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  • 04/08/2011, 06:11PM ET

Combine the past with the present: Best "twosome" in Golf.

Serial Dex (85-39-9) vs Rudedog: Believe The Hype (370-317-81)
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For the sake of this TD, you have to pick 1 of the choices. Pretend they were playing a tournament now as a pair against other pairs. The older player in his prime, the current player NOW in 2011.

Choices:

- Nicklaus & Els
- Hogan & Lefty
- Palmer & Furyk
- Player & Tiger

Tough choices to be sure, but I'm goin with Hogan and Mickelson.

Hogan has 64 Tour wins. Nicklaus himself said that Hogan was the most complete player he's ever seen. He had amazing drives, short game and was a master with every club in the bag.

In 1953 Hogan did the "Hogan Slam" and I'm not talking Hulkamania in the WWF Peach!
He won 5 of the 6 tournaments he entered, counting all 3 Majors of the year. Hogan played in 292 PGA events and finished in the top 10 a total of 241 times. That's amazing.

He also finished in the top 3 of them 47.6% of the time. How could you want this guy playing in his prime?

Mickelson has been one of the top 3 golfers in the world for a long time. Today he is currently ranked 3rd behind Kaymer and Westwood.

In the past 15 months, he's finished in the top 2 of a tournament 7 times.


Tiger showed me enough today to warrant picking this up. Obviously I'm going with Player and Woods.

It's no doubt that Player is a great....player. But, shockingly, it's Woods with the question marks. But after today, he's shown he still has "it" in him. For so long, many thought he was done, washed up, not getting back to the level of dominance. Today he showed he had that in him still.

Now, am I Tiger is back? Maybe, maybe not. But on the last 10 holes, Tiger shot 8 under. And if that Tiger stays around this time and he can be consistent, this isn't even a contest.

As pointed out in the comments, Golf Magazine had an article come out in 2005 that listed the best players.

Tiger - 2nd
Player - 8th

Hogan - 3rd
Furyk - NR

It's quite obvious that Woods/Player paired together just isn't fair. I realize this was in 2005 when Woods was at the top of his game, but even today, he's got the ability to be the best in the game. And that's not even mentioning the fact that he's Tiger Woods. Regardless of his past performances, he's going to intimidate people.

I'll talk Gary Player next


Your 2005 rankings are irrelevant. That was based on Tiger's game 6 years ago.

This year he is currently ranked 7th, which IMO is very giving. He shouldn't even be that high. He's finished 4th three times and 2nd once since the start of the 2010 season.
That's 3 top 5 finishes in 20 tournaments. He only had 1 other finish in the top 10.

Yes Tiger could pick it up at any given moment. It's why I've chosen to include him in the choices for this TD.

However, you can't rely on him to win your tournament. Even in the Masters going on right now, he's tricked us into thinking he could win. After having a solid first round and amazing second round, he followed those 2 rounds up with a 74.

You can't shoot a 74 in the 3rd round and win tournaments.

As for Gary Player, he is indeed a good golfer. However, I don't think he was good as Nicklaus, Palmer or Hogan.

Player has 24 PGA tour wins. That's a fraction of how many Hogan has.

Most of Player's accomplishments have come in the Master's tour. Are you going to pick Player in his prime, or when he is golfing with the old guys? No matter the choice, he doesn't stack up to Hogan


By no means am I relying on current Tiger to win this. I mean, Tiger still has a little work to do, but he has shown those flashes that he is as close as ever to returning to form. I mean, going 8 under in the last 10 holes of a major isn't easy. Only the best of the best can do that.

And Tiger's 74 yesterday could have just as easily been in the 60s. He missed so many putts but mere inches. You would have had to watch Tiger play to realize that wasn't your typical 74 you see from Tiger right now. If he knocked down the putts he just lipped out, we'd be talking about Tiger "being back"

But I haven't even talked about Player. He's a 9-time major winner and was no slouch himself. Stuck in a time period with Palmer and Nicklaus, Player still came away with his fair share of wins. He's certainly a top-10 golfer of all-time.

Pair him with Tiger, who could, at any day, snap back into his old self. He's still Tiger and he still is playing good. He's definitely a top 10 golfer right now. Pairing a top 10 all-time golfer with a current top 10 like Tiger and I just don't see how you pick against him


Did you see that amazing shot onto the green Tiger made yesterday? 280 yards on his 2nd shot, to a blind green. He rolls it 10 feet to the pin for a chance at eagle! Amazing.

Then he choked and missed the short putt.

