Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time despite having won fewer majors than Jack Nicklaus.
That is the firm view of Rory McIlroy, who declared a clear winner in the longest-running debate in the sport.
Nicklaus won 18 majors between 1962 and 1986, with Woods' 2019 Masters success moving him to 15 after an 11-year wait.
However, McIlroy cited Woods' 82 PGA Tour wins – nine more than his compatriot – as proof of the 43-year-old's greater consistency.
"In the history of our game no one has played better golf than Tiger Woods," McIlroy told the Golf Channel's Morning Drive show.
"When you look – 2000, 2001, that whole stretch – no one has played the calibre of golf that he played then.
"That's why I think he is the best player to ever live, because no one reached the levels that he did. In my estimation, he is the best to ever do it.
"I think it's the relentlessness. Back in those years I was talking about – nine wins, and then the next year it would be 10 wins, then the next year it would be eight wins. It was just year after year of relentless excellence.
"I think his 82 PGA Tour events that he's won is nearly more impressive than the 15 majors. The motivation to get up every morning and say, 'Yep, I'm going to keep on this journey, keep dominating people' – and he's still doing it.”
Woods needs one more PGA Tour victory to claim the outright record tally, with Sam Snead having won the same number.