On this episode of GrippingGolf, Billy and Daniel discuss if you could even compare the two greatest golfers of all-time, Tiger vs Jack. First, time travel hasn’t been invited, yet. Second, can you even compare these two golfers? Enjoy the discuss as it focuses on the changes in the game that would impact the match the most.
Jack William Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), nicknamed The Golden Bear, is an American retired professional golfer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time. Over a quarter-century, he won a record 18 major championships, three more than second-placed Tiger Woods. Nicklaus focused on the major championships—Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship—and played a selective schedule of regular PGA Tour events. He competed in 164 major tournaments, more than any other player, and finished with 73 PGA Tour victories, third behind Sam Snead (82) and Woods (82).
Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961 and finished second in the 1960 U.S. Open, two shots behind Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 toward the end of 1961. He earned his first professional victory at the 1962 U.S. Open, defeating Palmer by three shots in a next-day 18-hole playoff and launching a rivalry between golf superstars. In 1966, Nicklaus became the first player to win the Masters Tournament two years running; he also won The Open Championship, becoming at age 26 the youngest player to win all four golf majors. He won another Open Championship in 1970.
Between 1971 and 1980, he won nine more major championships, overtook Bobby Jones’ record of 13 majors, and became the first player to complete double and triple career grand slams. He won the 1986 Masters, his 18th and final major championship at age 46, the tournament’s oldest winner. Nicklaus joined the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the PGA Tour Champions) when he became eligible in January 1990, and by April 1996 had won 10 tournaments, including eight major championships despite playing a very limited schedule. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, when he made his final appearances at the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.
Today Nicklaus heads one of the world’s largest golf course design companies. Among his courses is Harbour Town Golf Links. He is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Nicklaus runs an event on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament.
Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer. He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins and ranks second in men’s major championships and also holds numerous golf records. Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers, and one of the most famous athletes of all time.
Following an outstanding junior, college, and amateur golf career, Woods turned professional in 1996 at the age of 20. By the end of April 1997, he had won three PGA Tour events in addition to his first major, the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 strokes in a record-breaking performance. He reached number one in the world rankings for the first time in June 1997, less than a year after turning pro. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Woods was the dominant force in golf. He was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 (264 weeks) and again from June 2005 to October 2010 (281 weeks). During this time, he won 13 of golf’s major championships.
The next decade of Woods’ career was marked by comebacks from personal problems and injuries. He took a self-imposed hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in an attempt to resolve marital issues with his then-wife, Elin. Extramarital affairs with Woods had been alleged by several women, and the couple eventually divorced. Woods fell to number 58 in the world rankings in November 2011 before ascending again to the No.1 ranking between March 2013 and May 2014. However, injuries led him to undergo four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017. Woods competed in only one tournament between August 2015 and January 2018, and he dropped off the list of the world’s top 1,000 golfers. On his return to regular competition, Woods made steady progress to the top of the game, winning his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in September 2018 and his first major in 11 years at the 2019 Masters.
Woods has held numerous golf records. He has been the number one player in the world for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer in history. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times and has won the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times. Woods has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 15 professional major golf championships (trailing only Jack Nicklaus, who leads with 18) and 82 PGA Tour events (tied for first all time with Sam Snead). Woods leads all active golfers in career major wins and career PGA Tour wins. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the second golfer (after Nicklaus) to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships. In May 2019, Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the fourth golfer to receive the honor.