Tiger Woods vs. Roger Federer: Who's More Dominant?

Billy RogersContributor IJanuary 17, 2008

Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. Two young accomplished athletes who have won millions in prize money, dominated countless opponents, have won title after title, and rewritten record books for there respective sports. Yet the question still stands, who is the more dominant? 64% of Americans say its Federer, I say it’s Woods and I have the facts to prove it.

But Before I get into the meat of what I need to say here are some stats to really get you thinking....

Tiger - Turned pro at age 20, is currently 32, weighs about 185lbs, and is about 6'1''. He has in total 61 career PGA titles, 13 Major titles, and $76, 579,376 in Prize money, along with a list of major endorsements from companies like Nike, General Motors, American Express, Buick, EA Sports (Video game franchise 99' - 08'), Gillette and Tag Heuer. It was recently announced by Gatorade that Tiger will be getting his own flavor due to come out in March of 08'. They say that the Gatorade endorsement alone will get him about $100 Million in five years.

Federer - Turned pro at age 17, is currently 27, weighs about 178lbs, and is about 6'1. He has a total of 53 titles, 12 Major titles, and $38,707,078 in prize money along with some endorsements like Nike, Gillette, Lacoste, and Maurice Lacroix.

So as you can see these two athletes are about the same build around 180 and 6'1'', but for some reason Tigers resume is a touch more impressive than Federer's. Sure one can say the age difference between the two is a major factor, but I think its something else...

In tennis you play against a single opponent, one at a time, so it is easy to blow away opponents who are either inexperienced, or maybe not playing there best that week, or maybe they are even suffering an injury. Also you can have a bad match against a low seat and still manage to win, and it won’t have any effect on your next match. You can take advantage of these players early on, build up your confidence, and look like a legend doing it. You may even luck out to the point where you are the 1. Seed, you are not only going to play the worst seed but you might even have someone beat the 2 seed, and chances are if your seeded first you will also be on your best surface. In Golf you play against the field of competitors, and only in extremely rare cases will you ever play against a single competitor.

You are playing starting on a Thursday, rain or shine, against the entire field to make the cut come the end of play on Friday. If you manage to make the cut you will play against everyone else who made the cut for two more days. If you have a bad game even one day it will affect you for the rest of the tournament, so a golfer needs to bring his A-Game everyday. Federer has won 5 consecutive titles at Wimbledon and 12 titles all together all over the last 4 years. He’s been pro for 9 years. (He has only won one Major on the clay surface.) Tiger has won at least one major every year for the last 9 years, 13 in all, and has won every major title at least twice. So is Tiger currently on a streak for winning major titles that is as long as Federers career. Federer is dominant on hard fast surfaces, but he has great difficulty winning on slower surfaces like clay, especially against his greatest competitor Raphael Nadal, who he is a pitiful 2-7 against. And if you don’t believe me, min 2006 and 2007 Federer fell to Nadal in the French Open. Tiger, on the other hand, has won tournaments all over the world from Pebble Beach in CA. Beth page Black, Long Island NY, to the infamous St. Andrews in the UK. It Took Federer 3 years to win a single title. And five to win a single Major. It took Tiger 9 months to win a major title, and the most prestigious at that, The Masters at Augusta Florida. To add to his first major accomplishment, he shattered the previous record held at Augusta by a massive 12 strokes.                                                                                     

Federer is no doubt the most dominant player on hard fast surfaces, much like the ones where the most prestigious tennis tournament is play at Wimbledon, but he has great difficulty winning on slower surfaces like clay, especially against his greatest competitor Raphael Nadal, who he is 0-2 against. (On Clay) So it is hard to say he is the most dominant athlete when it can’t be said that he is dominant on all surfaces. He is so clutch, so consistent, and so dominant on championship Sunday that even some of his harshest critics have awarded him the nickname “Sunday” Tiger Woods. Tiger even holds the longest no cut streak ever, meaning he had never been stopped from advancing to the championship rounds.

Early in Woods' career, a small number of golf experts expressed concern about his impact on the competitiveness of the game and the public appeal of professional golf. Sports writer Bill Lyon of Knight-Ridder asked in a column, "Isn't Tiger Woods actually bad for golf?"

At first, some experts feared that Woods would drive the spirit of competition out of the game of golf by making existing courses obsolete and relegating opponents to simply competing for second place each week.Many courses in the PGA Tour rotation including Major Championship sites like Augusta National began to add yardage to their tees in an effort to slow down long hitters like Woods. A strategy that became known as "Tiger-Proofing". Woods himself welcomed the change as he believes adding yardage to the course does not affect his ability to win. 

Federer is in my opinion a very streaky competitor; going pro in 1998 it took him three years to win a single title. Tiger on the other hand, who had won his first major championship only nine months into his rookie year, has kept consistently dominant against all players from seasoned pros to young rising stars.

I think that Federers “amazing streak” is slowing down after only four years. Tiger has won 11 more titles, $40,000,000 more in prize money, and even has one more major than Federer. If this in itself isn’t enough evidence to convince you of Tigers dominance over Federer, than you weren’t paying attention to what you were reading.