Found May 12, 2013 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
Love him or hate him (and there seems to be no middle ground) it is hard to argue against the claim that Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the history of the PGA. The numbers are staggering, 78 career wins in 300 starts including 14 major championships. Lets take a quick look at the top 10 on the all time wins list : 1 Sam Snead 82 wins, 7 majors in 30 years 2 Tiger Woods 78 wins 14 majors in 18 years 3 Jack Nicklaus 73 wins 18 majors in 25 years 4 Ben Hogan 64 wins 9 majors in 22 years 5 Arnold Palmer 62 wins 7 majors in 19 years 6 Byron Nelson 52 wins 5 majors in 17 years 7 Billy Casper 51 wins 3 majors in 20 years 8 Walter Hagen 45 wins 11 majors in 23 years 9 Phil Mickelson 41 wins 4 majors in 23 years 10 Cary Middlecoff 40 wins 3 majors in 17 years Impressive company. Now I know the arguments, The equipment is better now, there are more tournaments, guys are more fit, travel is easier. Sure, But we are truly comparing apples to apples here, It’s not like Tiger is playing with composite clubs head to head against Byron Nelson’s bamboo shafts. Everyone should be compared against the competitors of their own era. Lets look a little further down the wins list at guys who are active right now, Beyond Phil Mickelson at number 7 we find VJ Singh at number 14, with 34 career wins, but he has not won since 2008. Ernie Els checks in at number 38 with 19 career wins, Jim Furyk at number 51 with 16 wins. Sure there are up and coming golfers who will take over the game, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, and Steve Stricker and all very good golfers who can win on any given course any week, but thus far this season Tiger has been back to his old, dominant self. After today’s winning round Tiger summed up his for victories this season by saying “I’m getting better” if that is true, and Tiger stays healthy then this could be a very long season of jostling for second place on tour. And the haters will be busy.
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