There is a distinct buzz around the world of golf at the moment. The imminent return of arguably the greatest golfer of all time in Tiger Woods and the plentiful youth on show within the elite world of the game has now got audiences gasping for more and potentially salivating with the thoughts of next year's major contenders. Will it be Speith, Fowler, McIlroy, DJ or even a certain Mr Woods who could be in line for one of golf's big four events.
Which brings me onto the purpose of this post.
The big debate of 'who is the greatest of all time'? The conclusion that, even the non-golfing public tend to take is between Woods and Nicklaus, pound for pound two of the games titans.
With Nicklaus winning 117 professional titles and Woods with 106, it certainly is a tough call to make when the variable nature of Golf generally means the in form player of the week will come out on top, emphasising the nature of their dominance in their respective eras.
However, a colleague came up with a debate the other day that got me thinking.. ....... would Nicklaus have won all those tournaments with the quality of the field that was in the prime of Tigers achievements?
Let that question sink in for a while.
Yes, Jack had opponents such as Player, Palmer, Lema, Weiskopf et al who were world class players at the time, but would Jack have won as many majors in the Tiger era?
In his 14 major wins, Tiger is 180 under par!
Let that fact sink in also!
Jack, in his 18 major wins, is 97 under.
Now yes, 3 of the 4 majors are played on different courses every year and yes, I can hear you all complaining about new technology, better course conditions etc. But has technology really improved winning scores by a total of 83 under par???
Jack was obviously incredibly skilful, a true gentleman and legend of the game whose record will surely stand the test of time for many years to come. But the debate will rage on.......... similar to who would win a heavyweight contest between Ali and Tyson!
Would Jack have won as many majors had he played in the prime of the Tiger? I will leave you to decide!