This is the Tiger we've come to see over the past few years. He isn't what he used to be. Flashses of brilliance but mostly mediocrity. To be fair, he finally had a great tourney. It was his best showing in several years IMO.

As for Player, you're right. Nine time Major winner. A mere fraction of what Niclaus, Palmer and Hogan have. Hogan had more than half of that in ONE YEAR. If there is a guy I can take in his prime, Hogan is the guy.

It is easy to say Tiger is one of the best of all time. It's easy to say Tiger was the best in the game for about 10 years straight, that's how good he was. But the key word there is WAS.

He simply isn't money anymore. You can't count on him to win regularly, if even win at all. If you ask me to put my money on Tiger or The Field for any given tourney, I pick the field.

5 years ago? I'd actually bet on Tiger, that's how good he was. Not any more.


You point out Tiger's literal one mishap of the whole day yesterday.

What about the fact that we haven't seen Tiger perform this well in YEARS. Since his car wreck. he hasn't been the same Tiger.

But that eagle putt at the 8th was vintage Tiger. He showed he's back after this weekend performance.



The fist pump was back. The swagger was back.

He never has won a title coming from behind on Sunday, but he is back. His putter worked. His irons worked. His driver worked as well as it has. His wedges worked. Everything is clicking now.

Like they said on ESPN, Tiger is thinking about golf shots now instead of everything else.

Now, Player didn't win as many titles as Palmer, Nicklaus, etc. However, it's a two-some competition. And my two-some of Player/Woods is better than any of the other two-somes. I just don't see how your grouping would match with mine. Mickelson put up a lousy performance this weekend and is going the wrong way.

Tiger? He's certainly going the right way

April 8, 2011  06:21 PM ET

The "now" stipulation is big. Although, Tiger is -6 right now

April 8, 2011  07:03 PM ET

I am without a computer for the weekend, otherwise I really would have a hard time passing this one up with Nicklaus/Els still out there. I realize Els is somewhat of a question mark at this point in his career, but with the Golden Bear leading the way, it might work? Hard to beat Left's own combinations though. Obviously picked with reason...

April 8, 2011  07:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Hard to beat Left's own combinations though. Obviously picked with reason...

Not really. I tried to rank the "oldies" 1-4 and then pair them with who I thought was current 1-4 and also tried to incorporate the "tiger factor" where he isn't even a top 4 golfer right now but people are skewed to his overall greatness.

April 9, 2011  01:16 AM ET

Not long ago Golf Magazine ran a story on the 20 top golfers ever. Of those twosomes listed as choices, only Player and Tiger both made the top 20.

April 9, 2011  07:50 AM ET

Hogan at his peak is the best player on this list. He and Mickelson(the only one on the list with a major in the last two years) take this easy.

April 9, 2011  12:05 PM ET

Left.

April 9, 2011  12:11 PM ET

Sophie Sandolo and Natalie Gulbis.

I win.

April 9, 2011  12:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Sophie Sandolo and Natalie Gulbis. I win.

Gulbis had a taste of a Roethlisberger.

April 9, 2011  01:28 PM ET

Were it not for the "now" stipulation, Niklaus and Els would be hard to beat.

April 9, 2011  03:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Were it not for the "now" stipulation, Niklaus and Els would be hard to beat.

Be hard to beat period. Els is a top 15 golfer in the world right now IMO and Jack is arguably #1 all time.

April 11, 2011  01:03 PM ET

I'm a fan of Palmer. Furyk can't be out Phil though, so not sure who I'd pick. No Greg Norman on this list? lol

April 11, 2011  01:19 PM ET

Like left's choice.
I would have gone with Nicklaus/Mickleson

April 11, 2011  01:27 PM ET

At least Tiger isn't a McElroy.

April 11, 2011  01:33 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Like left's choice.I would have gone with Nicklaus/Mickleson

Yep. I didn't like the remaining options.

April 11, 2011  02:56 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Yep. I didn't like the remaining options.

Me either.
Another choice for me would have been,Tiger's past with Mickleson today.

April 11, 2011  03:21 PM ET

Hmmm... 3rd argument from left.... how about hole 8 from Tiger yesterday? And if Tiger stuck shot on 15 the way he did, wouldn't Player have a chance to finish that hole? I mean, what kind of tournament is being played here?

April 12, 2011  04:01 PM ET

Jones & Westwood.

 
April 12, 2011  06:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Jones & Westwood.

Good call on Jones, although he was never a professional golfer... Talent-wise, to hear it told, there's never really been any to match him. I am assuming his amateur status and early retirement probably left him out of the conversation.

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