Who is the greatest of all time?

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Post by McLaren on Tue 22 May 2012, 12:28 pm

First topic message reminder :

Would it be fair to say that the player who has won the most majors is the greatest of all time? Ok, so this is a very easy question to answer; and the greatest of all time with 19 major titles is……………………….. Walter Hagen.


In fact the top ten major winners of all time looks like this;


Walter Hagen 19 (major wins)
Jack Nicklaus 18
Ben Hogan 14
Tiger Woods 14
Sam Snead 12
Jim Barnes 9
Gary Player 9
Tom Watson 8
Willie Anderson 8
Gene Sarazen 8


So these guys are the ten best players to have ever placed a club in their hands.

I assume this is not the list of all time major winners most are used to, so I had better explain how this list came to be.

Firstly we all accept that the term “major” was never a fixed set of tournaments until well into the more established professional era of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Before that time the US amateur and the British Amatuer were also considered the most prestigious tournaments in golf along with the US open and the open championship. Even the masters and PGA championship may not always have been considered majors in the way we think of them now.

One tournament, which probably trailblazed the concepts used for the masters, and was considered the most prestigious professional tournament outside the US open and open was the North and South open. It was staged on Pinehurst’s wonderful number 2 course, the finest of all the great Donald Ross’s courses.

It was first staged in 1902 and won by Alec Ross, the brother of Donald, and would continue in its more prestigious form until 1951. The comparisons with Augusta and the masters are many; from the dogwood, azaleas and wisteria growing in prime condition around the resort to the black tie dinners that were held during the event. Here was a single course tournament played in the south which was the favourite of many greats like Hogan and Snead. There is no doubt this was the premier pro golf tournament not hosted by a governing body.

Hagen, Hogan, Snead and Donald Ross all won the event 3 times, just to illustrate that this was an event being contested by, and won by, the games greatest of the time. Byron Nelson also managed a win but maybe it is worth considering that another great player of the era would never have competed in the Event. Bobby Jones remained an amateur player throughout his career so would have been unable to compete. This is not to say the event should be viewed as depleted by his absence but rather it shows the split nature of the game and what the notion of a major was. It is odd to think that the US and British amateur championships were considered majors despite the worlds best pro’s not taking part.

Today we consider a major to be the events with the greatest history and ones where we are guaranteed to see the best players in the world compete. Back in the early years of the pro game only the Open Championship would have had any real history so the majors would just have been the very best events on tour. If you were an American based player from 1910 to around 1950 the “major” pro events you could play would have been; The north and south open, the western open, the PGA championship, The US open, the Open and possibly the masters.

I think the story of the western open is well known and now hopefully after learning of the North and South open we can better acknowledge the achievements of players from another era. Any list of all time major wins surely has to include both the Western open and the North and south open when we better understand their context in the pro game of the time.

So the list I posted above includes wins in the Western and North and south open.

What really becomes clear is that even if you don’t agree that the North and South was a major we cannot rate players who played before 1950 using our present concept of the majors. The game was not the same and we need another way to rank these guys.

So there we have it, Jack is no longer the greatest ever and tiger has an even harder task to become the greatest ever. Maybe he should have had a Hagen poster on his wall instead?
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Post by super_realist on Wed 23 May 2012, 9:50 am

Silly argument really. You can't compare apples with oranges.
Nicklaus was the greatest of his generation, Woods his, and probably McIlroy will be the greatest of his.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 23 May 2012, 9:59 am

incontinentia wrote:Thats a very simplistic viewpoint navy, also you must find the strength of the fields that each player faced as relevent?

The last 20 years or so has been the hardest time in golf history to win multiple majors, which make Tigers achievements all the more impressive.
Simplistic it may be but I'd rate the top competitors Nicklaus faced as way, way tougher than the cardboard Woods has often had to deal with. Depth of field may have been, technically, less (I'm not convinced of that really) but it's being over-rated.

robopz wrote:...First of all because you can't compare apples to apples across era's...
And therein lies the problem. End of thread? Cool
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Post by Skydriver on Wed 23 May 2012, 10:05 am

I think it's the very point that you can't compare apples with oranges is why this type of question is so hotly debated - i.e. the argument tends to be around the ground rules for assessment/weightings.

