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Tiger In '12: Major Wins Make For A "Great" Year

For those wondering if Tiger changed his assessment of a "great" year last week to include one with no major wins, Doug Ferguson's notes column says you are correct.

And it was just a year ago that Woods made his case.

It was at The Barclays in 2012 that he was asked about three PGA Tour wins and whether he saw it as a good year or some other description.

''Well, I see it as absolutely it's a good year,'' Woods said a year ago. ''But I think winning a major puts it into a 'great year' category. I've said that countless times prior.''

Or he used to, anyway.

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Reader Comments (45)

Changing the goal posts.

Get ready for "the Snead record is the one that I really secretly wanted most of all."
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Is it possible that 5 wins is better than 3?
08.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentermaybe
maybe, maybe

Also, perspective can change when there is a hot, olympic skier in the formula.
@Abu Dhabi: You might be right.

His next major win (yes I believe he will get one or a few more) will be his toughest mentally. The rest of the world has caught up to what he used to be able to do. Plus that squeeze fade he's been using kinda acts like a restrictor plate IMO.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
"restrictor plate" +1 Brings everyone down to the same speed.
Majors, meh. 5 wins in fields where everybody shows up is outstanding.
He could easily be player of the year and its not a great year? 2012 Tiger was wrong.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRon
he's had a very good year but not great...Jack and what he used to feel are correct: a Major makes it a great yar
08.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
A reasonable statement. He did have a great year by any other standards than the one used for him alone.
Not a TW lover, but it seems that whatever he says will get twisted by the haters. Here's a fun example that came to me.

Headline: Tiger breathes several times per minute, just like all humans.
Comment/post: TW contributing to global warming by his non-stop spewing CO2 into the atmosphere.

Relax, folks. He seemed happy here, and now will get blasted for it. Any other athlete who ratcheted down the expectations would be seen as being more realistic. This guy just can't win...(majors, anymore...) :)
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Does anyone think he already has more majors than Jack? Is it possible he sees it that way? I guess we'll find out.

3 junior amateurs and 3 amateurs plus 14 professional majors = 20 majors to Jack's 19.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
By Tiger's own standards, it shouldn't be considered a great year - he's had seven seasons in which he won five or more times including at least one major, and two others in which he won four including one major. But you could argue that on the "getting the most out of your game" scale, this year must rank as one of his better ones.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
One interesting thing I find from these discussions about Tiger's year is the lack of regard for his victory at the Players Championship. When anyone else wins the Players it's considered a very big deal, and it's talked about how the winner beat the best field in golf. But it seems to be ignored by many if not most in discussing what type of year Tiger has had in 2013.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ierubino
@Chris DE -

Didn't Jack win the Amateur twice?
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
Yes! My mistake.

20 to 20.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
The media haters are getting rather desperate as they see the guy they all claimed was done and overrun by the "young guns" is on the verge of a total comeback....only they dont get a vote. Cant you just see these sweaty balding guys piling up barricades at the front door? Hilarious
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
@Enigma -

"Young guns" ... I still love that.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine

Walter Hagen has 22 majors. 2 US Opens, 4 British Opens, 5 PGAs, 2 North and South Opens, 4 Metropolitan Opens, and 5 Western Opens.

The North and South, the Met, and the Western were considered by most pros to be majors in the pre-Masters era.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Tom - While the Player's was his most impressive win of the year (not a homer course for him and very strong field) (and overlooking the drop on 14 on Sunday), I find that the Players and its winner lose the media buzz very quickly afterward. Unless you are Tim Finchem,i t's all about the majors. At the end of most years, I usually have to think a bit to try and remember who won the Players. In fact, I just had to look up who won it last year (Matt Kuchar). Whereas, the current Major titleholders I can name pretty quickly.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCassie C
Wow, Sergio Garcia now has TWO MAJORS!!!! Woot!!!!!!!

