Does almost winning contribute to greatness?

mulligan, 13 November 2005, Comments Off on Does almost winning contribute to greatness?
Categories: Uncategorized

Now that Tiger Woods has finished second to David Howell at the HBSC Championship, I am thinking about whether often coming close to winning plays any role in measuring a golfer’s greatness. Notably, fewer close finishes is perhaps the most distinguishing aspect of Tiger career when compared with Jack Nicklaus.

To go along with his 73 official tour victories, Jack had 94 finishes in second or third (including ties). And in majors, Jack had 28 such close calls to go along with his 18 victories. (Of course, Jack also said, after finishing second as an amateur to Arnold Palmer in the 1960 Open, that “Nobody ever remembers who finished second at anything”.)

Meanwhile, though the 2003 season, Tiger had won 39 official PGA events, but had only finished second or third in another 23 (in 2004 and 2005, Tiger has had more close calls than victories, though he has had a lot of both). In majors, even with his second place showing in this year’s US Open, Tiger only has two seconds and two thirds to go with his 10 professional majors.
Of course, there is one golfer who would surely be eager to have close calls contribute to assessments of greatness: Phil Mickelson. In the majors, Phil has had 10 finishes in second or third to go along with his two victories. (Ernie Els also does pretty well by this metric, with eight close calls along with his three victories in majors.)


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Leave a Reply:

Name *

Mail (hidden) *


Email: thegolfblog [@]

Advertise Here