Having said that, I find the phrase "greatest of all time" amusingly hubristic. "All time" surely also means the future?!? I don't follow athletics, but this point hit home for me when Maurice Greene decided to have "G.O.A.T." tattooed on his arm when he held the world record for 100m. Setting aside the unfortunate acronym, his record has been surpassed numerous times. I'm not sure whether he's gone for laser surgery in the meantime.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 23 May 2012, 10:09 am

Anyway, Max/Keizo is the greatest golfer of all time.

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Post by Diggers on Wed 23 May 2012, 10:34 am

Most amazing thing on this thread....that Sam Torrence was ever as high as 23 in the world Shocked

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Post by McLaren on Wed 23 May 2012, 10:37 am

I think we all have to accept that jack faced weaker fields, I can’t see why we would ignore the analysis Robo posted on this. What we have to determine is the link between field strength and the probability that winning score is 1 shot better.

So with filed strength X, the probability of winning score A is 0.8, and for winning score A-1 0.5

With field strength x+1 the probability of winning score A is 1, and for winning score A-1 0.9. And so on.

So you would sort of build field strength curves which showed the probabilities of scores being posted. You would then be able to see the different levels each field strength curve sat on and compare the impact of better field strength.

If it turns out jack would have needed to go 3 or 4 shots lower for an event we would start to have some basis for showing tiger, or anyone else, is a better player.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 23 May 2012, 11:05 am

Mac, is this just a pathetic ruse for you to lather your beloved Woods with further praise?

Who is the greatest ever player? Who cares? I'm more concerned about my own game than to care about a bunch of people I've never met.

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Post by robopz on Wed 23 May 2012, 11:34 am

GPB wrote:
As I said before, I am not willing to tread on this slippery slope of thin ice.

That comment surprises me... especially coming from you. We tread on the "slippery slope" all the time, almost weekly in fact when we discuss field strengths of one event vs another, and concepts such as field dilution. What are we doing in those discussions? Seems to me we're treading on a "slippery slope" of comparing one event to another... we're realizing the John Deer Classic is NOT the same as Quail Hollow... no disrespect to Steve Strickers official JD wins intended, and no call from me to have Strick's wins removed from the record.

Same thing I'm doing now... putting perspective on the events we're talking about.

Golf changes, it matures... different events take on different levels of importance at different points in history. To expand on what I said earlier... Today is NOT your fathers (or grandfathers) PGA Tour. When Jack Nicklaus won the 1966 British Open, the event was so lightly regarded by Americans that only 8 others attended. So want to talk about slippery slopes? NOT one of Jack's Open wins were given the importance to even be considered official events on the PGA Tour until 8 years after he won his 3rd and last. And now I'm supposed to look at those 3 wins as being EVERY BIT as important as a British Open victory today? You can buy into that if you want. But knowing you... as analytical as you are, it surprises me that you choose to eschew your general nature on this one specific topic... yet maintain it on almost everything else. OH wait... maybe I do know why.... :-)

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Post by Eyetoldyouso on Wed 23 May 2012, 1:37 pm

All this talk about depth of field is very interesting but, in logical terms, doesn't mean very much. The absolute strength of the opponents is by far the more important criterion for assessing the quality of the win.
For example, let us assume that in fictional Major A there are 125 players. Of the 125 there are the 10 best golfers of all time and 115 journeymen. In fictional Major B there are also 125 players but in this case there is 1 of the top 10 players of all time, a large number of very good golfers and 40 journeymen.
Major A ----- depth of field p**s poor
Major B ----- depth of field very good
Who deserves more credit; winner of Major A or Major B?




