Tiger was undoubtedly the best player we ever witnessed in the so-called modern era back in the 2000's. But as great as he was, as dominant as he was, he still only managed to win roughly 30% of the time.
And I say "only" because if you listen to the sportswriters and the media today - you would assume that Rory, Dustin, Jason, Jordan and whoever else you want to include in that conversation should either be winning or in contention on Sunday every single week they tee it up, as though no one else on the PGA Tour is talented enough to have the type of week that could spoil any of those guys' chances.
We like to discount these weak-field events today, as though they consist mainly of a bunch of seasoned also-rans who feast on these "weaker" field events to earn money and try to secure playing statuses. But the fact of the matter is that there's more talent in these weaker events today than there was in the stronger events just a decade or so ago. We hear it said over and over, "the talent has never been better, the tour has never been more competitive." But for whatever reason, a lot of us just assume that the players just coming on tour back ten years ago were just as good as those coming on tour today. And that assumption imo couldn't be more wrong.
Rod Pampling was ranked inside the top-20 of the OWGR back in 2006, when he last won on tour up until a few weeks ago. It wasn't like he just suddenly woke up one morning and lost his game for the next decade... the competition coming up through the ranks was younger, they were hungrier, they hit the ball further, they already had enough game to compete. They just needed to figure out how to deal with a new life, new expectations, and learn how to channel their focus well enough on the weekends to make putts and win. Pampling didn't just up and lose his game... the competition became much deeper, it got harder to win, and that in and of itself put an enormous amount of pressure on not just himself - but just about everybody else not named Tiger Woods.
People forget but Matt Kuchar went 7 years without a win... he won back in 2002 and never cashed another winner's check until 2009. I'll never forget one of the things he said in an interview shortly after winning that week back in 2009, as he basically alluded to this "10-year bellcurve" that had traditionally become expected before a player finally found his way to a fairly consistent level of success on tour, and acknowledging that it was pretty much the case with him.
The definition of "success" obviously varies from one player to the next, but I can assure you that players like Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, etc. never once entered that arena expecting it to take them a decade before finding their way. Part of that is because of amateur/collegiate golf, but the biggest part of it is that is the overall system in place today (that wasn't nearly as accessible or feasible 20 years ago) has groomed some remarkably talented players who expect to win much sooner than those that came before them just a few years earlier.
Tiger was an anomaly, a once-in-a-lifetime player who entered the picture at the perfect time. The standard he set, as incredible as it was, came about at a different time. As great as Jordan is, or Rory or Dustin or Jason or whoever - it would be irrational to assume they should dominate the game in a similar fashion.
And on those rare occasions when they do for a season or two - we should enjoy it for what it is, instead of continuing the piling on of bigger and greater expectations. Part of that is only natural, but at some point all of these other factors also have to be considered.
What they do ain't easy, and they do it against the best players in the world, even the guys some of us have never heard of.