The main titles. The regular titles. The money earned. The cut ray. In determining Tiger Woods’ greatness over the course of his career, there are many ways to go. But in terms of encapsulating your domain, this animated graphic might be the best way to go.
It comes from the great minds of Data Golf and is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Using total strokes won, the screen shows the best players in the game since 1996, the year Tiger turned pro. And it makes it clear that Woods was a cut above the competition during his heyday. A BIG cut above.
Take a look at the chart, which starts with Greg Norman leading the way in 2.6. But the Shark quickly dives in, making way for Woods, who won his first two PGA Tour titles (from 82 and counting) that year, to establish control at the top after his first big win at the 1997 Masters.
From there, Woods leads in this category until late 2010, plus a brief stint being surpassed by Ernie Els in 2003-2004 (Woods was beginning his transition from swing coach from Butch Harmon to Hank Haney at the time). And most of the time, it’s by a wide margin. Check it out (bottom chart):
Absolutely amazing. Woods has spent more than a decade above 2.6 strokes won. Meanwhile, only Els has been able to break that mark in the last quarter century.
Woods peaked at nearly winning 4 strokes a round during his historic 2000 campaign, in which he won nine times, including three majors. But winning 3.6 pitches in 2008 wasn’t too bad either.
Anyway, you get the point. Tiger Woods was the best golfer in the world for a long time, and he didn’t even come close. Of course, we didn’t need a fancy animated graphic to tell us that, but it’s still pretty cool to look at.