Let the Debate Go On: Woods or Federer?

Daniel DinunzioAnalyst IJuly 7, 2009

This past week brought forth two more wins for two of the biggest athletes in all of sports. Woods won his 68th PGA tournament leaving him only behind Nicklaus (73) and Snead (82). Federer won Wimbledon in a grueling 16-14 fifth set, giving him his 15th major, more then any other tennis player to ever play the game.

Both of these athletes have millions of dollars from winning majors and record breaking endorsement deals. When it comes to each sport there are many similarities. Tennis and golf rely upon individual effort. If you make a mistake you only have yourself to blame.

The tournaments are measured in the same way. It's all about winning majors. In tennis you want to win the French, Australian, Wimbledon, or U.S. Open. In Golf it's about the Masters, U.S., British Open, and the PGA Championship.

There are differences that can factor into the decision of who's the better athlete. There's a lot more longevity in the game of golf. Someone of Woods caliber, if healthy, should shatter every golf record out there.

In tennis as you get towards thirty you're considered old. Federer, at age 27, is a veteran whose won time and time again. He passed the great Pete Sampras and really doesn't have anything else to prove.

In the case with Tiger, he could be playing well past forty and assuming he remains competitive and wins at least one major a year for the next five years that would put him at 19 majors. The magic number of 18 would be surpassed and Tiger's legacy would be complete.

Federer and Woods have both dominated their respected sports at different time periods. Federer lost last year to Nadal and came back to beat Andy Roddick in an instant classic.

Woods U.S. Open win last year was one of the most grueling and clutch performances of all time. He's gone through high and low points in his career just like any other athlete.

What makes this debate even greater is the friendships Roger and Tiger share. It's great to see athletes text message each other after a big win, and it gives the other guy that much more of a reason to go out and get the job done.

The pressure now turns to Tiger at Turnberry, a course he's never played. Federer leads for now in the category that counts most major titles, 15-14. 

Whether you follow tennis or golf, the dominance of Woods and Federer has made both sports that much more exciting to watch. They've earned the titles as ambassadors of the game because of the status they hold on and off the playing field.

There may never be a clear-cut winner in the Tiger vs. Roger friendly rivalry, but one thing is almost sure to happen: When the sun sets on the careers of both these gentlemen they will be sitting atop the record books in many different ways.

Tiger Woods will be looked at as the icon for the history of the game of golf. As will Roger Federer be seen as the greatest tennis player in history. It's what they earned with such dominating performances year in and year out.