StatsAugust 17, 2015

Of all people, Brandel Chamblee rushed to defend Tiger's 2000 majors performance against Jordan Spieth's 2015

There were two silver linings to Jordan Spieth's runner-up finish at the PGA that anyone watching the coverage on CBS was reminded of frequently. The 22-year-old Texan took over the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and he broke Tiger Woods' record for lowest cumulative score in relation to par at the four majors in one season. Let's address the latter.

Related: The winners and losers from Whistling Straits

With a 17-under-par total at Whistling Straits, Spieth finished a staggering 54 under in majors in 2015, one better than Woods' 53 under in 2000. That had many wondering if we had just witnessed the greatest major season ever. But of all people, Brandel Chamblee was quick to come to Tiger's defense:

Chamblee's numbers were a little off since he didn't multiply that total by four rounds, but by the time he came on air following the final round, he had cleared that up. Chamblee said on camera that Woods bettered the field average at the four majors in 2000 by a total of 84 shots, while Spieth was only -- and we say "only" in the lightest sense -- 70 shots better than his competition.

Related: Brandel Chamblee addresses his "Tiger hater" label

In other words, be it the venues, the conditions, improvements in technology or players just getting better, scores were lower than ever before across the board in this year's majors. Just check out this stat:

That's four of the top six scores ever coming from 2015 with Rickie Fowler's total from last year as the only other non-Woods total to crack the list. No disrespect to Spieth -- he nearly won all four majors this year and was 19 shots better than anyone else -- but he's like Barry Bonds putting up incredible power numbers in an overly home-run-driven era. Woods was more like Babe Ruth, when he used to hit more home runs than all the other teams in the American League combined.

Speaking of dominance, Woods won his majors that year by a combined 23 shots, including the U.S. Open by 15(!). Spieth's wins were by a total of five shots.

View image | gettyimages.com

Again, we're not trying to diminish what Spieth has done this year. We're just trying to keep one stat that you had probably never thought of before seeing CBS' graphics yesterday to drive the narrative. And of course, Spieth didn't win a third major of the season, so it's tough to argue that his 2015 campaign was better than either Woods in 2000 or Ben Hogan in 1953.

But having the third-best major season ever isn't such a bad thing. And there should be very little debate over that.


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