GolfChannel.com commences the finals of its Ultimate Match Play Championship this week, where you get to vote on who is the greatest of the greats. Our writers weigh in with their ultimate predictions (we even added some bonus predictions). Click here for Ultimate Match Play Championship bios:
Match 15: (1) Jack Nicklaus vs. (2) Tiger Woods
Mell: Nicklaus – The Golden Bear will be the greatest player the game has ever seen until someone wins more major championships than he won. It’s the ultimate measuring stick. The ultimate player wins the ultimate match.
Sobel: Nicklaus – Come on. Admit it. When this tournament started a few weeks ago, you knew this was the inevitable conclusion – the game’s two most highly decorated players on a collision course to the finals. This one is a match for the ages, as each player wins eight holes of the first 16 – nothing halved. On 17, Nicklaus hits a 1-iron to 3 inches, just like he did at the 1972 U.S. Open, to go 1 up. A halve on the final hole – the first of the entire match – gives Jack the Ultimate Match Play Championship title in a finale that will be remembered forever.
Hoggard: Nicklaus – In a heavyweight bout for the ages, Woods and the guy he has spent his entire professional life chasing would likely need extra frames to decide a champion, but on this history is clear. Woods may someday catch Nicklaus on the all-time majors list but until he does, the Golden Bear remains golden.
Lavner: Nicklaus – Pushed to the limit by the most dominant player ever, Nicklaus, the game’s greatest (until further notice), rams home a 30-foot eagle putt on the last hole to win a thrilling match, 1 up.
Coffin: Woods – Jack is the best player in the history of the game, but I believe that Tiger's 2000 season was the greatest ever. It's impossible for me to believe that anyone (even Jack) would beat the Tiger that won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 shots. The game has never been played better.
Chamblee: Nicklaus – This is Jack in the 1962-66 years against Tiger in the 1999-2000 years. Jack wins on the 27th hole, a par 5, where he hits a 1-iron off a slightly downhill lie to 10 feet and makes it for eagle.