Who's No. 1? Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods
John Cook told Smits that both Nicklaus and Woods are sensitive to other players, who are sometimes rattled by the commotion caused by the big galleries both players draw.
“Jack would actually offer to let you putt out, even if you were away and in his through line,” Cook said. “But, he would suggest it in a way that was not disrespectful of the other player. It was his way of being courteous, because he knew the commotion that would go on if he made a putt and another player had a putt left. Tiger is also very conscious of what it’s like playing with him.
Loren Roberts said Woods is the more emotional of the two.
“Tiger gets more emotional after a great shot or a bad shot,” he said. “He’s more demonstrative. That also gets the galleries pumped up. Jack just had that little wave when he hit a good shot or made a putt. There were no fist pumps with Jack.”
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Why not 18, you ask?
Jack was a much better Ryder Cup player, and played golf on a more frequent basis, with fewer of the amenities Tiger now benefits from.
I think 3 majors makes up for it.
That being said, I think Tiger will surpass 21 majors, and be the best to this point in time. I think he has more talent than Jack. But let's see if he has his longevity...
Tigger has not, although he may break Jack's records someday, but then again, tomorrow he could be hit by a bread truck.
In the running:
Snead (Sam, that is. Not J.C.)- except for a balky putter
Miller - balky putter
And Oliver, I don't argue Hogan. But Jack had a wayward driver, just like Woods. Maybe not to quite the same degree, but similar. I think Jack was a great ball-striker, but I do beleive Tiger is every bit his equal. Tiger is a better bunker player. Jack hit very high long irons - Tiger can do the same. Tiger is an amazing short-iron player. And he can hit an incredible 3 wood. So at worst, in my book, they net out equal.
There's a story about Hogan's persimmon driver. Many pro's tried to hit it and couldn't. The only pro who could hit it well, aside from Hogan, was Tiger Woods.
I am somewhat surprised that no one has mentioned the quality of the equipment that Tiger enjoys. Todays' clubs are made of space age alloys and are so light a baby can pick them up. Even the balls are built different. I remember as a kid in the 60's cutting open golf balls...full of rubber bands surrounding a small black rubber ball.
Comparing athletes from across the eras we know is purely an argumentative sport all it's own.
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