I’ve been slowly inputting some past years(before 2008) into my rankings to add some historical perspective. So far, I have 2002 and 2003, for the PGA Tour only and 2004,2008-10 across NW, EPGA and PGA tours.
The results from the NW and EPGA Tours prior to 2004 are going to be too big a pain in the ass to track down and input so I doubt they’ll ever make it into my numbers, but I plan on extending my PGA Tour rankings back to at least Tiger’s first year(it will take awhile).
Anyway, here’s the top-15 players by year:
|10||Davis Love III||-0.50||91||0.855|
|15||Charles Howell III||-0.49||115||0.935|
|7||Davis Love III||-0.70||79||0.823|
|13||Davis Love III||-0.55||75||0.948|
I wanted to look this up so I could cool down my opinions on Phil and Tiger, but as far as I can tell I ended up more resolutely believing in them.
I still have a lot to fill in but 2002-2004, would definitely not be called great years by Tiger’s standards yet his performance remained about the same. The biggest difference could possibly be called luck.
On the other hand, Phil Mickelson seems to range from clearly not the second best golfer in the world to arguably the second best golfer in the world. I’m not familiar enough with his performance pre-2002 or from 2005-2007, but as far as I can tell he has NEVER been CLEARLY the second best golfer in the world as the media seems to widely believe. I definitely need more research, but I’m leaning towards the opinion that Phil is the most overrated player in the history of golf.
I would never make a judgment based on two players alone, but if Vijay Singh and Steve Stricker are any indication Tiger could be pushing 30 majors by the time his career is over. I find it hard to believe Vijay had any better seasons than 2002-2003, when he was well into his forties. Likewise, Stricker has most likely had his best years in his forties, too. If the same thing applies to Tiger and his motivation stays high, he is going to win A LOT more majors.
I think these historical year-by-year rankings are going to come in really handy when evaluating players outside of just my 2-year rankings. Unfortunately, it takes awhile to copy down old results, but I’ll keep posting them when I do.