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About Lionel20

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  1. I didn’t at first, but I now happen to think that scoring is the best measure. The courses that Woods and his contemporaries play on are much more difficult than the ones Nicklaus played. I believe that largely offsets the advancement in golf technology.
  2. Who faced the tougher competition? My analysis covers the 20 Masters Tournaments Woods has played in as a pro (1997 – 2019), and the first 21 Masters Tournament Nicklaus participated (1960 – 1982). The Masters Tournament was chosen because the Masters is the only event played on the same course—Augusta National—each year. I have one underlying assumption with regards to Tournament scoring. Golfing technology and equipment have steadily advanced. However, after researching the USGA opinions and the course overhauls that occurred in response to the technological advancements, I believe course designers have done a job preserving the emphasis on the player skill. My assumption is that the efforts by executive committees to create more challenging courses has offset the permitted use of more advanced equipment. As a result I feel confident that the Tournament scores from the Nicklaus period in the sample (1960-1982) can be compared to the Masters leaderboards from the Woods period (1997-2019) within the margin of error of any statistical adjustment. I merged the field from Woods’ first Tournament in ’97 with the field in Nicklaus’ first Tournament in ’60, maintaining the cut line at the top 50 qualifiers. I simply repeated this process through the 2019 and the 1982 Masters Tournaments. In this period that I assessed, Woods did not participate in three tournaments ’14, ’16, and ‘17. Nicklaus did not participate in one tournament in ’67. Although the Masters Tournaments in ’61, ’73, 2003-2007 were played in poor weather conditions, after reviewing the cut lines, only ’03 and ’05 seem to be significantly affected by weather. A slight adjustment was made to players scores to normalize the scores. After taking measure among the qualifiers during the merged tournaments displayed in the link, I found that the level of difficulty increased in the Woods’ era 28.1%. · 68% of the top 50 lowest qualifying scores are from the Woods’ era See 2ndsheet in link, labelled “top 50” Additional Findings: - After merging the best of the two periods, Woods finishes with an estimated 4 green jackets and Nicklaus finishes with 2. - If Woods competed in the Nicklaus period, Woods would have an estimated 9 green jackets. If Nicklaus competed in the Woods era, Nicklaus would have an estimated 5 green jackets. *Note: Nicklaus finished his career playing in 15 additional Masters Tournaments beginning in 1983. Woods is still active as of 2019. - Woods finishes the 23 Tournament sample 106 below par. Nicklaus finishes the 23 Tournament sample 75 below par. Missing the hypothetical cut = +10 towards Masters career score. Woods vs. Nicklaus
  3. ^ It's just tradition and technically, because otherwise there is no actual added value a player receives from playing in the Masters over the Players Championship. Here's some strength of field data from Official World Golf Rankings Website: PGA Events with the highest World Rating Average since 1997 (available data) Masters PGA British US Open Players Champ 734 820 779 748 743 As expected the US PGA is really the Super Bowl of golf.. as far as field strength. The Players host, on average, a higher level of competition than the Masters, and almost on par with the US Open. How is this not a "Major"? It's silly. Maybe if Tiger had pulled a Byron Nelson, or Arnold Palmer and just adopted it as a Major, it'd be commissioned as one. It's always one of the strongest Tourneys in the world each year, since the mid-80s, how is that not "Major"?
  4. Sounds about right, but most of my rates are determined by events, neither Jack or Tiger participated in a significant amount of events prior to turning pro.
  5. '61. I counted his amateur record as well to be precise. Tiger's missed cut % would reduce some. The amateur events aren't significant enough to sway the argument one way or another.
  6. Tiger Woods (Age 39) vs Jack Nicklaus (Age 39) The first 20 seasons typically cover the principal PGA career. Nicklaus (1957-1979) 22 PGA Seasons Woods (1992-2015) 23 PGA Seasons Nicklaus in that 22 year time period played in 366 events. Woods in a 23 year time period played in 335 events *(still active in 2015) *Three events Woods participated in from the European/Asian Chartered Tours registered a qualifying strength of field (Dubai Desert, Deutsche Bank SAP, HSBC Champions, etc.) Nicklaus in the span of 366 events missed 13 PGA cuts (Missed cut pct. = 3.5%) Woods in the span of 335 events missed 20 cuts (Missed cut pct. = 6%) Nicklaus won 68 of his 366 events (Win pct. = 19%) Woods won 84 of his 335 events (Win pct. = 25%) *Woods is the all-time leader PGA and qualifying Tours Wins. According to SI Golf Group at least six of suggested leader Sam Snead's PGA tour wins do not qualify under the current standards. Snead's PGA career win total is adjusted to 76. Nicklaus finished top-10 in the field 237 of 366 events (Top-10 pct. = 65%) Woods finished top-10 in the field 198 of 335 events (Top-10 pct. = 59%) Nicklaus won 15 of 80 majors in his principal career (Major Win pct. = 19%) Woods won 16 of 92 majors in his principal career (Major Win pct. = 17%) *Since the Players Championship moved to TPC at Sawgrass in 1982 it's routinely provided Majors-like field of competition in the PGA tour. Some years providing stronger competition than the "Majors". It's at least a Major since '82. Nicklaus finished top-10 in Majors 56 of 80 events (Major Top-10 pct. = 70%) Woods finished top-10 in Majors 35 of 92 events (Major Top-10 pct. = 38%) Nicklaus unadjusted career scoring average is 70.40 (8 time tour scoring leader) Woods unadjusted career scoring average is apprx. 