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Post by McLaren on Wed 23 May 2012, 1:41 pm

Major B.

If major A was a harder major to win it would have a greater field strength.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 24 May 2012, 8:56 am

McLaren wrote:I think we all have to accept that jack faced weaker fields, I can’t see why we would ignore the analysis Robo posted on this. What we have to determine is the link between field strength and the probability that winning score is 1 shot better.

So with filed strength X, the probability of winning score A is 0.8, and for winning score A-1 0.5

With field strength x+1 the probability of winning score A is 1, and for winning score A-1 0.9. And so on.

So you would sort of build field strength curves which showed the probabilities of scores being posted. You would then be able to see the different levels each field strength curve sat on and compare the impact of better field strength.

If it turns out jack would have needed to go 3 or 4 shots lower for an event we would start to have some basis for showing tiger, or anyone else, is a better player.
Oh FFS. It's just opinion. How about this? I won't consider his analysis until I see cited, accepted, references for the sources he's used to compile his information? Even then, I don't accept that the players Nicklaus routinely had to beat (Watson, Trevino, Palmer, Player, Floyd etc etc etc) were anything other than miles better than the current "also rans". You had to win to make a millionaire's living in his era; nowadays you can be very, very wealthy by finishing way down on a regular occurrence.
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Post by McLaren on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:04 am

Navy

I dont get how you can separate certain players from the probability that the field beats you? It is one entity.
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Post by Diggers on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:13 am

It's all conjecture but I don't think Trevino etc would have won as much in the current era. The fields are obviously deeper now, IMO it's tougher to be a multiple winner, though of course you have exceptions like Cabrera and Paddy who are no way greats for me.

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Post by Doon the Water on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:15 am

There is no doubt that competition was much tougher in Jack's time than Eldricks. Not through rose tinted glasses but you have to look at the spread of majors won in both eras and then judge the quality of the winners.

Look at the Open winners from 1966 to 1990 and apart from Neagle and Calcaveccia they were all class acts.


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Post by Diggers on Thu 24 May 2012, 11:18 am

Doon, all that proves is a handful of decent payers dominated mediocre fields.

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Post by Doon the Water on Thu 24 May 2012, 12:19 pm

Diggers, check the lists, are you counting the likes of Faldo mediocre?
Very few Pros win just one tournament in a lifetime of trying then and now.
Makes no difference at the top table.
My top ten form Jacks era would be
Nicklaus
Seve
Watson
Palmer
Player
Norman
Faldo
Price
Jacklin
Lyle.

Do you want to list Eldricks.

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Post by Diggers on Thu 24 May 2012, 12:48 pm

Ate you really counting Faldos peak years against Jack, or Seve for that matter ? You can just as easily say they played in Woods era. Is Lyle better than Paddy, not really.
But again they are all good players you list, doesn't change the fact IMO they were competing against weaker fields.
I think had Els or Mickleson played in the 80's they would have won 6-10 majors. But again, it's all hypothetical.

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Post by robopz on Thu 24 May 2012, 8:17 pm

Doon the Water wrote:My top ten form Jacks era would be
Nicklaus
Seve
Watson
Palmer
Player
Norman
Faldo
Price
Jacklin
Lyle.

Not sure I could agree with your list...

IMO Jack's "prolific" winning span was from 1962-1980. Sure he won 3 more after 1980 including his most famous major, but he was a once-every-other year winner from 81-86. In light of that I look more strongly at players in that "prolific" period as "rivals". With that in mind I would put Jack's top-10 opponents as:


1. Tom Watson - 25 of Tom's 39 wins and 4 majors were in Jack's prolific period. But 11 more wins including 4 more majors were within Jack's total winning period (last Watson's 8 majors in 83. But he's the #1 rival not only because of the majors, but the two majors he famously took from Jack; The Dual in the Sun because U.S. Open (chip in at 17th).

