Blog Entry

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Posted on: March 12, 2009 10:29 am

Tiger is one of the most dominant golfers of all time and possesses the uncanny desire to win (much like Jack Nicklaus).  This always brings up the argument of "best all time".  I definitely believe that Tiger is the most hyped and media driven professional golfer of all time and I believe he is definitely in the top 5 golfers of all time.  However, (if you twisted my arm to make a comparison) in my opinion the most dominant golfer of all time would be Byron Nelson.  From 1942-1946 he had a streak of 65 tournaments where he finished in the top 10.  He won 34 of those and finished 2nd in 16 others.  He won 11 in a row and 18 in one year.  His scoring average over the 1945 season was an unbelievable 68.33. Unheard of at that time!  A scoring average like that would match Tiger's great 2000 season.  Imagine if he lifted weights or had better equipment.  Nelson won 6 times in 1946 and then retired from regular tournament golf to own a ranch in Texas at the age of 34.  Right in the middle of his prime when he was playing his best golf.  He said the reason for retiring so young was that when he started playing golf professionally, he had an amount of money in his mind he was determined to make in order to buy a ranch.  When he made that money, he stopped playing and moved on to the ranch lifestyle.  In only parts of 11 seasons of professional golf he won 54 times.  He also held the record for most consecutive cuts made at 113.  He would have inevitably extended that streak for much longer had he not retired.  Another thing to look at is "making the cut" in Nelson's day meant finishing in the top 20 (only those players received paychecks) and although Woods had a consecutive cuts streak of 145, 36 of those tournaments were "no-cut" tournaments meaning everyone makes the cut and receives a paycheck (like in this weekend's World Golf Championship event) and Woods also finished outside the top 20 many times but still made the cut.

That being said, I don't want to take anything away from what Tiger has accomplished in HIS era.  What makes Tiger so great is his ability to win.  People have this notion that he dominates the sport of golf every week.  While it is true that he is great, the casual golfer thinks he wins every tournament because the media makes it seem that way. The truth is he only wins 25% of the tournaments he enters (which is spectacular) and he has only lead the PGA tour in scoring 7 times in 12 years (Nicklaus lead the PGA in scoring 8 times in 12 years).  As amazing as he is.  I don't think it is possible to say he is the greatest ever.  It is like comparing Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams to Griffey, Bonds or A-Rod.  I think it is safe to say he is the greatest in his era but I think we should only judge eras individually.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2009 8:59 am

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Speaking of Ben Hogan.  I believe the best golf movie I have watched in my lifetime was called Follow the Sun.  It is a biopic of Ben Hogan's life.  To see what he went through after his car crash and how he overcame such adversity is an inspiring story.  I would never remove Hogan from the list of all time great golfers.   Saying that, I do need to mention that it is Byron Nelson's swing that is considered the first modern golf swing.  There are many internet links that will confirm this.  In fact, the robot that tests golf equipment is modeled after Nelson's swing.  That is why it is called the "Iron Byron".  How great is your golf swing if they model a robot after you.  There are many golfers that could be mentioned: living in Atlanta I have quite a few courses to choose from that were designed by Bobbly Jones and there is a lot of history involving him here, Sam Snead (who in my opinion had the purest, smoothest golf swing of his generation) is another that could easily be mentioned.  I believe he still holds the record for most tournaments won.

I like many of today's golfers, including Tiger.  I love to watch Freddie Couples, Davis Love, Ernie Els and Phil Mickleson play.  I think we live is a good era to watch golf.  I hope everyone can appreciate the talent we have now without forgetting the talent of days gone by.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 7:02 am

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

What happens if you r in the media and u say something critical of woods? Ask Johnny Miller or Nick Faldo. They both have learned better not to question woods god like skills. Both learned they werent on the same page  with their networks when they observed swing flaws and had to be corrected. The media has changed and they create whom they want and take down whom they want. Think about it, we have a president with 2 years expierience in the senate and 2 years of speaches! People believe what they hear over and over and over again. If Michelson becomes the top ranked player in the world, you will see an all out assault on him till he looses some of his fan base. The media makes people believe what they  decide is good for them convinceingly. What would happen if a media announcer would predict someone other than woods would win? Remember the grand slam prediction of 08?Blah, blah blah, only intelegent open minds can c this.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 6:43 am

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Woods is like all the other exploited people in our sosiety, Half as good as they say he is. So when figuring out where he stands just divide what the media states in half and then compare! (The media has become the great exxagerators of all time). 

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2009 1:50 am

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

I believe that in sports, how we define greatness is not by how many wins or losses we have, but rather by the quality of competition we compete against. In the sport of golf this in never more apparent, because the playing field is completely even. You have no team mates (other than team competition, but not relevant in this context) assisting you. You play the same course as everyone else and you pit your strengths against the same challenge as every one else, the course. All the great golfers in every era have had to face challanges, but the means by which we can determine greatness is by the quality of competition we face in adversity. 

Tiger is without a doubt one of the greatest golfers to play the game, but what he is lacking is great competition. He does not have, like Byron Nelson had, a Ben Hogan or Sam Snead or how Bobby Jones had Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen - Great competition helped define these goflers' greatness. Tiger's competition consists of Mickelson, Elles, and Sing - These guys, while good golfers, can not hold a candle against what Nelson, Snead, Jones Hagen, and Hogan did throughout their careers.

