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PGA Tour Confidential: Can Rory McIlroy capture the Tour Championship?

Jiyai Shin
David Cannon/Getty Images
Jiyai Shin cruised to a nine-shot win Sunday at the Women's British Open

Reiterman: Another article that caused a lot of chatter on the Internets this week was by Brandel Chamblee. He wrote that even if Tiger were to break Jack's record of 18 majors, Woods would still not be the greatest player of all time. Chamblee cites Jack's 19 second-place finishes in the majors, and his legendary competition as reasons why Woods will have a hard time surpassing the Golden Bear. You agree?

Godich: Ask the Atlanta Braves what it's like to finish second in the World Series. And haven't the Dallas Cowboys played in more Super Bowls than anybody? It's all about winning. Jack would be the first to tell you that.

Herre: I get Brandel's point, but disagree. To me it's simple: You win 19 majors, you're the best. Seconds, thirds, top 10s -- they don't matter.

Reiterman: Wouldn't the tie-breaker be most PGA Tour wins? Woods passed Nicklaus when he was 36. If he gets to 19 majors, it's hard to argue against Woods.

Hanger: The second-place finishes are impressive, I'll admit, but if you've won the most majors, you've accomplished the most, plain and simple. As for the competition, I get that Jack had the big-gun rivals in Palmer, Watson, Trevino and the rest. But I don't buy that the competition was stiffer in the old days. Tiger was blowing away the world at a time when the equipment made the game a lot easier for everyone. He was burying entire fields full of guys who could post crazy-low numbers. Tiger was so good that he never had a true rival - not even Hall of Famers like Mickelson and Els.

Walker: GOAT is always going to be subjective. Tiger proposed the major championships measuring stick a long time ago, and it's the best one I can think of. But Chamblee's right that the competition at the top during Jack's era was tougher than Tiger's era.

Godich: I don't know about that. Maybe Tiger was just that much better than everybody else. I don't remember Jack winning majors by the margins that Tiger has.

Bamberger: Jack played tougher men. I really believe that. I think the 19 seconds is proof of that. But Jack's PGAs and Masters were against fields much weaker than today's fields. Much. Jack's the greatest golfer of all time. Tiger's record, as of today, is as good as anybody's, Jack's or Snead's or Kathy Whitworth's or Mickey Wright's. But Jack embodies golfing greatness.

Dusek: If Tiger Woods finishes with 19 major championships, I think a compelling argument could still be made that Jack Nicklaus is the greatest player of all time because of those runner-up finishes in major championships, his Ryder Cup record, and the level of competition that he played against. Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson ... those guys are legends and didn't exactly roll over for Jack.

Wei: Yawn. I am so tired of the nonstop comparing of Jack and Tiger, who has not finished his career yet. That said, I don't agree with Chamblee. The difference between first and second is massive. Who wants to be the bridesmaid 19 times?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Will Tiger be the greatest of all time if he wins 19 majors?

Reiterman: Jiyai Shin dominated the Women's British Open on Sunday with a nine-shot victory at Royal Liverpool. She won for the second straight week and was the only player to finish under par. How much of this was Shin playing great golf, and how much of it was players' being unable to handle a 36-hole finale in brutal conditions?

Godich: I think you answered your own question. Shin played great golf in brutal conditions. Impressive, to say the least, especially for a player who said she hadn't seen the back nine until she played it in the opening round.

Reiterman: Plus, since Shin and Creamer finished their playoff on Monday, they lost a day of practice. Obviously didn't seem to bother them too much. Shin won and Creamer finished third.

Herre: Terrible conditions. A lot of players couldn't handle them, but Shin was simply brilliant tee to green.

Bamberger: Nothing in golf shows how squarely you hit the ball like playing in the wind. Els showed that at Royal Lytham, and Shin showed it at Hoylake. I'm sure the other players are tipping their hats to her, if they still have them. Wind makes golf. When Rory wins in the wind, and he will, I'll be a true believer.

Wei: What Bamberger said. If you're puring the ball, the wind won't really affect it that much. If you're just a little off, it can really make a difference. So I think it's a testament to how much better Jiyai is playing than the rest of the pack. Good to see her back in the winner's circle two weeks in a row after a two-year "slump."

Hanger: Amazing couple of weeks for Shin. And she started it all by playing in a pro-am with Travelin' Joe.

Reiterman: Players were wearing earmuffs, gloves and scarves. Didn't look like too much fun. Shin should've worn earmuffs on 18. Probably would've been the first player to win a major with earmuffs.

Herre: Bet she really appreciated the shower, with bottled water, on the final green.

Bamberger: Had Greg Norman worn earmuffs, he would have won a half-dozen majors.

Herre: How many would Monty have won had he worn earmuffs?

Godich: Lee Westwood just bought a pair.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What were your thoughts on Shin's performance?

Reiterman: With the PGA Tour taking the week off, the spotlight was on the LPGA and the Women's British Open. But wind and rain delays, sparse galleries, excruciatingly slow play and a runaway victory by Jiyai Shin didn't exactly make for compelling television. Was the Women's British Open the best event to have on this key date in the LPGA schedule?

Herre: The Women's British is usually in July -- the men's British, senior British and women's British are held back-to-back-to-back. It was pushed back this year because of the Olympics.

Bamberger: Right, this year the Olympics interfered. Usually, the Women's British is in a good spot.

Godich: If the LPGA ever wanted to capitalize with an event in the States, this was the week. I doubt golf fans were rushing for the remote to check out the Sunday morning finish. The time difference has to be a killer.

Walker: I'm not sure it matters that this was a PGA Tour off-week. There is always going to be TV competition. It just feels like the biggest stars on the LPGA -- Yani Tseng, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson -- haven't been consistent enough to build any momentum for women's golf this season.

Hanger: I don't think any event would have made a lot of difference; the LPGA is never going to make a dent in college football and NFL ratings. That said, it is a rare week when they were about the only game in town for golf fans, and the morning timing isn't ideal for drawing a crowd, even when the weather's fine.

Dusek: The LPGA would be wise to stage a high-profile event anytime there is a dark week scheduled on the PGA Tour, but with a five-hour time difference between the U.K. and the East Coast, I wonder if this was the best one to hold. The R&A and the LPGA can't control weather or the chance of runaway winners; they need to control what they can, however, and do what's best for women's golf.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Should the LPGA Tour schedule a different tournament for the PGA Tour's off-week?

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