Some may argue it was the end of this era a long time ago, but as we are approaching a US Open without Tiger Woods, could it be fair to say that the end of the “Big Five” era is officially upon us?
I remember when the Big Five dominated golf. It was an exciting time as Tiger Woods claimed major after major, chased regularly by the other four competitors. It was a time when they dominated the world rankings, moving up and down the top-five and saying to the world: “Catch us if you can.”
Well, has the world caught up? Their dominance has slowly dwindled, and their persistent presence of challenging for majors has fallen away. I suppose this was inevitable as age eventually catches up with even the best of sportsmen, but in a way it is sad that this exciting period of golf has come to an end.
One only has to see their current world rankings to see this is the case. At the present time, Mickelson (4th) still occupies a place in the top five. Woods (15th), Els (23rd) and Goosen (26th) have still maintained some level of consistency. Singh has dropped the most as he currently lies at 59, but it is to be expected as he is the oldest of the group.
That isn’t to say that golf today isn’t exciting; a whole host of talented young golfers are emerging, the fall of Woods has made for an exciting tussle at the top of the rankings, and Majors now seem as wide open as ever.
Don't take this to mean that these golfers are through in this game forever. For all we know, Goosen could pick up his third US Open title come Sunday, or Phil could finally break his US Open drought. Anything can happen in sports. This is more of a way of looking back and saying goodbye to their collective period of dominance.
Here is a look at some of the memorable major duels between these five great golfers: