Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus: who's da man?
Tim McDonald?s latest blog hammering Jack Nicklaus got me to thinking: who really IS the greatest golfer of all time? MSNBC is running a poll right now asking readers to speculate, will Tiger with his 9 majors ever surpass Jack?s 18?
Well of course he will, because Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time. I suspect if you?re under the age of, say 40, you agree with me. Boomers tend to claim The Golden Bear, and the real oldsters are still droning on about some guy named Bobby Jones. Coincidence? I think not.
Don?t get me wrong, I have plenty of respect for Jack. For years, he was da man. I was there at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach?another of his supposed “final appearances.” I was in the grandstands on the par-5 18 when he got on in two. The crowd went bananas, it was really quite a moment.
But Tiger gets on in two routinely. Tiger’s game is the one that’s making golf courses obsolete, and it’s because of him that Augusta is having to go through another round of “Tiger-proofing.” Have you ever heard of a course “Jack-proofing"?
Nicklaus himself has said Tiger?s got it: “Realistically,” Nicklaus said, “he might very well be a better player than I was? Records are made to be broken, and it would be great if he breaks mine.”
For all his legendary stats, Jack?s just not my guy. Maybe because I?m only 34. Maybe because I only started playing golf after Jack was past his prime. Maybe because I?ve played enough of his golf courses to know it?s not just his caddies he punishes.
So Tim, tell us, who is your guy, Bobby Jones?
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He also had to take on Player, Palmer, Watson, Trevino, Miller, Weiskopf. He is still Da Man.
Could Tiger have faced up at Carnoustie or Winged Foot to Hogan, Nicklaus, Nelson and Palmer (to name a few) at the top of their games and survived? Could he have won against personalities as strong or stronger than his own?
In fact....I've got a great idea for Tiger's favorite check writer--Nike. How about a 1975 theme tournament at Oakmont! I know exactly how many of todays great hitters would be strutting after their 300 yd drives. None.
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