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The Aquilian

The greatest golfer of all time: Jack Nicholas or Tiger Woods?
Woods poses after a shot. Used with creative commons license.

In the debate of the greatest golfer of all time, plenty of names could be thrown into the hat, but two players stand above the rest. Rightfully so, the discussion always comes down to Tiger Woods and Jack Nicholas. The two legends of the game are miles ahead of anyone else in all categories. Whether it be major championships, PGA Tour wins or World Rankings, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicholas are without a doubt the two greatest golfers of all time, but who is better?

One of the most prominent measurements for success in the professional golf world is major championships. They are the biggest events of each season and are without a doubt the hardest tournaments to win. 

Jack Nicholas beats Woods in majors as he has won 18 to Woods’ 15, but Woods has more PGA Tour wins with 82, nine ahead of Nicholas’ 73 wins. During his prime, it seemed as though no one could beat Tiger Woods. At one point he held all four major championships at the same time, with many calling it the Tiger Slam. 

Throughout Woods’ career, he battled several injuries, numerous ACL reconstructive surgeries and back surgeries, as well as an almost career-ending car accident in 2021. Woods pushed through the adversity of his injuries, to a point where he even won the U.S. Open with “a torn ACL and a double stress fracture of his tibia.” If it wasn’t for his injuries and setbacks, who knows how many more tournaments and majors Woods could have won? 

Woods’ dominance started early in his career as he became the first player to win both the United States Junior Amateur and the United States Amateur. Woods went on to turn professional in 1996, and he never looked back. Woods would go on to have the lowest career scoring average in PGA Tour history and would be the number one ranked player in the world for 683 weeks throughout his career. 

Tiger Woods did things in golf that were considered impossible before him,” as he dominated the golf world over his career, he struck fear into the eyes of his opponents, and it seemed as though no one could beat him. 

Despite his numerous setbacks with injuries and other issues throughout his illustrious career, Tiger revolutionized the game of golf. Tiger Woods’ reign of professional golf over his career ensured his name in the talks for the greatest golfer of all time, and ultimately, one of the most dominant athletes of all time. His success is bigger than just the statistics as he reshaped the sport and set the stage for the next generation of professional golf.

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