T2. Gary Player - Only had 19 wins in Jacks prolific period, but 7 of them were majors. Gary finished runner-up to Jack 5 times, and Jack was runner up to Gary in the 68 British. I've got Gary with the other two below because of the Majors...

T2. Lee Trevino - All of Lee's 29 wins were within Jack's TOTAL winning span from 62-86. 27 including 5 of his 6 majors were by 1980. And of course Lee took one of his majors away from Jack directly in a playoff for the 1971 U.S. Open and bested Jack by one in the 74 PGA.

T2. Arnold Palmer - Always thought of as Jack's major rival, and he certainly was in "name". But actually had "only" 34 wins and 3 of his 7 majors in the Nicklaus era. (Course we might be able to count the '60 U.S. Open where amateur Jack finished 2nd to Arnie). Arnie finished runner-up to Jack 6 times, Jack to Arnie 5 times.

5. Billy Casper - Had 37 of his 51 wins and 2 of his 3 majors between 62-80.

6. Johnny Miller - 19 of Johnny's 25 wins were in Jack's prolific period including both of his majors.

7. Raymond Floyd - 12 of his 22 wins in the period including 2 of his 4 majors. And actually Raymonds 4th and last major was the next major played after Jack's last one... the 86 U.S. Open. They both declined at about the same time...

8. Tom Weiskopf - All of his 16 wins including the one British were between 68-82. Jack finished 2nd to Weiskopf 3 times, including a playoff loss in the 75 Canadian Open. Tom finshed runner-up to Jack 3 times as well.

9. Hale Irwin - 11 of his 20 wins were in the period including two of his 3 majors.

10. Tony Lima - All 12 of his wins including his British Open were between 62-66. He also gave Jack a great run in the 63 Masters before losing by 1. Plane crash... sad.

10a. Tony Jacklin - They didn't see each other very often but Jacklin did take 2 majors in Jack's era, even though Jack was only somewhat of a factor in one of those. But their main rivalry may have been Ryder Cup's. Jack was RC Captain twice, against Jacklin both times, each side winning once. And as a player, and despite his teams getting regulary thrashed (as it before adding Europe) Jacklin gave the U.S. team fits including winning his only two matches against Jack (neither in singles matches).

HONORABLE MENTIIONS

George Archer - All of his 12 wins were in Jack's total winning period including the 69 Masters.

Gene Littler, Miller Barber, Frank Beard and Al Geiberger all had 11 wins in Jack's prolific period.


NOT Significant rivals to Jack

Seve Ballesteros - His only real impact on Jack's career was the 1979 British Open win (with Jack and Crenshaw Runner up's) and he was one of Jack's 86 Masters victims. But other wise... not a rival

Sandy Lyle - Not a factor because his two majors were in 85 (Jack MC) and 88... and 4 PGAT regular Tour wins were after Jack's prolific period.

Greg Norman - Not much of a factor in Jack's career. Jack did finish runner-up to Greg in the 84 Canadian Open and of course Norman was another one of the victims of Jack's famous 86 Masters charge... but other than that, Greg had very little impact on Jack's career.

Nick Faldo - Nick's first Major was after Jack's last.

Nick Price - Jack finished runner up to Price's '83 World Series of Golf win, but Price's majors were from 92 on. Not much contact in Jack's competitive years.


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Post by Doon the Water on Thu 24 May 2012, 8:33 pm

Point taken Robo but Jack remained competitive well into his 50's.
I had Trevino in my first list but somehow 'lost' him.
Nicklaus was 39 years old when Seve was 19. [1979]

If you compare the 62-80 spell it balances out with Eldricks peak years. He was definately playing against tougher opponents than Eldrick throughout that spell.

Nobody has offered an Eldrick top ten.
Still a lot of head scratching going on.
Point proven I think!

