Tiger Woods: If This Is It, Where Does Woods Rank Among All-Time Best?

John BurkeContributor IMay 30, 2011

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 03:  Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods walk up a fairway 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)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Tiger Woods is in a free-fall right now. 

His world ranking fell to No. 12 last week. This is the first time since 1997 that Woods has not been one of the top 10 golfers in the world.

He has not won on tour since the BMW Championship at Cog Hill on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009. While this is not the first time Woods has gone winless on tour for many months, this time is by far the longest. 

A big reason for this is the various injuries Woods has dealt with over the last few years.

Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open with a badly injured leg three years ago. Since that time, Woods has not become younger and has dealt with even more injury. 

It has been so long since his last victory that many golf analysts and players do not consider him a serious threat when he tees it up anymore. 

So, let's assume Woods never wins another tournament.

If that were to occur, Woods would be third all time on tournament victories with 71. With that total, Woods only trails Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus.

Woods would also have accumulated 14 major titles. This leaves him second all time, behind only Jack Nicklaus. 

With these numbers, it is relevant to ask where Woods ranks among the best golfers of all time?

It's clear from victories alone that Woods is a top-three player of all time, but whether he is the best ever is up for debate.

While Snead has 83 tournament victories, he only has seven major wins. With Woods having double the amount of majors as Snead, it is obvious Woods is the more superior player.

Jack Nicklaus is an entirely different question.

Nicklaus only won 73 times on tour; that places Woods only two off of the Golden Bear's trail. Then you realize it took Nicklaus 25 years to accumulate that total. Woods, however, only took 14 years to notch a similar total, proving Woods is the more dominant player. 

Unfortunately for Woods, being dominant over a short period does not make one the best golfer in history. 

The number of major victories is the factor by which all golfers are measured. This is where Woods falls short.

Nicklaus has 18 major titles, Woods only has 14. 

The numbers don't lie, Nicklaus is the best golfer of all time and Woods finishes in a spot he has always hated, No. 2.