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Home of Woods vs. Nicklaus – Golf's Greatest Rivalry

Woods and the high cost of rivalries

September 11th, 2012 · No Comments

On Golf Channel’s Legendary Conversation special last night Jack Nicklaus sat at a table with Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. In aggregate, those three cost Nicklaus seven majors – the number Palmer won in his career. The total also showcases the high cost that superstar rivals can have on a player’s career.

To date, Tiger Woods has never finished directly behind a multiple major winning superstar in a major. But he has, in 2012, seen at least some significant damage to his PGA Tour resume at the hands of Rory McIlroy.

For the year, Woods has three wins, and these four top fours:
2nd at Honda
3t at the British Open
3rd at the Deutsche Bank
4t at the BMW Championship

If McIlroy had not played in these events, Woods’ record in these four would be:
W at Honda
3t at the British Open
2nd at the Deutsche Bank
3t at the BMW Championship

So, minus McIlroy, Woods would have four wins instead of three and an additional top three. He would have climbed a notch closer to Sam Snead’s 82 wins and he would improved his resume, which should matter when his overall career records are compared to Nicklaus’.

McIlroy has yet to cost Woods a major or two, but given their close proximity at the top of the leaderboard during three of McIlroy’s four wins, it is not hard to imagine that this scenario will not repeat itself in several majors in the years to come. If it does, McIlroy could become the great rival, and the great spoiler who kept Woods from passing Nicklaus.

Tags: PGA Tour · The Game · Tiger vs. Jack

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