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Post by incontinentia on Thu 24 May 2012, 8:59 pm

Tiger
Vijay
Mickelson
Ernie
Retief
David Duval
Sergio (not a legitimate rival imo but one of the best of the era)


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Post by robopz on Thu 24 May 2012, 9:19 pm

Diggers wrote:I think had Els or Mickleson played in the 80's they would have won 6-10 majors. But again, it's all hypothetical.

You're right... it's hypothetical. Yes it's certainly provable that there was more "bunching" of talent at the top of heap in the 60's and 70's. But it's hard to know exactly why.

It could be something like Jack a GREAT player... a handful of players are a step behind... and most the rest of the players 3 or 4 or 5 steps behind.

Where in this era it could be Tiger a GREAT player... a smaller handful only one step behind... but bunches and bunches only 2 or 3 steps behind.

I don't know how you can prove that one way or the other... One of the stat guys might be able to tell us how to do it accurately, but perhaps one clue would be to check scoring averages between groups of players. I don't have data from the 1960's and 1970's, but scoring averages are available at PGATour.com from 1980 forward. I did a little test.

Using the ACTUAL scoring average stats, I used the oldest full year data (1980) and the most recent full year (2011) then averaged the top-10 players scoring average (A), the 91-100th players (B), and the 141-150th players (C) scoring average and got the following

1980
A = 70.631
B = 72.333
C = 73.054

1980
A = 69.614
B = 70.808
C = 71.247

It seems to me the averages themselves don't mean much, instead what is important is the spread between A to B, and then A to C

In 1980 the difference in scoring from the A to B groups is 1.702 strokes and the difference in scoring from the A to C group is 2.423

In 2011 the difference in scoring from the A to B groups is 1.194 strokes and the difference in scoring from the A to C group is 1.633

Between the top-10 compared to 41-50, that calculates to just over 1/2 a stroke (.508) closer scoring range in 2011 over 1980.

Between the top-10 compared to 141-150, that calculates to just over 3/4 stroke (.790) closer scoring range in 2011 over 1980.

Again... this can't tell us much about the HEART of Jack's career from 62-79 because we don't have the data. And I just checked this ONE year... I don't know if other years are similar or if this data could be extrapolated backwards.

But this one example is indicating to me that the 50th and the 150th players is 2011 are much closer in talent level to the top-10 then they were in 1980. And anyone who's around professional golf knows... that 1/2 to 3/4 strokes a round differance is a HUGE number.

Perhaps a Six Sigma type... can jump in here with more info on proper methodology... like how and when to remove outliers, what would be the proper groupings to check to get more meaningful results... etc... etc....

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Post by Diggers on Thu 24 May 2012, 9:28 pm

You can add Pod to that list, also McIlroy as he has been around several years now and it's not like Woods career is over, Kaymer and Coco could be multiple winners by the time Woods is finished and he could have added to his own haul.

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Post by robopz on Thu 24 May 2012, 9:55 pm

Doon the Water wrote:Point taken Robo but Jack remained competitive well into his 50's.
I had Trevino in my first list but somehow 'lost' him.
Nicklaus was 39 years old when Seve was 19. [1979]

If you compare the 62-80 spell it balances out with Eldricks peak years. He was definately playing against tougher opponents than Eldrick throughout that spell.

Nobody has offered an Eldrick top ten.
Still a lot of head scratching going on.
Point proven I think!

Maybe you're having an instance of premature caseclosedulation there... Very Happy

I think the problem is we KNOW what Jack's "prolific" winning period and total winning span was. His prolific winning span was 19 years and his total winning span was 25. And we KNOW who Jack's rivals were... they're all done.

But we don't KNOW the sum total of Tiger's prolific winning period or total winning span and we don't know the sum totals of his rivals. Tiger is in his 16th year... not 19th, not 25th.

And what about Tiger's rivals... Is Phil DONE? Maybe, maybe not... He might have a few more Masters up his sleeve... Many compare Phil favorably to Trevino right now... add another major or two and we might be getting close to Watson territory. Likely? Maybe not. But certainly in the realm of reasonable possibility.

