Ever since Tiger Woods last major championship in June 2008, the golf world has, for a short time unknowingly, been searching for his replacement. Nobody thought that after that win Woods would escape into a world of injury and intrigue quite the way he did. No Majors and several back injuries later, the sport he once dominated is now dominated by young 20-something lads that Tiger created.
Tiger was the best golfer in the world for the better part of 15 years, take away the one shining moment that Vijay Singh had in the mid 2000s, and Tiger was near untouchable when his game was on. His game was on more than not.
Now we see Jordan Speith, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and Rickie Fowler all looking to emulate that success that Tiger once made look easy. The problem with those 4 golfers is that none of them are Tiger Woods. They may all go down in history as greats, and assuming their career paths stay where on par they should all make the Hall of Fame, but none seem to be able to break away from the other 3 and dominate the game in such a fashion.
Woods once made 142 straight cuts. 142! That’s 7 straight years of cuts made. The current longest cuts made streak stands at 17 and of those 4 golfers mentioned Jason Day currently has the longest cuts made streak at 7.
The PGA Tour is probably more competitive than ever, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. We once watched Tiger win his first major by 12 strokes and then follow that up with his third major by 15.
I, for one, really want to see what a healthy Tiger Woods can do against these kids at 40 years old. We may never again see dominating play from him, but when he is at the top of his game, I want to know if anybody can take him on. As for now, we will wait for his return and we will continue to wait and see if anyone can match his GOAT numbers from his prime.
My guess is that none of these players quite make the mark, but I would love to be proved wrong by all of them.