Tiger Woods: the best there ever was?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by CitizenKane, Aug 5, 2007.

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  1. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    It has and he is.
  2. DurronFan Force Ghost

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    Jul 25, 2005
    star 4
    I watched it on the internet live without having to pay anything, on nbcsports.msnbc.com. Anyways, that has to go down as one of the best majors of this decade, maybe even of the last few decades.
  3. halibut Chosen One

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    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I watched the play-off today. Fantastic stuff!
  4. -polymath- SFF:F/TV Trivia Host

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    Yeah, that was just an amazing tournament. And Tiger...my, oh my, Tiger! Talk about a phenomenal performance. Just amazing.
  5. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    This is what's required to bring Tiger back to the pack; a kneecap. Excellent entertainment.
  6. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I stayed up till 6am to watch this. Amazing stuff.

    Oh and I'm sure people outside the US can't watch NBC Sports, DurronFan. I know I was blocked from the live stream on the official website.
  7. SaberJedi2 Force Ghost

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    Apr 5, 2007
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    Absolutely incredible. I don't think there was much work done here in the office yesterday. Congrats to Rocco for hanging in with him.

  8. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 11, 1998
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    I'm sure NBC is delighted, because the audience for golf is falling off (if Tiger doesn't play, they can't sell it, and he doesn't play much anymore)
  9. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    Unbelievable performance. If his knee packs up completely and he never plays again, I say he's still the greatest ever. There are dozens and dozens of great golfers around these days and his domination is still incredible.
  10. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I'm sure NBC is delighted

    How these things can change so fast...

    I tend to agree that even if he doesn't play again (though I think and certainly hope he will), he's earned the greatest ever title, after this performance if not before. The only thing that can possibly keep him from passing Jack on the majors list is injury.
  11. DurronFan Force Ghost

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    Jul 25, 2005
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    Well I guess that injury was even more serious than what we thought, Tiger will miss the rest of the 2008 season. In hindsight, this makes his victory over Mediate even more astounding.
  12. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    Even setting the injury aside, the way Tiger is able to dominate the modern game astounds me. In the early years of his career he was playing a whole different sport to the rest of the field and he just smoked everyone. These days, though, the field has had time to react to Tiger and there are guys who on any given day can play like he does. And yet he still dominates golf completely. Quite remarkable.
  13. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 7, 2004
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    Well, he's won arguably the toughest major on one leg. Maybe with a leg and a half he could win four more over the next decade and pass Jack*, although I'd already call him the best ever.

    *I prefer to include the US Amateur in these figures, as it was originally considered one and is highly prestigious. By my reckoning, Jack is at 20 and Tiger is at 17.
  14. DT421 Force Ghost

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    Nov 6, 2003
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    I don't think the number of majors won is the only factor in this.

    Even though people want to keep talking about Phil as a rival (lol), Tiger really is playing against a lousy field with no challengers, unlike with Jack who had Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

    Plus, the equipment today has really made the game easier and only recently have the courses done anything to counter that.

    It may be a silly hypothetical scenario, but if you had Jack in his prime, right now, with todays equipment and course conditions - Tiger wouldn't be sitting on 14 majors right now.
  15. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

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    Jul 13, 2005
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    There are, of course, two sides to that argument. Today's equipment makes it easier for anyone to have a good week on the right course. Hence, any number of players on the tour could have their great week during a major and challenge Tiger. He's not staring down one or two major rivals, he's staring down a large group of guys who, while none of them individually have all the tools, each have enough tools to challenge. Yes, the advanced clubs help Tiger. But they also help the guys who are nowhere near as skilled as Tiger and take away some of his advantage.
  16. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    There may not be any single rival to challenge Tiger, but the field as a whole is certainly far better, and as Inty said, many more of them can challenge on any given week. And the equipment really helps the field more than it does Tiger, though it does help him as well.

    And in your scenario, Tiger wouldn't be sitting on 14 - but I think he'd still be ahead of Jack, if not by a lot.
  17. DT421 Force Ghost

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    Jack still had that too, besides the legitimate rivals.

    Hell, I even forgot to mention Tom Watson. :p
  18. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    Tiger doesn't have a rival because he is such a great golfer. You can't fault him for that. It doesn't detract from what he's accomplished. If a guy like Els had played 30 years ago, I think he would have won more than he has.

    If the field when Jack played was as strong as it is now, or if Woods had played back then, he wouldn't have won as many as he did. If Jack played now, he'd have even more 2nd place finishes.

    As for the equipment, didn't Mickelson say a few years back that Woods was playing with inferior equipment (his driving distance had stayed more or less the same but that others had made huge gains)? I know he's made the change now, but he took quite a while.

    EDIT: out of curiosity, does anyone know how many times Jack finished second behind one of his rivals in a Major?
  19. DT421 Force Ghost

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    Nov 6, 2003
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    One question - how exactly is the field stronger now, than when it was in Jack's heyday?
  20. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    Quick note - not counting his major appearances since '86, when he won his last major, Nicklaus made 108 major starts, winning 18 and finishing 2nd in 19. Tiger has 52 starts, with 14 wins and 5 second place finishes. He's on pace to match Jack in top-2s and make several more wins.
  21. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    How is it not? He may have had a more highly regarded group of rivals but perhaps that's just because they were so much better than the average professional at the time and therefore able to win a bunch of majors. I can't think of many sports where the players don't tend to get better over time with advances in training, etc. As someone mentioned already, the average professional as a group is better able to challenge for 1st today.
  22. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Both of those add up to around the same.

    18 + 19 = 37.
    28 + 10 = 38 (off 104 starts, assuming he continues.)

    So if Tiger is close, he wins it, more often than not. Is Tiger going to win 28 majors? Highly unlikely. But you can't really say he doesn't contend as often.

    And I think the field comment was that the new equipment has brought everyone up to the level. Player (Palmer won only two majors again after Nicklaus won his first (63 + 64), and finished second once, I think). Player won 5 after Nicklaus arrived. In the same time frame of Tiger's career, Vijay's won 3, Mickelson's won 3 (and come second in 4), Els has 2, 2 seconds and 2 thirds...it's not like there are no players out there contending with him. He just beats them, usually.

    However, Jack's greatest feat, in my book, was being a legitimate top contender to majors for over 20 years. If Tiger can match that, then hands down he's the best, no matter the competition.
  23. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    And I think the field comment was that the new equipment has brought everyone up to the level. Player (Palmer won only two majors again after Nicklaus won his first (63 + 64), and finished second once, I think). Player won 5 after Nicklaus arrived. In the same time frame of Tiger's career, Vijay's won 3, Mickelson's won 3 (and come second in 4), Els has 2, 2 seconds and 2 thirds...it's not like there are no players out there contending with him. He just beats them, usually.

    Exactly.
  24. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

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    May 1, 2005
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    I wouldn't put it past him. I believe he's averaging just over 1 major per season despite what...3 seasons where he didn't win while working on swing adjustments? And his last 3.5 years has just been scary. 10 more years at that average gets him to 25. Given his level of fitness (assuming his knee will be okay, which according to his doctors it will be) and mental toughness, I see no reason why he wouldn't still be a force well into his forties.
  25. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 7, 2004
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    On the issue of competitiveness: it has been shown in other sports, even in sports with as much contrast as baseball and football, that over time the margin between the extreme and the average narrows. The outliers do not lie out as far as the game ages. This is not due to inferior play by the greats, but rather to better play by the majority. Equipment improvements, youth involvement, and tactical adaption all serve to level the field to a certain extent. There's no reason to think that that is not the case in golf, which makes Tiger Woods' striking superiority even more impressive.
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