Will Slammin' Sammy's records hold up?
Tiger Woods is fifth on the all-time PGA Tour victory list with 54 career wins. Although it seems inevitable that he'll break Sam Snead's record of 82 -- perhaps even before his 35th birthday -- Slammin' Sammy still has a few other marks that might hold up for a while.
As the tour returns to the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, site of Snead's greatest domination, our experts debate whether a few of Snead's other notable marks will ever be broken in this week's edition of Fact or Fiction.
Bob Harig, contributor, ESPN.com: FICTION. Woods has an excellent chance at several events. He has won five American Express Championships. He has captured five Bridgestone Invitationals. He has won the Masters four times, as well as the Buick Invitational and Bay Hill. There is a chance he could win more than one tournament nine or more times.
Ron Sirak, executive editor, Golf World: FICTION. In fact, Tiger might break that record more than once. He has won two World Golf Championship events five times each -- the American Express and what is now the Bridgestone -- as well as the Masters and the Bay Hill Invitational four times each.
Jason Sobel, golf editor, ESPN.com: FACT. Let's examine the wording of that sentence. The phrase "more than" indicates that a player would have to win nine times to make this an incorrect statement. Tiger may triumph plenty of times at Augusta and Torrey Pines and Bay Hill, but neither he nor anyone else will eclipse Slammin' Sammy's mark.
Brian Wacker, associate editor, GolfDigest.com: FICTION. Tiger already has five wins at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the WGC-American Express Championship, and four wins at Bay Hill, the Buick Invitational and the Masters. He is the definition of horses for courses, with the majority of his victories from the same tournaments. At this rate, he might win nine green jackets.
Sobel: FICTION. The more players keep themselves in better physical condition, the better their chances of staying competitive well into their over-50 years. Heck, Craig Stadler won a PGA Tour event at 50 years, 1 month, 18 days and he'll hardly be mistaken for Charles Atlas anytime soon. One record that won't be broken? Oldest player to finish top-10 in a major, as a 62-year-old Snead finished T-3 at the 1974 PGA Championship. Amazing.
Sirak: FICTION. Better technology and better physical conditioning make it inevitable that someone in his mid-50s will win a tour event. If Snead had the clubs and balls they use today, he would have won at 70. Remember, this is a guy who shot his age in a PGA Tour event, then shot lower than his age the next day.
Wacker: FACT Two words: Champions Tour. The best, most recent example of old guys who have played well on the PGA Tour are Tom Watson and Jay Haas. Still, once those guys hit the other side of 50 their focus shifted, for the most part, to the Champions Tour. The only current player I could see doing it is Vijay Singh, but even he's still nearly 10 years away from that age. Tiger? The only way he's still playing golf at 52 is if he's still pursuing Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional majors, and with 12 already in the books, it doesn't look like it'll take him that long.
Harig: FICTION. It is inevitable. Players are taking better care of themselves and playing well into their late 40s and early 50s. Players such as Jay Haas and Loren Roberts would have the opportunity to break Snead's mark, if they choose. Same for Nick Price, who turns 50 in January. If not now, then somebody in the future will do it.
Wacker: JUSTIN ROSE. This would have been a lot easier if Woods were playing. Rose, however, did finish in the top four in two of his last four starts, including a T-2 in Texas. He was also T-6 in Greensboro a year ago.
Sirak: STEVE STRICKER. He shows why he would have been a good Ryder Cup pick.
Harig: VAUGHN TAYLOR. The only member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in the field, he gets over the disappointment to capture his third PGA Tour event.
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