Tiger did not have tough competition? You have such a short memory. D.Love, Azinger, Couples, Michelson, Duval, Montgomery, Westwood, Harrington, Parnivik, Singh, Langer, Els, Sergio, Goosen,etc.,etc.
And who can say his era is over.
Love - past prime
Azinger - past prime
Couples - past prime
Michelson - not dedicated enough early in his career. relied too much on his AMAZING talent
Duval - do i have to go there?
Monty - past prime and never really was a threat in the States
Westwood - yes, but not the player he is now
Harrington - yes great player but also competed a lot in Europe
Parnivik - good? sure. tough competition? no.
Singh - definitely, but only for about a 2 or 3 year stretch
Langer - well past prime
Els - end of his prime
Sergio - nope. never put it together
Goosen - sure, but not consistently.
I am in no way saying Tiger had it easy. but he also came at a good time. 6 years earlier and he would have hit Couples, Love, Norman, Zinger, Pavin, Crenshaw, Kite all in their prime. There were a lot of really good players during his early days, but none of them were consistent tough competitors that he would have to face week after week.