Yesterday Mr. Sobel tweeted this:

Last year, Tiger was first in scoring avg. before the cut, Rd. 3 scoring avg. and final rd. scoring avg. This year? 151st, 43rd and 127th.

It’s pretty easy to explain those scoring average stats actually. Tiger has played 7 events(3 Majors, Quail Hollow, PLAYERS, ATT National and Memorial). Those events were played on significantly harder courses. In the events Tiger has played in the field scoring average has been 72.83 strokes. In the events he has not played in, the field scoring average is 70.71 strokes. That’s a difference of 2.12 strokes harder for the courses Tiger has played.

What’s more meaningful than anything else, is how Tiger has played in relation to the field. Here’s a breakdown of every round from Tiger so far this season with the Field average for the day and the net:

Masters Rd 1 68 73.146 -5.146
Masters Rd 1 70 74.484 -4.484
Masters Rd 3 70 72.583 -2.583
Masters Rd 4 69 71.938 -2.938
Quail Hollow Rd 1 74 73.260 0.740
Quail Hollow Rd 2 79 72.967 6.033
PLAYERS 1 70 71.103 -1.103
PLAYERS 2 71 71.448 -0.448
PLAYERS 3 71 71.214 -0.214
PLAYERS 4 WD 74.188 N/A
Memorial 1 72 72.075 -0.075
Memorial 2 69 72.642 -3.642
Memorial 3 69 70.972 -1.972
Memorial 4 72 73.085 -1.085
US Open 1 74 75.288 -1.288
US Open 2 72 74.667 -2.667
US Open 3 66 75.084 -9.084
US Open 4 75 74.880 0.120
ATT National 1 73 71.392 1.608
ATT National 2 70 71.378 -1.378
ATT National 3 70 71.141 -1.141
ATT National 4 71 70.732 0.268
Open 1 67 71.750 -4.750
Open 2 73 75.135 -2.135
Open 3 73 72.273 0.727
Open 4 72 72.351 -0.351
AVERAGE 71.20 72.738 -1.479
ROUND 1 AVG 71.14 72.573 -1.431
ROUND 2 AVG 72.00 73.246 -1.246
ROUND 3 AVG 69.83 72.211 -2.378
ROUND 4 AVG 71.80 72.597 -0.797

As you can see, Tiger has been significantly above average in the rounds he’s played. Not nearly his normal standards, but certainly better than most players. This doesn’t even account for the fact that these tournaments include stronger than average fields.

Luckily, the PGA Tour does keep stats for stroke average in relation to the field average. They use a “+” for better than the field, I used a “-“, but Tiger’s score would of 1.47 strokes per round better than the field average would rank him 6th on Tour. Over a small sample of events stroke average tells us far more about how a player played than tallying results. Strokes are the vehicle that leads to results. Even a player with a 20% chance of winning a tournament, would still be around 18% to NOT win at least once during seven events. Does that mean he’s not the best? No. A player who teed off with a 20% chance to win, would easily have the best chance to win in the field for a PGA Tour event. In my opinion, greatest chance to win means the best.

This definitely has not been a good year for Tiger by HIS standards(worst I have on record by far), but by everyone else’s he’s still been quite good and easily one of the 4 best Americans this season going into the Ryder Cup. That’s what I was trying to say all along.



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  1. am19psu

    Why do you continue to argue with Sobel? It seems about as fruitful as banging your head against the wall over and over again.

  2. He sarcastically DMed me after that tweet yesterday, so I put this together to show him how wrong he was. Figured other people might be interested in it.

  3. rolub

    I think it’s bush league that he corresponds via DM. To me, it says he has nothing to back up his opinions and doesn’t want to engage in any debate at the risk of his “expertise” being questioned.

  4. To be fair, I think there might be some kind of policy at ESPN about responding in public to people’s tweets. Still pretty bad.

    • rolub

      That could be right; Keith Law is only ESPN guy who responds to people on twitter that I’m aware of. Not sure where the disconnect is, but he seems like the exception.

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