Keeping the ball in the short stuff on Augusta’s slippery, sloping fairways? Check. Solving Augusta’s wicked greens? No sweat! Not imploding on Amen Corner on Sunday afternoon as the galleries swell and the pressure mounts? Piece of cake! At least that’s what the stats imply. In a new study by a couple of college finance professors, the Masters has earned the less-than-flattering title of “easiest major to win.” Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal has the details:
To draw their conclusions, the researchers gathered the round-by-round results for each player at every tournament from 2003-2009. They plugged this data into a statistical model that estimated how each golfer should have scored in every round of every tournament he participated in based on his skill level, while also factoring in the effects of random variation in scoring. Using their model, they ran 10,000 simulations of each tournament to determine the average minimum score required to win, factoring in the size and overall quality of the field.
The toughest major to bag? That would be the PGA Championship, followed by the U.S. Open and the British Open. The hardest overall tournament to win is the Players Championship. And the easiest is the Puerto Rico Open—although if word gets out, that may not be true for long. Boo Weekley’s book signin’Two years ago Boo Weekley spent Masters Wednesday at Augusta National preparing to play in the season’s first major. This year he spent Masters Wednesday at a Barnes and Noble promoting his first book, “True Boo—Gator Catching’, Orangutan Boxin’ and My Wild Ride to the PGA Tour.”
Boo, who is legally named Thomas Brent Weekley, gave a vivid account of his younger days along with some insight into golf itself which included his part in the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
“There is a bunch of stuff I left out and the reason why I wrote the book, I actually don’t know why,” Weekley said.
Way to sell it, Boo!
Despite being the honorary starter of the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega in 2008 and appearances on television shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Weekley has not changed despite the attention he has enjoyed since being a member of the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team.
“That’s a lot of image I got to uphold,” Weekley said. “And I think that is where my golf game has gone because I have had so many other things where in the past I haven’t had that many things.”
One amateur’s long, hard road to the MastersLion Kim, the reigning U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, is one of six amateurs living the dream this week as a starter in the 2011 Masters. But Lion didn’t roar through the amateur ranks, not even close. Just last summer, the University of Michigan star was ready to quit the game. Pete Bigelow of AnnArbor.com recounts the night Kim broke that sad news to his father, Yong, who cared so much about his son’s results “that he took up smoking to calm his nerves.”
The talk stretched for three hours. Kim told his father that although he sensed improvement in his game, he didn’t see results. After college, he might abandon his childhood dreams of turning pro.
Saddened but supportive, Yong told Lion that he believed in him no matter what, that he was proud of him, that he always gave it his best.
Then he delivered the line that resonated. “He said, ‘You are 21,’” Lion Kim said. “He said, ‘If this is your dream, you’re a little young to give up on it.’”
Two days later and still feeling discouraged about his future, Kim and his dad left on a trip that changed the course of his career. They drove from their home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to Greensboro, N.C., where Yong attended a business meeting and Lion played in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
“I basically went into that tournament with the mentality of no expectations, nothing,” he said. “I wanted to enjoy myself. That was it. If I played bad, oh well.”
Kim won, and today’s he playing in the Masters.