In my opinion Jack Nicklaus is the greates golfer to ever play the game. His competition included the likes of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Billy Casper, Hale Irwin, Johnny Miller and Ray Floyd, just to name a few. But these few are all ranked in the top 25 of the 100 best golfers of all time and they all competed against each other. Bryon Nelson, during his great run from 1942 - 1945 was indeed the best golfer playing, but the caveat with this feat is that many of Nelson's chief competitors were in military service at this time. This takes nothing away from what Nelson accomplished throughout those four years and certainly his scoring average during the 1945 season was phenominal, but he did not compete against the best and in my opinion that is how we define one's greatness by the greatness of our competition.



Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: March 13, 2009 1:23 am

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media


Why do moron's like you keep being allowed to comment on things that you clearly have no idea what your talking about.  To quote you "If everyone can do it, no matter what physical shape you are in, it is NOT A SPORT !! " . Anyone in the world can play any sport, only professional athletes play them much better than everyone else. Even if some old, out of shape guy went onto a baseball diamond with 8 other guys he could play, probably not well, but he could play. Same goes for football or soccer or basketball. It happens all the time. So is baseball or the others not sports?!? Of course they are, just like golf. Golf may not be the most physically demanding sport ever but it still requires a large amount of physical ability to play it well. Do you think Tiger Woods hits the ball so far because he knows some secret that nobody else knows, of course not. Of course including raw talent and coaching, his physical ability, strength and flexibility far surpass the average golfer. Same reason Barry Bonds hits more home runs than anyone, of course also incrediable co-ordination. Swinging a bat and swinging a golf club are very similar. Hense them both being SPORTS!  So why don't you stop commenting in discussion boards on cbsSPORTS!.com until you have something constructive to say.

straight from

sport <script type="text/javascript"></script> <object id="speaker" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="17" height="15" codebase="codebase=" align="middle"> </object> <noscript></noscript>&e
nsp;/spɔrt, spoʊrt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [spawrt, spohrt] Show IPA

–noun athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 12, 2009 11:34 pm

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Sorry, meant to say Hogan played in SIX tourneys and won 5, finished second once.



Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 12, 2009 11:32 pm

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Man, I could not agree more!  I'm old enough to remember Hogan, and during the 1948-53 period, he was absolutely the best ever.  Prior to that, he didn't dominate as he did during that 6 year span, but no one has ever done what he did for that one incandescent period.  He didn't play in the PGA Championship in those days because it was a match play event, basically a tourney for the club pros.  The touring players avoided it.  And it always conflicted with the British Open.  In 1953, Hogan won all of the current three "majors" that existed then, but they were not called "majors" until 1960, so there was no "grand slam" as we know it today.  But he won the three that would be considered majors today.  And he spent a year recovering from his horrendous accident before winning the Open in 1950 with bleeding and bandaged legs.  He never took a step without being in pain bordering on agony after his accident.  He played in 9 majors in 5 seasons, and won 6 of the 9.  In '53, he only played in 5 tourneys, won 5 (3 majors) and finished second once.  No one, not even Tiger, can prepare for that kind of competition without more "live" tourney experience.  Tiger is great, but there was only ONE Ben Hogan.  The GREAT Ben Hogan!


Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: March 12, 2009 10:12 pm

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

<dd class="hwrd">ath·lete </dd><dt class="pron">Pronunciation: </dt><dd class="pron">\ˈath-ˌlēt, ÷ˈa-thə-ˌlēt\ </dd><dt class="func">Function: </dt><dd class="func">noun </dd><dt class="ety">Etymology: </dt><dd class="ety">Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest </dd><dt class="date">Date: </dt><dd class="date">15th century </dd>: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina(from: http://


being an amateur bodybuilder and occasional golfer myself, the sports you listed take as much physical strength and skill as other sports.

go lift some weights for once and see.

tiger woods will be the greatest golfer of all time, because he hasn't played as long as nickalus.

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: March 12, 2009 10:05 pm

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media


Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: March 12, 2009 8:31 pm

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Best of all time?  No.  Not yet.  And I don't think he'll make it there.  Most media driven and over hyped?  DEFINITELY.  You'd swear these writers all had the biggest man-love-crush on him.  They'd marry him if they could.  He's a good golfer, definitely the most aggressive in a long time.  It's been so laid back until he arrived that it sort of threw a bucket of ice water on the sport to wake them all up and see that here's some competition folks!  Let's not forget he hasn't been the #1 rated golfer all thru his career.  Vijay Singh knocked him from his perch a few years back.  And the scoring system for that is very skewed towards nothing but major victories anyway and Vijay overcame that like Byron with a huge amount of regular wins.   Y'all are also forgetting Bobby Jones from a long long long time ago who basically quit because there was NO real competition for him and he crushed them all.  But overall, you can try to compare each of these guys from different eras but you really can't because courses were different, equipment is different, attitudes are different, and they're playing for tons of money as opposed to a trophy and a handshake.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or