Originally Posted by MLS
If he retired today would you say he is the best? I just get the feeling that people put him as the best all time because of what he will probably do. Everyone think he will break all the major (events as well as in terms of big) records but he hasn't yet.
Also on the mental toughness thing, it's not that hard to distract a golf player and break his concentration. We have seen this from many players including Tiger.
I would actually say yes he is the best ever. More than going for 18 majors is the streak he had of "made cuts". I can't remember what it was when it got snapped a couple of years ago but it was insanely long- like freaky crazy long. Golfers have bad days and every player goes through bad streaks but his bad days still got him through the cut and to do it as long as he did is enough for me(plus his 13 majors and huge list of other wins) to call him the best ever. It's all hypothetical either way when saying a player is the best-ever in any sport.
As to the mental toughness by distracting them(I love it when Stevie goes ape-sh!t on a fan for clicking a picture during Tiger's backswing)- it's how golf has been played forever- with silence. That's just part of the game if they allowed cheering or jeering during a player's swing I'm sure over time they could adapt to it but that's just not how it's played.
Silence can be deafening- standing over an 8 foot putt to make par and win a tournament with thousands of people surrounding the green, the announcers in the TV booth critiquing your every single move and plus the possible thousands or millions of viewers is mind boggling to consider let alone deal with.