Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Will Tiger Win the Master's in 2013

With the Master’s quickly upon us, I wanted everyone to know what I think of Tiger’s chance to win this weekend.   Here are some facts on how Tiger finished since his last victory at Augusta in 2005:
The last 7 champions have finished with the following scores:
In Tiger’s last victory back in 2005, he shot -12 for the weekend. 

Nowadays statistics in sports are becoming more useful to translate ones performance into a measurable rating.   In golf, ShotLink introduced a statistic called Strokes Gained-Putting that provides an accurate way of presenting a player’s putting efficiency.  The idea was first developed by a Columbia Business School Professor and later analyzed by a group from M.I.T. 
In a nutshell:  “the statistic simply measures the average number of putts a player takes over 18 holes where chips will skew the calculation.
However, takes into account putting proficiency from various distances and computes the difference between a player's performance on every green – the number of strokes needed to hole out – against the performance of the other players for each round. This ultimately shows how many strokes are gained or lost due to putting for a particular round, for a tournament and over the course of a year.
The statistic is computed by calculating the average number of putts a PGA TOUR player is expected to take from every distance, based on ShotLink data from the previous season. The actual number of putts taken by a player is subtracted from this average value to determine strokes gained or lost. For example, the average number of putts used to hole out from 7 feet 10 inches is 1.5. If a player one-putts from this distance, he gains 0.5 strokes. If he two-putts, he loses 0.5 strokes. If he three-putts, he loses 1.5 strokes.
A player's strokes gained or lost are then compared to the field. For example, if a player gained a total of three strokes over the course of a round and the field gained an average of one stroke, the player's "Strokes Gained Against the Field" would be two.” –PGATOUR.COM
The strokes gained statistic is brought up because given due to the fact that currently Eldrick Tont Woods is ranked 1st.    

Everyone is looking at Tiger’s driving accuracy as a major deterrent in his chances to win this weekend.  Tiger has never been a very accurate driver off the tee, normally averages in the 59% for fairways hit, where the most accurate drivers usually are in the 70% range.  Most tournaments are won when you are able to putt and Tiger has been rolling the rock really well so far in this early season.  It’s really hard to say if Tiger will win but a good indicator for his success has been shown in the 3rd round of the Master’s.  Tiger has shot in the 60’s seven times since his pro debut in 1997 and he has six top 5’s and placed 15th the other time, the last time he accomplished this feat was back in 2008.  Here’s my prediction if the winning score is less than -10, Tiger wins; if the winning score is -11 or greater, I choose the field.  Tiger has not scored better than -10 since his last of his 4 green jackets back in 2005, -12.      

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

75th Win

I have to congratulate Tiger Woods on his 75th win and 8th PGA Tour victory at Torrey Pines.  With all due respect Tiger will still need to win a major this year to quiet his critics to justify another swing change.  I have no idea if more of the top 15 ranked golfers in the world would of made a difference in the outcome of the Farmers Insurance Open but I sure would of liked to have seen more than just 2 of the Top 15 competing.  I guess we will find how Tiger fares in April at the Master’s but a victory at Torrey Pines definitely helps him get off to a great start to the year.

The competitor who poses the biggest threat to take away major victories away from Tiger may have created a level playing field for Tiger possibly winning his first major since 2008.  The recent change in clubs by the #1 ranked golfer, Rory McIlroy, will give Tiger a better chance to win a major this year.  No offense to Nike clubs and I know most people will have a strong opinion that clubs do not make a player but I know I play much better with better technology and they do make a difference.   I wonder how long before Rory misses his Titleist MB 712 Irons and Vokey wedges.  The specifics of Rory’s marketing deal have not been released yet but I am pretty sure the language in his contract will not give him the same leeway as of Tiger’s contract years ago, that allowed him to play with “any” clubs.  Though Rory ditched his Nike putter in the Abu Dhabi tournament, I would have to think if Nike shelled out a 100+ million dollar contract to pay someone using their products- using the Titleist made Scotty Cameron Studio Select putter would be frowned upon by Nike’s brass.

In other news I have completed two rounds in 2013, with blistering scores of 93 and 100.  The latest score I shot with the utmost consistency of shooting a 50 on the front and 50 on the back.  This early in the season I rarely care about my score then how I am striking the ball.  Overall I would say I am shaking off a lot of rust from the long off season but pleased to see how my driving and iron play currently stands.  My short game and putting is a mess right now but that seems to be parts of my game that need the most work year in and year out.  

For you followers out there here is another blog you should follow.