Ernie's fighting man... I have my doubts about him too, but he's working hard and getting better. Would we really be all that shocked if he used all that experience of his and "smarted" his way around to another major? How would we view a 4 or 5 major winner compared to the 3 major winner he is now.

Maybe Rory will be Tiger's Watson. Look and Tom to Jack and look at Rory to Tiger... Tom was on the scene a few years before he started winning... then one regular event win... then a major the next year... then he exploded. The timeline comparison between the two pairs is pretty close in parallel at this early stage actually...

Maybe Jeff Ogilvy will be Tiger's Raymond Floyd or Tom Weiskopf. He already has a major and and 3 WGC's. My guess is history (and not that far away history either) will treat WGC wins with a LOT more respect than they do now...

Maybe Martin Kaymer or Keegan Bradley or Louis Oosthuizen, or Charl Schwartzel, or Rickie Fowler, or Hunter Mahan will turn out to be Tiger's Hale Irwin or Tony Lima.

And maybe we don't have a CLUE who it might be.

Bottom line... there's just shy of 10 years and 39 majors left before Tiger matches Jack's 25 years of production. When it all shakes out... we might just have a list of top-10 rivals for Tiger that's a lot "saltier" than we view it now. Who knows... lets see what happens.


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Post by incontinentia on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:13 pm

Revised top 10 Tiger era

Tiger
Vijay
Mickelson
Els
Retief
Duval(despite his disappearance)
Monty
Sergio
Westwood
Padraig
Mcilrory

Memories a bit fuzzy have i forgotten anyone?
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Post by GPB on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:23 pm

Robo: I can do the analysis for you but I don't think you can draw any conclusions from it.

When you start taking averages of averages your data starts to get corrupted.

And then there that little thing about the equipment differences.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:25 pm

McLaren wrote:Navy

I dont get how you can separate certain players from the probability that the field beats you? It is one entity.
Eh? Headscratch
Of course it's feasible to look at the genuine contenders aside from the rest. There's no way to measure any of this accurately in any case. You'll always find a way to say TW is the greatest and I'll never concede it's not Nicklaus unless and until TW beats his Majors record. Vive la difference as some say.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:36 pm

robopz wrote:...Maybe you're having an instance of premature caseclosedulation there...
thumbsup
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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:42 pm

incontinentia wrote:Revised top 10 Tiger era

Tiger
Vijay
Mickelson
Els
Retief
Duval(despite his disappearance)
Monty
Sergio
Westwood
Padraig
Mcilrory

Memories a bit fuzzy have i forgotten anyone?
Not a bad top 10 TBH. Not sure it proves your case though. All it says to me is that there are a lot of good golfers around now as there were in Nicklaus' era. Which leaves us with TW having 14 to Jack's 18 Majors.... Smile
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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:48 pm

robopz wrote:...Maybe Rory will be Tiger's Watson. Look and Tom to Jack and look at Rory to Tiger...

From the Beeb:

"...McIlroy, who missed the cut at the Players Championship two weeks ago, mixed an eagle and three birdies with a double bogey and five bogeys.

The US Open champion, who began last year's event with a 76 but recovered to finish in a tie for 24th, put his approach at the 12th out of bounds and after hitting a wayward shot with his provisional ball, angrily hurled his club to the ground.

"It was a bit of deja vu from last year," he said. "I was two-under through seven holes and feeling like I was playing well. But then I made four bogeys in five holes so it's pretty disappointing. I feel like I am playing well, I just need to go out there and shoot the score."

Tournament director David Garland issued a statement regarding the McIlroy club throwing incident and said: "I have not yet had the chance to view the incident, but I will be requesting a tape.

"If any breach of the Tour's guidelines on course etiquette is found, then appropriate action will be taken in due course."



Sounds like Rory is some way from being the new Watson.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 May 2012, 10:53 pm

Rivals to Nicklaus:
Surprised Bruce Crampton was not mentioned in the discussion: Runner up in four Majors, each time to Guess Who?!