The 1998 British Amateur Championship
The 1997 British Boys Amateur Championship

And, if he are chatting about the possible elevation of the Players Championship, it will be three!!!

Go Sergio!
According to one of the definitions of "great" is:
"of significant importance or consequence"
Who really decides if 5 wins meets this definition? Tiger or all the experts?
For anyone interested in further details of Jack's "evolution" concerning what he considered would make him the GOAT, refer to the link below:
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPGT
Go Hagen!!
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
18 to 14

Winning majors is the yardstick. They have the most pressure, even if some of the fields are weaker than the Players, for instance.Those who handle that pressure the best, are the greatest of all time.

Forget amatuers, Players and WGC events. The 4 majors are above all else.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I suppose everyone has different def'n of "great". If there were a bunch of Tiger or players who think like Tiger, then he did not have a great year and Phil or Adam does. For those that do not define "great" by strictly majors and measure "great year" by the number of wins and quality of field, etc., then Tiger will get the vote. BTW I've heard of the Amateurs as part of majors in the past and that's up to debate (given how we hardly recognize many of those winners now) but Abu Dhabi's post above about The North and South, the Met, and the Western really make my eyes pop. I think that's kind of stretching it.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
Amateurs, Western Opens etc, were considered "major" wins at the time. When amateurs like Bobby Jones won the grand slam, it was the 2 Opens and 2 amateurs.

But once professional golf took hold, majors have been the yardstick since the war. Sometimes, Americans will refer to Jack's 20 majors, when in fact, it is 18.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold

'Winning majors is the yardstick. They have the most pressure, even if some of the fields are weaker than the Players, for instance.Those who handle that pressure the best, are the greatest of all time.'

Completely agree (although I'd consider including the AMs as major titles under the same umbrella).
Craziest factoid I heard during this year's Masters (same course every year, 'weakest' field)…no one has ever broken 70 all 4 days in any given year.
Hawkeye, you know this stuff like the back of your hand, did I hear that right?
08.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
There are flaws with any attempt to compare golfers of different eras. What I am about to say is not without its own flaws – in particular in terms of Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, and Phil Mickelson, each of whom has just one total win in the two Opens, as well as the Opens not conducted because of the two World Wars – but I’ll present it for the sake of debate.

The only two majors that everyone from Harry Vardon to Tiger Woods has played in are the Open Championship and the U.S. Open. Only 17 players have won both Opens during their careers.

The Open Championship was first played over 72 holes in 1892. For the sake of this discussion, we'll ignore the previous Opens that were played over 36 holes.

The U.S. Open was first played over 72 holes in 1898, so likewise ignore the first three U.S. Opens.

Here are the leaders in most wins in the two Opens (number of Open Championship wins followed by number of U.S. Open wins in parentheses). Hopefully, I didn't miss anyone who has won at least 2 of the Opens total.

Harry Vardon – 7 (6 & 1)
Bobby Jones – 7 (3 & 4)
Jack Nicklaus – 7 (3 & 4)

Walter Hagen – 6 (4 & 2)
Tom Watson – 6 (5 & 1)
Tiger Woods – 6 (3 & 3)

James Braid – 5 (5 & 0)
J.H. Taylor – 5 (5 & 0)
Ben Hogan – 5 (1 & 4)
Peter Thomson – 5 (5 & 0)

Willie Anderson – 4 (0 & 4)
Bobby Locke – 4 (4 & 0)
Lee Trevino – 4 (2 & 2)
Gary Player – 4 (3 & 1)
Ernie Els – 4 (2 & 2)

Henry Cotton – 3 (3 & 0)
Gene Sarazen – 3 (1 & 2)
Arnold Palmer – 3 (2 & 1)
Hale Irwin – 3 (0 & 3)
Seve Ballesteros – 3 (3 & 0)
Nick Faldo – 3 (3 & 0)

