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Monday, 9 April, 2001, 00:44 GMT 01:44 UK
How good is Woods?
Tiger Woods won his fourth successive Major at the US Masters.
As a result the 25-year-old is being heralded as one of the best sportsmen the world has ever seen.
Where do you think he stands in the annals of sporting greatness?
Tiger Woods has seen off his nearest rivals in the golfing world time and time again.
Are you impressed by his achievement of holding all four Majors simultaneously and where do you think he rates among the biggest names in sport?
How does Woods compare to Muhammed Ali, who is widely regarded as the greatest sportsmen of the 20th century?
Sir Donald Bradman, Pele and more recently Michael Jordan, have all dominated their sports to overwhelming degrees, but has Woods surpassed them with this victory?
Is Woods one of the all time greats?
Or do you think he still has more to prove before he can be compared to the likes of Ali and Pele?
Tell us what you think.
The greatest sportsmen take a sport to another level. Woods is doing just this. By opening golf to fellow blacks, the standards will improve, like almost all other American sports in history. In terms of pure success, Tiger has a right to stand with the best of them, even with the darts world's hitherto incomparable Phil Taylor.
To be the best at any sport takes, talent, disipline, courage and determination. I believe no matter what sport Woods chose, he would be in the top ranks. Anyone who can drive like Woods did on the 18th, with the pressure that was on his shoulders deserves the title of one of the greatest golfers of all time. Like Steve Davis said "A champion can play like it means nothing, when it means everything."
It is simply too early to start thinking of Tiger Woods as one of the greatest sportsmen in history, as he is still only 25.
There can be no doubt that he is the most dominant competitor in profesional sports. When he is not winning majors by record margins (as he has in all four) he is beating a player such as Duval who himself has posted the lowest score never to win the Masters.
The stroke average difference between 1st (Woods) and 2nd on the PGA tour for 2000, was the same as the difference between 2nd and 41st. He is changing the way young players should be approaching the game. Physical and technical preparation have been given new dimensions that must be strived for. All they need now is for Woods to write the book on mental toughness.
Tiger Woods isn't even the best golfer ever, never mind sportsman. It's too early to say if he can be compared with the likes of Ali and Sampras, because he is too young. Tiger has only ever won six majors, when Jack Nicklaus has won eighteen. Woods has a while to go before he can catch up with Jack. In tennis, Pete Sampras has thirteen Grand-Slam titles and has been ranked No.1 in the world for the past 6 years. Can anyone compare with that?
It is hard to say at this point that Woods is one of the all time greats. To make such a statement, you need to at least wait another 5 years.
But one has to accept how much he has influenced the game in a short time. He has totally changed the stupid old stylish game to more interesting for the modern era and made it so perfect to watch. How many people watched golf on television before Woods? How many people were really inspired to play this game before Woods showed up? For all these good changes in the golf world, one has to give the credit to Tiger Woods, he is great, but need to wait and see how he is going to keep up the success in the coming years.
Tiger Woods is no doubt the greatest sportsman of today. However he will never be greater than Ali or Pele simply because their greatness stems from as much what they did outside the sporting arena.
Ali represented hope for millions of black people - more than Woods ever will despite his ethnicity. How many people in Zaire or the Congo have heard of Woods? Similarly with Pele. Boxing and football in particular are universal sports - golf, basketball, tennis aren't
I think that the title " The Greatest Sportsman ever" itself is an extremely ludicrous and stupid title. There is absolutely no way anyone can compare two sportsmen competing in two different games.
While Woods may be the best contemporary golfer around and may be the best golfer ever, one simply cannot compare him with other greats like Ali, Spitz, Gavaskar.
Tiger Wood's achievements have to be rated as one of the greatest in sport, not just golf. He is a credit to the game and as a young man he deals with the immense pressure exceedingly well.
Tiger is a great golfer, but would he have conceded a very missable putt to a European Ryder Cup member on the last hole of the last day as Jack did with Jacklin. If Jacklin had taken the putt, and missed, the US would have won the Ryder Cup. That is great sportmanship.
Golf isn't a 'sport' it's a 'game' much like darts & snooker, skillful but not a 'sport'. To be defined as a sport I believe there should be three elements- skill, athleticism and teamwork. Using those three criteria there are only two real sports, football & cricket. Some 'games' come close, rugby for instance is let down because there is precious little skill, or american football if it were to just grow up and stop being like show business. But golf, never.
You ask the saddest questions.... how can golf be considered the best sport?
Woods is on course to be the greatest ever golfer but hasn't got there yet. As such he is not the greatest ever sportsman. His self-effacement does put him up there though. I would suggest Wayne Gretzky, closely followed by Sir Don Bradman as the best sportsmen ever. Their total domination of their chosen sports, combined with their modesty, makes them a cut above the rest - even the wonderful Woods.
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