69.15 (9 time tour scoring leader) *Woods adjusted career scoring average is 68.76, Nicklaus adjusted career scoring average is unavailable. Golf technology has, in my opinion enhanced player performance in Woods time period. But much of the present-day advantage in driving distance seems neutralized by lengthier, more challenging courses. Even on a national scale, handicaps haven't improved dramatically. Product technology has not been the substantial supplement to skill that many presume. But what has changed dramatically from Nicklaus' prime to Woods' is the overall demand for golf. The rise in demand is simple to track by looking at the Money list, Media Ratings, product sales, Player Endorsements, and amount of newly constructed courses. The PGA tour is overwhelmingly the beneficiary of this sharp increase in demand. Both Nicklaus and Woods play predominantly on the PGA tour. Foreign players finishing top-10 in Non-European Majors within the Nicklaus principal span: Gary Player 27 Bruce Devlin 10 Bruce Crampton 8 David Graham 5 Bob Charles 4 Peter Oosterhuis 3 Graham Marsh 2 Jim Ferrier 2 Kel Nagle 2 Bobby Cole 1 Cesar Sanudo 1 Jumbo Ozak 1 Ramon Sota 1 Tony Jacklin 1 Foreign players finishing top-10 in Non-European Majors within the Woods principal span (Players Championship not included): Ernie Els 16 Vijay Singh 14 Lee Westwood 12 Padraig Harrington 11 Mike Weir 9 Rory McIlroy 9 Sergio Garcia 9 Adam Scott 8 Angel Cabrera 8 Justin Rose 8 Nick Price 8 Retief Goosen 8 Jason Day 7 Miguel A. Jimenez 7 Geoff Ogilvy 6 Henrik Stenson 6 Jose Maria Olazabal 5 K.J. Choi 5 Luke Donald 5 Bernhard Langer 4 Colin Montgomerie 4 Ian Poulter 4 Martin Kaymer 4 Paul Casey 4 Stephen Ames 4 Camilo Villegas 3 Darren Clarke 3 Graeme McDowell 3 John Senden 3 Peter Hanson 3 Robert Allenby 3 Robert Karlsson 3 Steve Elkington 3 Stuart Appleby 3 Thomas Bjorn 3 Tim Clark 3 Trevor Immelman 3 Y.E. Yang 3 Alex Cejka 2 Andres Romero 2 Carl Pettersson 2 Carlos Franco 2 Charl Schwartzel 2 Hideki Matsuyama 2 Jonas Blixt 2 Louis Oosthuizen 2 Michael Campbell 2 Nick Faldo 2 Niclas Fasth 2 Shingo Katayama 2 Soren Hansen 2 Alastair Forsyth 1 Anders Hansen 1 Charlie Wi 1 Costantino Rocca 1 David Lynn 1 Francesco Molinari 1 Freddie Jacobson 1 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 1 Greg Chalmers 1 Greg Norman 1 Gregory Havret 1 Jamie Donaldson 1 Jesper Parnevik 1 Jose Coceres 1 Kenneth Ferrie 1 Kevin Na 1 Liang Wen-Chong 1 Marc Leishman 1 Mark Hensb 1 Mark Hensby 1 Mikko Ilonen 1 Nick Dougherty 1 Nick O'Hern 1 Nicolas Colsaerts 1 Paul McGinley 1 Peter Lonard 1 Ricardo Gonzalez 1 Rod Pampling 1 Rory Sabbatini 1 Ross Fishe 1 Shigeki Maruyama 1 Simon Dyson 1 Stephen Leaney 1 Thorbjorn Olesen 1 Toshi Izawa 1 Victor Dubuisson 1 The globalization and diversity that raises the quality of any Association with limited availability is an obvious factor in Woods' era, and noticeably anyway you slice it there is much more variability in the top-10, top-25, in Woods' era tournaments. From what I gather the Major tournament qualifications in Nicklaus' era are relatively the same as Woods', yet the rise in popularity and yearly earnings in correlation with the rise of Woods' has attracted more demand for golf, the PGA Tour specifically. Naturally this would significantly increase the quality competition with larger numbers of players vying for the 150 or so slots. I believe this better explains the lower PGA scoring averages during the Woods' era. The four traditional PGA Majors, plus the post-'82 Players Championship typically provide the strongest fields of competition each year. Because the Majors draw higher levels of competition, they should be emphasized. Woods has more total majors (with three more to spare this ongoing season) and Nicklaus higher Major Win percentage. But to maintain full integrity in any professional golf comparison, overall Tour performance must factor into the equation. Woods' in 31 less Tour events, achieved 16 more (11 PGA) wins than Nicklaus at this point in their careers. Woods has done this despite being challenged with a much higher field of competition. The lower level of difficulty to some degree diminishes Nicklaus' top-10 percentage in comparison to Woods because Nicklaus faced the lower range of competition. Nicklaus did play into his 40s and 50s, Tiger hasn't reached some of Nicklaus' total career milestones, such as the career Majors count. However Woods' has already surpassed Nicklaus' in overall PGA wins. An older Nicklaus, to no surprise, missed cuts and scored at a higher rate than he did prior to '79. Woods' hasn't quite ventured into that twilight. Whether or not, Woods' career is better now than Nicklaus' complete body of work is another argument. But from amateurs on the Tour up to age 39, Woods is easily the better player.
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