For many years one of the very very few non-Americans to play the PGA Tour, but only in two of his 14 wins was Nicklaus runner up!.

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Post by GPB on Thu 24 May 2012, 11:12 pm

Robo:

No love for Doug Sanders? Not even an honorable mention? 12 wins in the Nicklaus era and a playoff loss to Nicklaus in the Open Championship?

and BTW it is Tony Lema.

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Post by robopz on Thu 24 May 2012, 11:52 pm

GPB wrote:Robo: I can do the analysis for you but I don't think you can draw any conclusions from it.

When you start taking averages of averages your data starts to get corrupted.

And then there that little thing about the equipment differences.

Not sure equipment matters. You have argued it spreads them out... I have argued the opposite. But I'm not sure that it's RELATIVE either way. It doesn't matter WHY scoring may be more bunched, what matters is scoring IS more bunched today (that is if my one example is consistent with other years). If that proves out... then lower ranked players have a higher probability of contending.

And I fight with the same "strength of field" question many do. I think there's different evidence that can lead to differing conclusions. I DO believe that as a Group the Nicklaus/Player/Palmer/Trevino/Watson five-some was the best ever. BUT I also believe the quality in the depth of fields is so much stronger today it "might" more than offset that.

The question will probably always remain... are 5 really big fish in a smaller pond better than maybe twice the number of not quite as big fish in a larger pond. WHICH group stands a better chance of stealing MORE FOOD for the Biggest fish of them all. When we're comparing Jack's completion to Tiger's isn't that exactly what we're talking about. My tendency is to believe that latter.

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Post by robopz on Thu 24 May 2012, 11:54 pm

GPB wrote:No love for Doug Sanders? Not even an honorable mention? 12 wins in the Nicklaus era and a playoff loss to Nicklaus in the Open Championship.

AWK.... I had him on my list but I didn't transfer him.... Absolutely an Honorable mention. No majors but two strong challenges in two British Opens... and one of the 10 players to beat Nicklaus in a playoff.

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Post by mystiroakey on Thu 24 May 2012, 11:59 pm

wood's 10 year period has never been equalled in any sport

It is a game of very high participation as well!!! its not like a darts- phil taylor thing or a snooker hendry etc!

Golf is also a game where the best dont have to allways win- due to the fact you are v 100 plus golfers every week!!

You also have to factor in that standards increase in 'growing' sports- field strengths increase over time- i know people dont like that concept- but it is the case!!


over a carrer j nicklaus.

over a ten year period in ANY SPORT tiger woods.

dont even like him- but he is(was) the real deal!

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Post by robopz on Fri 25 May 2012, 12:18 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
robopz wrote:...Maybe Rory will be Tiger's Watson. Look and Tom to Jack and look at Rory to Tiger...

From the Beeb:

"...McIlroy, who missed the cut at the Players Championship two weeks ago, mixed an eagle and three birdies with a double bogey and five bogeys.

The US Open champion, who began last year's event with a 76 but recovered to finish in a tie for 24th, put his approach at the 12th out of bounds and after hitting a wayward shot with his provisional ball, angrily hurled his club to the ground.

"It was a bit of deja vu from last year," he said. "I was two-under through seven holes and feeling like I was playing well. But then I made four bogeys in five holes so it's pretty disappointing. I feel like I am playing well, I just need to go out there and shoot the score."

Tournament director David Garland issued a statement regarding the McIlroy club throwing incident and said: "I have not yet had the chance to view the incident, but I will be requesting a tape.

"If any breach of the Tour's guidelines on course etiquette is found, then appropriate action will be taken in due course."


Sounds like Rory is some way from being the new Watson.

I'm sure your article must be an April Fools Joke... except apparently they celebrate it in late May in England... After all... we KNOW that only one guy in golf has a temper... don't we... I mean... right?