Alex Smith – 2 (0 & 2)
John McDermott – 2 (0 & 2)
Ted Ray – 2 (1 & 1)
James Barnes – 2 (1 & 1)
Tommy Armour – 2 (1 & 1)
Ralph Guldahl – 2 (0 & 2)
Cary Middlecoff – 2 (0 & 2)
Julius Boros – 2 (0& 2)
Billy Casper – 2 (0 & 2)
Tony Jacklin – 2 (1 & 1)
Johnny Miller – 2 (1 & 1)
Andy North – 2 (0 & 2)
Curtis Strange – 2 (0 & 2)
Greg Norman – 2 (2 & 0)
Lee Janzen – 2 (0 & 2)
Payne Stewart– 2 (0 & 2)
Retief Goosen – 2 (0 & 2)
Padraig Harrington – 2 (2 & 0)
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ierubino
Interesting stats, both the Masters one and the Opens.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Despite all the counter arguments, the four current majors are the easily the best guidepost for comparison despite the shortcomings (I wasn't serious about Hagen with 22, but only mentioned to counter the Ams and Jr Ams nonsense).

The other imperfection not mentioned by Tom is that the British Open was almost a wasteland from Bobby Jones' last victory to Arnold Palmer's first (with the exception of very rare appearances by Hogan and Snead over those years). As a result, the British Open was easily the weakest sister of the bunch during that era and one might have to discount a lot of those wins - especially Thompson & Locke.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
And when you take away Masters wins, Jack with 12 pips Walter Hagen with 11, Woods on 10
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I would suggest Thompson and Locke definatly had enough game for anyone of that era.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I like the idea of removing the Masters Ws. That seems to rank Hagen where he should be. It gets very tricky to judge this stuff when we're not counting North & South and Western (for Hagen's numbers), but everybody else gets the Masters counted for them.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
When talking about the GOAT, it's amazing how Hagen hardley gets a mention. Usually, it's Nicklaus, Woods and Jones. Hogan, then Snead and Nelson. Personally, I would put Hagen up there just behind Hogan, way before Nelson, Snead and Palmer. I would even suggest Seve would be higher than Nelson.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
@Easing -

It's all so subjective (I guess) ... great discussions though. Personally, I'd have Hagen ahead of Hogan (and I'm the worlds biggest Hogan fanboy ... about to blow some money on Hogan stuff @ Green Jacket Auctions, lol) and Seve would be a ways behind Nelson. I don't think Seve ever rattled off 11 in a row or whatever it is. :)

Although he is the "King" - I am surprised how high Palmer makes it up on most peoples lists. That being said though - he and Jack had that "win per year" streak going for a loooong time, so longevity speaks to something, I guess. And 60+ total wins don't hurt.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
@dbh: You heard right, nobody's ever broken 70 in all four rounds in a Masters Tournament. Greg Norman did shoot five consecutive Masters rounds under 70 once, but it was the last three rounds in ´95 and the first round in ´96, so that hardly counts!
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Oh, and good list, Tom, and thanks for the link, PGT!
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Pepper, it is at that.It's one of those topics that will always draw a lot of comments.

I can't remember who it was, but some superstar of a sport was asked, who is the greatest ? He replied, "Your favourate, of course "

Anyone recall who said that ? It's bothering me now :)
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Ah, thanks Hawkeye. I find that just extraordinary. Testament to a great course and the pressure of a major championship.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
So now the junior amateur is being counted as a major? that's a new one.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
LOVE it when Tom Iuberino makes those posts just ooooozing with facts! Big clap for you Tom!!!

JFTR, Phil Mickelson has never once had 5 wins in a season but he has won 2 majors since his 40th birth year!!
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I don't care what Tiger's standard might be, it is up to everyone else to be objective. In the last 30 years, only two other guys have managed to win 5 times in a season. They are Vijay Singh (2004) and Nick Price (1994). Woods has done it 10 times. He makes it look easy, but it definitely isn't.
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDRM

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