Quote Originally Posted by New York Red View Post
Phil started five years before Tiger. Phil was considered the next great thing, until Tiger came along. Since Tiger came on the scene, it's just those two, as far as obvious future HOFers in their prime the entire time.

Look at the all-time PGA wins list. Tiger is 2nd and Phil is 9th (37 wins behind Tiger). Then, for players in a similar time frame, it drops down to Davis Love III (tied for 33rd), Ernie Els (tied for 38th) and Jim Furyk (tied for 51st). Next on the list, believe it or not, is David Duval. Think about that. David Duval. So, IMO, there is no comparison between the caliber of player Jack regularly faced, compared to what Tiger has faced.
There's a bit of a circuitous argument to this as well though.
I don't think anyone would argue fields are deeper now than when Nicklaus was playing. So it logically follows that if there are more players capable of winning a random tournament, then the number of tournaments top players would be expected to win would come down.

So it's not Tiger that is necessarily taking tournament victories away from the likes of Mickelson, Els, and Furyk. Rather its there are more random guys capable of winning one tournament and/or major by having a completely ridiculous week.

Also David Duval is a perfect example of the slightly less than great all time players who seem to be more prevalent in Tiger's day. Tiger and Phil have both now been great golfers for about 20 years give or take. During that time frame, guys like Duval(13 wins in 5 years), Vijay Singh(great career, but 13 wins in about 1 1/2 years). Padraig Harrington won all three of his major championships within about 13 months of each other too.

Maybe there were spurts like that from players in Nicklaus' day too, but it seems more common now than 20-30 years ago.