Golfers - Best & Top Ranked of All Time
Let the debate begin. Who is the best golfer of all time? Jack? Tiger? Arnold? Many to choose from but what is the key factor in choosing the best golfer of all time?
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Jack William Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), also known as "The Golden Bear", is regarded by many as the greatest professional golfer of all time. With the most victories in major championships (18), he was continuously ranked as the world's number one golfer on McCormack's World Golf Rankings from its inception in 1968 to 1977. Having won seven professional major titles between 1962 and 1967, he would likely have been considered number one in some of those years as well.
Eldrick Tont Woods (born December 30, 1975), better known as Tiger Woods, is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2008, having earned an estimated $110 million from winnings and endorsements.
Woods has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any male player, and 71 PGA Tour events, third all time. He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, Woods is the second golfer to have achieved a career grand slam three times along with Jack Nicklaus. Woods has won 16 World Golf Championships and has won at least one event each of the 11 years they have been in existence.
Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was one of the greatest golfers to compete on a national and international level. He participated only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28.
Explaining his decision to retire, Jones said, "It (championships) is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there."
Jones is most famous for his unique "Grand Slam," consisting of his victory in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the U.S. & Britain) in a single calendar year (1930).
William Ben Hogan (August 13, 1912 – July 25, 1997) was an American golfer, and is generally considered one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game. Born within six months of two other acknowledged golf greats of the twentieth century, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson, Hogan is notable for his profound influence on the golf swing theory and his legendary ball-striking ability, for which he remains renowned among players and aficionados. His life is depicted in the biographical film Follow the Sun (1951).
Samuel Jackson Snead (May 27, 1912 – May 23, 2002) was an American professional golfer who was one of the top players in the world for most of four decades. He and two of the other greatest golfers of all time, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, were born within six months of each other in 1912. Snead won a record 82 PGA Tour events.
Snead won seven majors: three Masters, three PGA Championships and one British Open. But his reputation has always been slightly tarnished by his failure to win a U.S. Open. Snead used to share the record for most second-place finishes in that championship (four) with four others; Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Phil Mickelson. After the 2009 U.S. Open, Mickelson became the all-time leader with five second place finishes.
Arnold Daniel Palmer (born September 10, 1929) is an American golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men's professional golf. He has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955. Nicknamed "The King," he is one of golf's most popular stars and its most important trailblazer because he was the first star of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s. He is part of "The Big Three" in golf along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player who are widely credited with popularizing and commercialising the sport around the world.
John Byron Nelson, Jr. (February 4, 1912 – September 26, 2006) was an American PGA Tour golfer between 1935 and 1946.
He and two other well known golfers of the time, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, were born within 6 months of each other in 1912. Although he won many tournaments in the course of his relatively brief career, he is mostly remembered today for having won 11 consecutive tournaments and 18 total tournaments in 1945. He retired officially at the age of 34 to be a rancher, later becoming a commentator and lending his name to the HP Byron Nelson Championship, the first PGA Tour event to be named for a professional golfer. In 1974, Byron Nelson received the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.
Mary Kathryn "Mickey" Wright (born February 14, 1935) is an American professional golfer.
Wright was born in San Diego, California. She won 82 events on the LPGA Tour, which puts her second on the all time win list behind Kathy Whitworth, who won 88 times. Thirteen of her victories were in major championships, which places her second to Patty Berg, who won fifteen majors. Wright topped the LPGA money list for four consecutive seasons from 1961-1964 and made the top ten on the list thirteen times in total between 1956 and 1969.
Gary Player DMS; OIG (born 1 November 1935) is a South African professional golfer. With his nine major championship victories as well as his nine major victories on the Champions Tour, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf.
Player was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has logged more than 15 million miles in travel, probably more than any other athlete. Dubbed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness, and the International Ambassador of Golf, Player is a renowned golf course architect with more than 300 design projects throughout the world.
Walter Charles Hagen (December 21, 1892 – October 6, 1969) was a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century. His tally of eleven majors is third behind Jack Nicklaus (18) and Tiger Woods (14). He won the U.S. Open twice, and in 1922 he became the first native-born American to win the British Open, which he went on to win four times in total. He also won the PGA Championship a record-tying five times (1921, '24-'27), the Western Open five times, totalled 45 PGA wins in his career, and was a six time Ryder Cup captain.
Thomas Sturges "Tom" Watson (born September 4, 1949) is an American PGA Tour golfer and now mostly Champions Tour golfer.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Watson was one of the leading players in the world, winning eight major championships and heading the PGA Tour money list five times. He was the number one player in the world according to McCormack's World Golf Rankings from 1978 through 1982; in both 1983 and 1984 he was ranked second behind Seve Ballesteros. He also spent 32 weeks in the top 10 of the successor Sony Rankings in their debut in 1986.[
Annika Sörenstam (born 9 October 1970) is a Swedish professional golfer whose achievements rank her as one of the most successful golfers in history. Before "stepping away" from competitive golf at the end of the 2008 season, she won 90 international tournaments as a professional, making her the female golf player with the most wins to her name. She has won 72 official LPGA tournaments including ten majors and 18 other tournaments internationally, and she tops the LPGA's career money list with earnings of over $22 million—over $8 million ahead of her nearest rival. Since 2006 Sörenstam has held dual American and Swedish citizenship.
The winner of a record eight Player of the Year awards, and six Vare Trophies given to the LPGA player with the lowest seasonal scoring average, she is the only female golfer to have shot a 59 in competition. She holds various all-time scoring records including the lowest season scoring average: 68.6969 in 2004.