jack's other wins were at second-tier events. Lema beat Arnie in a playoff for one of his wins, and if a tiebreaker is needed, Lema won another $50,000 in unofficial money by beating the other three major winners in the World Series of Golf that year. My 1964 POY: Tony Lema (Jack contending). ============== 1965 --- Jack: 24 starts, 5 wins, first on money list, claimed scoring title. POY: Dave Marr. Vardon winner: Billy Casper. Money leader: Jack. Most wins: Jack (5). Major winners: Jack, Player, Peter Thomson, Marr. Marr's PGA Championship was his first win in over three years, and the third and last win of his career. It really makes you wonder what the POY voters were smoking. At any rate, IMO this was the first of Jack's truly dominant years. First in every important category. Easy call. My 1965 POY: Jack (dominant). ===================== 1966 --- Jack: 19 starts, 3 wins, 2nd on money list. POY: Billy Casper. Vardon winner: Casper. Money leader: Casper. Most wins: Casper (4). Major winners: Jack, Casper, Jack, Al Geiberger. Not much to say here --- Casper ran the table. Jack had two majors, but one was the then weak-field British Open, which was still so little regarded that many Americans, including Casper, didn't play it. The US Open that Casper won was much more prestigious. My 1966 POY: Casper (Jack contending). ====================== 1967 --- Jack: 23 starts, 5 wins, first on money list. POY: Jack. Vardon winner: Arnie. Money leader: Jack. Most wins: Jack (5). Major winners: Gay Brewer, Jack, Roberto DeVicenzo, Don January. Jack's first official POY, and he's obviously a worthy choice. Not even Jack claims he would have beaten Arnie for the Vardon in 1967, so he didn't have Tiger-like dominance, but it was still a dominant year for him. My 1967 POY: Jack (dominant). ============================ **************************************** So even by today's standards, IMO an objective evaluation shows that Jack was only denied one POY title that he deserved during those six years, in 1965. He did get the POY he deserved in 1967. And after that, he was outplayed every year until 1972 by the likes of Casper and Trevino. He won four POYs in the five years 1972-76, but IMO he didn't deserve it in 1976, so that makes up for 1965. He had only two wins in 1976, neither majors, and one had only 20 players in the field. But it paid $100K to the winner, in a year when the British Open paid only $13.5K, so Jack won the money title. After 1976, Tom Watson dominated the tour, and Jack was never again the best in the world. So five POYs is IMO exactly right for Jack. He was robbed in 1965, but he was gifted in 1976, and every other year, maybe the best man didn't win, but Jack won it every time he deserved it. He just didn't deserve it as often as the hazy memory of his fans would indicate. Jack fans think he dominated like Tiger did, but it's simply not true. Jack was one of the best players in the world for nearly 25 years, but he was clearly THE best for only five of those years --- 1965, 1967, 1972, 1973, and 1975. In comparison, Tiger was clearly the best golfer in the world 12 different years. He won the POY 11 of those times, the exception being 2008, when he only played half a year, but still won five events.
  15. brocks

    Did Sarazen really win the Grand Slam?

    It has nothing to do with the GS. I was, from long experience, trying to head off replies that accused me of being a Tiger fanboy who was just trying to run down anybody who challenged Tiger's records. Probably not necessary in this forum, but the old Golf Channel forum was full of guys like that. Me too. "Major" was a very loose term before ABC grabbed Arnie's definition and ran with it. When I was researching something else several years ago, I would see sportswriters of the 30's through 50's call all kinds of tournaments majors, usually because they paid more than average, but sometimes for reasons I couldn't understand, unless they were just hyping them out of habit.

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