Golf's greatest rivalries: Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus feature
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 08/03/18 6:39am
Ahead of Rivalry Weekend on Sky Sports, we look back at five of the biggest golfing rivalries in history…
Jack Nicklaus v Arnold Palmer v Gary Player
The "Big Three" dominated the sport for well over a quarter of a century, collecting 34 major titles along the way and cementing their places in the group of golf's all-time greats.
The first of Nicklaus' 18 major titles came when he pipped Palmer in a play-off at the 1962 US Open, while the trio produced seven consecutive Masters titles between them during the 1960s.
The trio delivered a combined 150 top-10s in majors and had a friendly rivalry long after their playing days, with the three occupying the honorary starters berth at Augusta together until Palmer's death in 2016.
Sir Nick Faldo v Greg Norman
Norman had spent a number of years exchanging the world No 1 position with Seve Ballesteros, only for Faldo to battle for the top spot over the next decade.
The Australian spent the longer period of the time as world No 1 with a combined 331 weeks in the position, although Faldo earned bragging rights in the majors with six wins to Norman's two.
Faldo's last major success came at the expense of Norman at the 1996 Masters, where the Englishman famously overturned a six-shot deficit to capitalise on a final-round collapse from Norman and storm to a five-stroke win.
Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson
Mickelson was already a multiple champion and two-time Ryder Cup player when Woods broke onto the PGA Tour in 1996, but could never match the heights of the future 14-time major champion.
The left-hander has spent more time holding the world No 2 position than any other player in history, without ever taking the No 1 position, while Woods registered 79 PGA Tour titles and topped the world rankings for a combined total of 683 weeks.
The two players have featured in a number of final-round contests over the years, although always played down a rivalry and never went head to head in a major at the peaks of their careers.
The duo were part of the same USA Ryder Cup team on six occasions and lost both matches when paired together during the 2004 Ryder Cup, with both veterans hoping to be part of Jim Furyk's plans for Le Golf National this autumn.
Jordan Spieth v Justin Thomas
The 24-year-olds have cemented their place among the world's elite and the two long-term friends have laid the foundations for an intriguing rivalry over the coming decades.
Spieth and Thomas have already cleared $50m in combined career earnings and have both won the PGA Tour's FedExCup, with the American duo having played together and against each other since their teenage years.
To mark Rivalry Weekend on Sky Sports, we're looking at some of the sport's greatest rivalries.
The world No 2 was cheered on by Spieth as he joined the '59 club' at the 2017 Sony Open, with Thomas on the 18th green to congratulate his Presidents Cup team-mate when he won the Claret Jug.
Thomas admitted he was jealous of seeing Spieth winning at Royal Birkdale and used it as motivation to take the PGA Championship title a month later, with the friends expected to be involved in many more major tussles in years to come.
Europe v USA
There has been little to separate the two teams over recent history in the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup, where tensions in a few of the biennial contests have boiled over in controversy.
The USA overturned a 10-6 final-day deficit to win the 'Battle of Brookline' in 1999, where the home side were slammed for their poor sportsmanship when celebrating a long-range putt from Justin Leonard for victory.
Some European players were left unimpressed by the hostile atmosphere created by the American crowd, although the home crowd was silenced 13 years later when the visitors won the trophy by fighting back from 10-4 down at the "Miracle of Medinah".
The rivalry also became more heated in the women's game at the 2015 Solheim Cup, where Pettersen was slammed by the American side for not conceding Alison Lee's close-range putt in a tight fourball contest.
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