MASTERS SATURDAY

At around 4 p.m., Rory McIlroy made the turn at -10, with almost a 40% chance to win. The story lines were forming in the Masters’ media room: “Rory at 21, tops Tiger’s 1997 performance,” “Will Tiger ever win another major.”

At around the same time Tiger had just three-putted (justifiably, with where he was) No. 7 to go back to Even par for the tournament. Ten strokes back. Rory almost 40% to win. Tiger less than 1%.

Here’s a distribution of what Tiger’s second round score looked like at that point:

That may be slightly skewed by the fact that historical averages at Augusta are slightly harder than course has played the last two days. However, not by that much. Tiger plays the final 11 holes in -7 less than 1 time in 100.

Except that it’s Augusta with a Masters on the line, so of course Tiger does, and shoots 66.

So with that great charge, here are the odds after round 2:

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Rory McIlroy

31.65%

216

315

$1.31

Tiger Woods

19.74%

407

320

$0.83

Jason Day

8.41%

1089

1450

$1.30

K.J. Choi

6.82%

1366

1250

$0.92

Lee Westwood

6.08%

1545

1150

$0.76

Geoff Ogilvy

4.11%

2333

1400

$0.62

Alvaro Quiros

3.03%

3200

3800

$1.18

Luke Donald

2.15%

4551

2100

$0.47

Rickie Fowler

2.03%

4826

3600

$0.75

Jim Furyk

1.62%

6073

6500

$1.07

Y.E. Yang

1.59%

6189

4600

$0.75

Sergio Garcia

1.39%

7094

7500

$1.06

Fred Couples

1.24%

7965

7500

$0.94

Phil Mickelson

1.21%

8164

2500

$0.31

Charl Schwartzel

1.13%

8750

8000

$0.92

Ricky Barnes

1.08%

9159

8000

$0.87

Brandt Snedeker

0.84%

11805

12000

$1.02

Ross Fisher

0.71%

13985

7500

$0.54

Dustin Johnson

0.65%

15285

10000

$0.66

Steve Stricker

0.62%

16029

19000

$1.18

Paul Casey

0.60%

16567

14000

$0.85

Angel Cabrera

0.42%

23710

14000

$0.59

David Toms

0.37%

26927

25000

$0.93

Matt Kuchar

0.31%

32158

21000

$0.65

Adam Scott

0.27%

36937

27000

$0.73

Robert Karlsson

0.21%

47519

32000

$0.67

Ian Poulter

0.21%

47519

34000

$0.72

Nick Watney

0.21%

47519

22000

$0.46

Trevor Immelman

0.19%

52532

32000

$0.61

Martin Laird

0.17%

58724

48500

$0.83

Tiger Woods:

To be clear, Saturday morning Tiger Woods is no better (or worse) golfer than Thursday morning Tiger Woods. The real question is how good Thursday morning Tiger Woods was?

As I’ve said more times than it takes Steve Marino strokes to finish the back nine when he’s in contention in Sunday, there is no proof that if Tiger commits to playing golf as much as he did circa 2006-2009, there is no proof that he can’t return to that level.

So the max projection for Tiger this weekend is around -1 (against this field), which is basically a Rickie Fowler better. To start, let’s look at Tiger since his return in non-majors against regular tour events.

Tourney Type

Z-Score

Rds

Majors

-0.96237

18

Non-Majors

-0.35211

45

That’s pretty funny and you probably don’t want to see that if you are Tim Finchem trying to sell the PGA Tour on a week-to-week basis. Let’s assume that Tiger’s true skill is -.35. The chance of him playing that well over 18 rounds is about .5%. There is a decimal point in front of that. I think given the nature of the event and Tiger’s ultimate goal, it’s safe to assume that Tiger takes it up a notch at the majors.

So how do we rate Tiger going forward?

You could assume he is back. And put him at -1 ranking adjusted for field, which would make him the favorite over McIlroy for the weekend.

Honestly, I wouldn’t put that out of the question though that is higher than most.

Another way to judge it is based on the books. I plugged in the .83 ROI into my adjustment formula. That is lower than Tiger has been recently, but players around that number have played to about the average that my rankings say. Not surprisingly, Vegas isn’t overreacting to what happened today.

Tiger certainly looked like the Tiger of old today, but I’m just not sure how good he is. If he plays to that major average or better for the past year he is the favorite for the weekend. If he plays to his 2-year average Rory is.

Rory McIlroy:

That price for Rory is about the same as yesterday. It’s not terribly surprising, if you look back at the odds from last year’s final round of the US Open on Dustin Johnson (fail!) and Graeme McDowell (win!) after Tiger had shot a 65 on Saturday. I think people generally overrate winning a major for the first time. For every Dustin Johnson it seems there is a Martin Kaymer or Graeme McDowell.

By Sunday, we will know which one Rory is.

Jason Day:

Pretty much the same deal with Day as Rory. I would just like to say that this couldn’t be a better ending for someone who was screaming about Day as better than Fowler circa Accenture World Golf Championship Match Play Championship. If you liked McIlroy and the leaders yesterday, I’m not sure what’s different about McIlroy and Day today.

For those wondering:

Tiger final pairing: 31.30%

 

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1 Comment

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One response to “MASTERS SATURDAY

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