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  Monday, 9 April, 2001, 20:02 GMT 21:02 UK
Woods: The greatest of all time?
Tiger Woods wins the US Masters
Woods aims to equal Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Majors
By BBC Sport Online's Princeworth Sowah

Tiger Woods wrote himself into the history books with victory in the US Masters on Sunday.

The win means Woods is the first golfer to hold all four Majors at the same time.

But the historical significance of his achievement is open to debate.

Is Tiger the greatest of all time?

Tiger Woods and caddy
Woods savours the moment with his caddy

His coach Butch Harman certainly seems to think so.

"What this young man has achieved has never been done by anyone who walked the planet," he says.

"No one in the history of the game has done it before. He's the only player to hold all four Major championships in one year."

Historians will point to the achievements of Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 Majors during a career spanning several decades.

Woods is only too aware that his success will always be measured against that record and, like any true champion, his aim is to surpass it.


Even Jack would concede Tiger's the best player we've seen for a long time
David Hill

Harman adds: "Tiger's focus is to win as many Majors as he can.

"He gauges himself on Jack's record."

Crucially, Nicklaus never held all four Major titles at the same time.

David Hill, championship secretary at the Royal and Ancient Club says, "In the 70's, Nicklaus was expected to do it, but he never did."

Hill believes Woods' success speaks for itself.

"Comparing generations is difficult, but even Jack would concede Tiger's the best player we've seen for a long time," he says.

'Mental strength'

"Woods has done it in a more competitive environment than Jack.

"His achievement is fantastic."

Former Ryder Cup captain John Jacobs says club technology has had little impact.

"Technology has no bearing on the improvements in today's game.


Nicklaus wasn't as good technically as Tiger
John Jacobs
"Most players today are using sports psychologists to toughen the mind.

"Mental strength is the key. Jack had it and so does Woods."

Woods is rightly lauded for his ability to maintain focus and composure during critical stages of play, and Jacobs believes this to be the mark of a great.

"Jack's strength was mental too," he says.

"He wasn't as good technically as Tiger and his contemporaries, but he made up for this with a steely nerve."

The Masters title holder now finds his name being mentioned with all-time sporting greats like Muhammad Ali, Sir Donald Bradman, Pele and Pete Sampras.

Whether he achieves a true Grand Slam or not, he can surely be afforded that honour.

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 ON THIS STORY
David Hill, Royal and Ancient Club
"He's proven himself to be a great champion"

Tiger's Grand Slam

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