Jack and Arnie Rivalry: The Last of its Kind?

Earlier today, two of the game's greatest players of all time opened the season's first Major with ceremonial tee shots in front of millions of viewers and thousands of fans at Augusta National. Jack Nicklaus versus Arnold Palmer will forever be known as one of (if not the) biggest golf rivarlies of all time. Furthermore, before Arnie and Jack there was Hogan and Snead... another rivalry for the ages.

However, how will these storied twosomes compare to the future of the game of golf? Or, in other words, who will be hitting those tee shots 40 years from today?

This much is probably true: Tiger Woods will be one of the replacements. That much golf fans can probably agree on, should Tiger continue on his success path from this point forward. The real question focuses more on who will take the tee along side him?

There are many suitors to the "rival of Tiger" position, with the most likely to be Phil Mickelson. Up to this point most golf fans would love to see a Lefty vs. Tiger final pairing in a Major for all the marbles (something we have yet to see). But has Mickelson achieved enough in his career to be called one of the all-time greats?

Another potential group of suitors comes in the likeness of Antony Kim, Rory McElroy, Rickie Fowler, and other young hopefuls that very well may break into the scene with a flurry of tournament victories. Up to this point, however, not much has been accomplished by these young guns.

Perhaps we can find the fitting rival overseas? Paddy Harrington certainly makes a good case to be such a player, and the same can possibly be said for Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia, and even Ernie Els. But when one looks over those names, one player doesn't exactly stick out above the rest.

Could it be at all possible that we have seen the end (at least for now) of the "great golf rivalry"? Is this a biproduct of immensely balanced talent from around the PGA Tour, or is one player simply that much better than everyone else to negate the very thought of a fitting comparison?