Throughout history, various sports have brought us exceptional talents whose dominance embarrassed competition, leaving a scar in the history of athletic achievements. From the age-defying Tom Brady on the football field to the relentless dominance of Serena Williams on the tennis court, these athletes left the world in awe with their dedication and sheer determination. Their names are synonymous with greatness, their legacies etched into the collective memory of sports enthusiasts worldwide.
But one name stands out amidst this list of sporting legends: Tiger Woods. Renowned for his unparalleled success in golf, Woods has redefined the sport and displayed incredible resilience and spit in the face of adversity. Despite Wood's off-the-course woes, his dominance on the course is undeniable and may never be seen again. Woods has 82 tour wins, which is tied for the most of all time with Sam Snead. Where Woods does fall short is major wins, with 15, sitting behind Jack Nicklaus with a record 18 major wins. The argument that Snead or Nicklaus is better than Woods has been debated before but can be nullified by the fact that neither Snead nor Nicklaus played against as tough of competition as Woods.
In the storied history of golf, no season shines as brightly as Tiger Woods' 2000 campaign. Woods had a seemingly never-ending prime; he did not stop winning. Woods won 22.8% of his tour starts, which is nearly a 1 in 4 chance of winning when entering a tournament; the craziest part is that this number could be higher if he did not have to withdraw from a few tournaments due to injuries. In the 2000 season, Woods led the PGA Tour in scoring average by 1.5 shots per round, meaning he won by an average of six shots. 2000 was also Woods' most dominant stretch, winning ten tournaments and almost completing the grand slam, winning three out of four of golfs majors in a single year. Also, this season was the 100th U.S. Open, held at the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links; after falling short at the masters by six strokes, Woods felt that he needed to spin back and win this tournament. So he did. Woods fired a six-under 66 on the first day of play, leading by one stroke at the end of the day. Woods came back and shot two under par on the second day and even par on the third day. At this point, the rest of the competition looked like children compared to Tiger, as he held a ten-shot lead going into the tournament's final day.
On the final day, in true Tiger fashion, he did not let up, going four under, with a total score of 12 under par, and winning the tournament by 15 shots, which broke a record that had stood for 138 years.
Tiger Woods' scoring averages throughout his career stand as a true display of his skill and dominance on the golf course. With a meticulous approach to every aspect of his game, Woods consistently posted the lowest scoring averages in the history of professional golf—no matter the circumstance, Woods delivered, cementing his status as the greatest golfer ever. In terms of scoring averages by year, Woods holds 7 of the top 10 spots, holding spots 1-6 with a scoring average ranging from 67.79 to 68.56 in those six spots; Woods also holds the ninth spot with an average of 68.66. The late 90s to 2009 were Woods' "golden years," as he won often and was just at the top of his game, but in 2009, Woods got into a car wreck and his wife caught him cheating. These events opened the floodgates to his off-the-course marriage problems which led to a decline in play. Post 2009, Woods would never be the same golfer as he once was, but he still sustained a pretty high level of play, high enough that it may have been a hall-of-fame career in and of itself.
Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) had Tiger ranked as the number one golfer in the world for a record 281 consecutive weeks, or just under five and a half years. Woods has spent a total of 683 weeks, or about 13 years, at world number one, again a record amount of time spent at that position. Greg Norman, who is in second place, does not even have half of the time spent at world number one; Norman spent 331 total weeks at world number one. For the current world number one, Scottie Scheffler, to catch Woods in consecutive weeks spent at number one, he would need to spend 243.5 more weeks at that position, or a little under five years. For Scheffler to reach 683 weeks at world number one, he would need to spend 645.5 more weeks at number one, or about 12 years and five months.
Tiger Woods is one of the most dominant athletes ever, leaving a mark on the world of sports that transcends mere statistics and championships. His unrivaled combination of talent, skill, and mental fortitude propelled him to unprecedented heights of success, redefining the game of golf and captivating audiences around the globe. Woods ' impact on the sport is unparalleled, from his record-breaking major championship victories to his numerous accolades and achievements on the PGA Tour. Beyond his athletics, Woods' resilience in the face of adversity, humility in victory, and generosity off the course further underscore his status as a true icon of sportsmanship and inspiration. As we reflect on his unparalleled legacy, it becomes clear that Tiger Woods' dominance transcends the boundaries of golf, cementing his status as one of the most dominant and greatest athletes of all time.