Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods: Debate Will Live On Forever

Chris ScheiCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2008

Jack or Tiger?

Tiger or Jack?

The debate seems to be never-ending.

It is believed that when/if Tiger Woods breaks Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major championships, Tiger automatically becomes the best of all time.

But, being a life-long golfer and golf fan. I say hold on a second.

Tiger is the best of my generation. No doubt about it.

But if my life is on the line in a major championship, and I have to pick one golfer to win the thing coming behind from five back, give me Jack.

Hell, give me Nick Faldo before Tiger. At least Nicky has proved that he can do it.

That's not a knock on Tiger, but it kind of is at the same time. Jack Nicklaus came from behind at a major at the age of 46. 46!

And Tiger can't do it in his prime? Really?

When we talk about the best of all-time, there are more than just Tiger and Jack. Lord Byron, anyone? Hello, Slammin' Sammy Snead? Bobby Jones? Ben Hogan? Very legitimate contenders for that honor.

Tiger's tournament fields are bigger, but also the talent is watered down from what it used to be. Jack had Arnie, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, and Gary Player to deal with. Compare those guys to Lefty, Ernie Els, and Vijay Singh. Good golfers, but no contest.

This debate could go on forever, and it probably will. All we really know for sure is that Tiger is the best of our generation.

But before you start calling him the best of all time, keep in mind that there was a time where Hall of Fame golfers were scared to death of Jack Nicklaus, whether he was leading or far behind, because they knew he could come back. If Tiger is seven or eight back, that fear is not there. The media and TV announcers will try to tell you it's there, but it is not.

Instead of debating who is the very best, we should instead be talking about how lucky we are to be seeing Tiger in his prime. We can all agree that Tiger is one of the very best, and we've seen every win.