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Post by robopz on Fri 25 May 2012, 2:41 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Rivals to Nicklaus:
Surprised Bruce Crampton was not mentioned in the discussion: Runner up in four Majors, each time to Guess Who?!

Very good one... I missed him... should have been a Honorable mention at least.

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Post by GPB on Sat 26 May 2012, 10:42 pm

Robo: what about Hubert Green? 16 PGAT wins and a major prior to 1980

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Post by Diggers on Sun 27 May 2012, 9:08 am

Furyk for the Tiger era. 18 PGA wins and a US Open, always in the top 10 and a Fed Ex Cup winner.

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Post by robopz on Sun 27 May 2012, 1:18 pm

GPB and Diggers... Green, Furyk... NICE... thumbsup

But Diggers... I don't have a Tiger's top rivals list yet... that's somebody else. For me, the jury's still out on that one... Tiger ain't done. Besides, I'm not ruling out the possibility that Tiger's "Dual in the Sun" moment is yet to come... as in a tremendous head-to-head, win or lose dual with one of these great young heir apparent's, or even Phil. (No disrespect to the likes of May, Rocco or Yang intended)

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Post by incontinentia on Sun 27 May 2012, 4:44 pm

According to a news story yesterday Tiger believes he can compete into his 50's. Yeah right, good one Tiger. Unless he gets a bionic left leg i cant see that happening.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Sun 27 May 2012, 10:06 pm

I'm sure he can compete.... but at what level?! It certainly isn't going to be at the top of the PGA Tour.
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Post by incontinentia on Sun 27 May 2012, 10:45 pm

He was talking about majors/pga tour.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 28 May 2012, 9:21 am

I know that; somewhat lost in translation. He has zero chance of being seriously competitive in Majors or on the PGA tour at 50+.
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Post by Diggers on Mon 28 May 2012, 9:55 am

Id imaginet he point that the statement as making is that for the foreseeable future Woods isnt going anywhere and is committed to staying in the game.
I still think 40 is a cut off point in golf, not too many players win events over that age, certainly not big ones, Fatty Clarke being an exception. His mate LW is 39 now, the clock is ticking.

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 28 May 2012, 6:23 pm

Navy - Wouldn't you have said the same about Tom Watson? And at 59 he was seriously competitive just a few years ago.

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Post by Doon the Water on Mon 28 May 2012, 6:29 pm

Eldricks sponsors must be getting cold feet.
Bit like a 35 year old footballer asking for a three year contract!

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Post by incontinentia on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 2:12 am

Tiger last night tied Jack for 2nd in career pga wins. Tiger is the only
modern player in the top 7 or so. Is this coincidence or proof that tournies (and Majors) were easier to win for certain players in the past than they are today?

To wit, the list is Snead, Woods/Nicklaus, Arnie, Hogan, Nelson, Casper. Mickelson is about 9th with 40 wins.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 10:58 am

Coincidence. TW, unfortunately for me, would have been great in any era; the same as if you transplanted Nicklaus, Snead, Hogan etc to the modern era.

Shotrock wrote:Navy - Wouldn't you have said the same about Tom Watson? And at 59 he was seriously competitive just a few years ago.
Wondered if someone would bring that up. I wouldn't say Watson is seriously competitive just because he almost won a Major at 59. If he were to compete and have a number of top 10s etc on the main PGA Tour for a year or two...then I'd call him seriously competitive.
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Post by monty junior on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 5:17 pm

Tiger comfortably, in the past fields were extremely weak bar 10 or 15 players. Now everyone in the field is good enough to win.

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Post by George1507 on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 9:08 pm

monty junior wrote:Tiger comfortably, in the past fields were extremely weak bar 10 or 15 players. Now everyone in the field is good enough to win.

No, that's not true.

The number of players who won a tournament in a season in the 1950s, and subsequently, is just the same as in the 21st century.

This idea that fields are stronger than they used to be is nonsense.

Having said that, Tiger has a real shout to be the greatest player of all time.

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