And, we need to re-evaluate Tiger yet again.
I’d like to think that I have never defended Tiger, so much as provided the only rational view of how he as actually played. At this point, though, even that is getting pretty hard.
Here are some numbers that I shot out Sunday on twitter:
– Based on Tiger’s average from 2002-2009, he’d play four consecutive rounds this poorly about once in every 28-millions attempts.
-Even based on what he’s done so far this year, his four rounds at Bridgestone are like 1-225,000.
-Simon Khan is +8, but the odds of 02-09 Tiger having the worst round in this field are around 215-1. (Mickelson also finished with 78)
-Last year, over 4 rounds Tiger was 14.8 shots better than the field average. This year:16.9 shots WORSE. Nice little 31.7 shot difference.
-Based on 02-09 Tiger, the odds of him losing to Mahan are around 3-million to 1. (NOTE: Obviously Tiger is not that good right now)
-If Tiger played to his 2010 level for next 60 majors, he’d have a 1.3% chance of breaking Nicklaus.
-The odds of 02-09 Tiger shooting worse that 76 AND Phil shooting worse than 77 in the same round: about 200,000-1
Needless to say, poor performance.
Of course, the overreactions to the almost DFL have not been hard to find. Most people would say between ABSOLUTELY UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL TIGER WIN and 100-1.
The immediate problem with this, is Tiger has a chance. So did Louis Oosthuizen and Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel and Ben Curtis. So do many other random players in this field that most people have never heard of. The hard part is just finding out what that chance is.
First off, after hearing Tiger say “I’m not practicing as much as I used to, nor should I” I was almost tempted to just take his 2010 rating and use it against the field. That is a huge red flag to me. My assumptions about Tiger’s performance getting better were based on the fact that he would work as hard as he always did. I don’t know how much stock to put into what Tiger says, but given the situation in his life and his actual play on the golf course it should be safe to assume that Tiger was not lying here.
But, Tiger has played quite well in the majors this year. His Masters performance wins on many other years, a few more fortunate bumps and the US Open could have been a win and of course a British Open in the top-15 when you factor in the weather he played in Friday.
Of course, he’s been horrendous in other events. If you followed the play of Sang-Moon Bae, Carlos Del Moral or Marc Turnesa closely, you’ve probably seen a familiar game to what Tiger has played in regular events.
So, is there anything to this? I’ve previously speculated that for an elite few, and well sponsored players, winning a regular tour event doesn’t matter as much as a major. It’s possible that some tournaments are used solely as preparation for a major. Through, the infallible EYE TEST!, I’ve noticed that Tiger has an alarming tendency to appear lost in his outing before a major, then find some way to hack around his ball at the majors so he can contend.
To be honest, I’m not sure how much of this is actually true. The rational part of my brain wants to kill the rest of my brain for even mentioning eye test, but winning any event except for a major is basically meaningless to Tiger right now, so it’s possible that he uses a warm-up as a test to find out what he can or cannot do on a golf course, then applies it accordingly at the major.
I really have no idea how likely Tiger is to win this tournament. Based on this year, he’d be around 100-1. Based on 2-years he’s still under 10-1. Gun to my head, I think the books have a pretty good number around 15-1.
I do know that Tiger has at least a CHANCE this week.