Golf Stat Asserts Tiger Woods Was More Dominant Than Jack Nicklaus in Major Championships

Published 10/24/2021, 1:03 PM EDT
DUBLIN, OH – JUNE 7: Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods pose with the tournament trophy after the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 7, 2009 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)


  1. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods undoubtedly feature on the list of the best golfers in the world. And with such popularity, it is natural that we often compare the two. Even though the two dominated the course in two different eras, the legacy they left behind is truly one of a kind.

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Nicklaus turned professional in 1961 and won his last PGA tour title in 1986. He retired in style, recording his last professional win as the Masters Tournament. Woods, on the other hand, turned professional in 1996, many years after the end of Nicklaus’s dominance.

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Brandel Chamblee, continuing on this topic, brought a few interesting numbers into perspective. He is a former professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour Champions. Currently working as a Golf Channel analyst, he combined a few facts to produce perhaps one of the most mind-blowing stats one will see.

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Chamblee compares Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the highest number of majors won at a staggering 18. Woods comes in second, with 15. We know the latter to be chasing the veteran’s long-standing record and if he makes a comeback, he won’t be very far away.

However, Chamblee brought into perspective a few interesting numbers. Analysing the data for their major wins, he revealed that in their first 22 majors, Woods was 121 strokes under Nicklaus. Moreover, he said that in four consecutive majors that Woods took part in and won; he was a total 55 strokes under the runners-up.

He wrote, “Just some math: In their first 22 majors, Jack won 7, Tiger won 8, Jack was +40, Tiger was -81, for a difference of 121 strokes. In the 4 majors Tiger won in a row(2000-2001) he took 55 fewer strokes than his nearest competitor. That’s Secretariat at Belmont.”

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He makes a reference to the Secretariats’ win at the 1973 Belmont Stakes, where they won by a record margin of 31 lengths. He compares this to portray the sheer dominance of Woods over the 81-year-old.

DUBLIN, OH – JUNE 03: Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods pose on the tenth tee during a skins game prior to the start of the Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 3, 2009 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

However, the era they played in was a major contributor to their respective achievements. Improvement in equipment technology, more opportunities and sponsorships led to a complete transformation for the sport. The escalating popularity of golf among the public and companies resulted in large amounts of money being pumped into it.

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However, what do you think?

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Ishita Bhargava

265 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a Golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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