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What Tiger’s win means heading into the PGA Championship

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Tiger Woods was the heavy favorite entering the Masters earlier this year. Depending on your sportsbook of choice, TW’s chances of winning a fifth green jacket were pegged between 7-2 and 3-1. Following his win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger’s chances of winning the PGA Championship stand at 3-1.

So, according to the bookies, the world No. 1 has the same chances of raising the Wanamaker next week as he did of donning a green jacket earlier this year. Woods’ PGA Championship odds are better than his chances were to win the U.S. Open (9-2) or the Open Championship (8-1).

With all this said, it’s fitting to ask: What does Tiger Woods’ win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational mean for the golfer entering the season’s final major next week?

To answer this, let’s look at what happened at Firestone Country Club: Woods shot an even-par 70 Sunday en route to a seven-shot victory at the Bridgestone Invitational for his eighth win at the tournament.

With his fifth win of 2013, Tiger matched Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record for wins (8) in a single event, just as he did at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill earlier this year.

Really, though, Woods sealed the victory with his brilliant second-round 61 Friday. In firing his course-record score, the 14-time major winner displayed his ability to play very, very well on a course he has mastered. Saturday and Sunday, the golfer showcased the tactical, intelligent golf we’ve come to expect from one of the greatest front runners in golf history.

Further, here’s a look at Woods’ statistical performance in key categories this week:

  • Driving Accuracy: 35 of 56 (62.5 percent), T11
  • Greens in Regulation: 53 of 72 (73.6 percent), 2nd
  • Strokes Gained–Putting: .844, 11th

For as dominant as Tiger was in victory, statistically, he performed similarly to the way he has all year in both putting and driving accuracy. He improved upon his 2013 greens in regulation percentage (67.44) this week, however. 

Statistics and a commanding victory aside, Tiger’s performance at Firestone cannot answer two lingering questions. The questions, which Woods has answered in the negative thus far in majors this year, are:

  1. Can he play well on the weekend?
  2. Can he putt well enough to win?

With respect to the first question, as the WGC-Bridgestone wasn’t a major so we have no new data. However, this year (and the past few years, really) has proven that there is little correlation between how well Woods is playing entering a major and his performance on the weekend in said major. Most recently in a major, Woods fired uninspired rounds of 72-74 on the weekend at the Open Championship.

Regarding the second point, Tiger Woods putted well on fast greens, which he knows well. Whether this means he’ll putt well on slower greens, which he’s largely unfamiliar with, is a tremendous unknown.

Thus, Tiger’s win, although impressive, doesn’t improve the favorite’s chances of winning at Oak Hill.

Of course, it doesn’t diminish them either.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Bart

    Aug 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Wow,some of these comments are a really hard act to follow, so I won’t, well mebbe’ just a little bit?, I still hope T.W. the greatest player in the modern era comes through. So, FIGJAM!! bite me.

  2. chowchow

    Aug 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    all it means is… that he won the week before the PGA.

  3. Fred

    Aug 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Each year, on average, Tiger wins more tournaments than most pros win in a lifetime. Want proof that stats don’t mean anything? Look at Adam Scott, Matt Kutcher, Justin Rose, etc. How about Rory? What have they done since winning their tournaments? Everyone talked about how Phil’s game was back after winning the British Open; yet, he wasn’t even in the hunt last week at Firestone. Consistency is the name of the game, and since Jack, there’s only been Tiger.

  4. ellis

    Aug 6, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Tiger was seen on the putting green with Steve Stricker discussing putting technique on Monday after his win. So it is a given that should he win the PGA, the first article to be written will be some writer giving credit to Stricker for the win. Regardless, I am pulling for Tiger to blow the field away this week and I hope his driving,iron play and putting is the best it has been all year. Go Tiger.

  5. Leonard

    Aug 6, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Send me a free pair then I can give you my comments size 9.5 1013 5th Las Vegas N.M 87701. Thank You Leonard Salazar, Hey Tiger Sign Them Please!!!

    Your the man brother Good Luck in upcoming seasons remember your the inpression for all the people that they said they couldn’t do it !!!!!! Thanks for a great game.

  6. Paul

    Aug 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Excuse the typo “some”.

  7. Paul

    Aug 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I prefer to watch a tournament when Tiger is in the hunt. He has some much more personal then the rest of the field. I marvel in seeing his game being played to his expectations. I hope he wins this one…!

  8. j.apps

    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    It always amazes me when people have comments about athletes performances. Often I find myself asking, besides all the talking “how is your game?” How would you hold up under the pressure? How would your game stand up to Tiger’s? ….S.T.F.U!

    • chris

      Aug 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      I know I gotta laugh at the idiots sayin he needs to win another/ more majors.. last time I checked he still has 14 lol.. he has a few to spare

  9. Tommy

    Aug 5, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The big lead had to have destroyed ratings. Tiger isn’t the smartest guy on tour but he sure isn’t going to throw a 7 or whatever shot lead away. Not surprised that he just bumped it around for an even par.
    The Women’s Open was much more exciting. Played on the Old Course, Stacy Lewis birdies 17 and 18, N Y Choi loses a 3 shot lead on back 9, Solheim Cup selection……

    • Chuck

      Aug 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Geoff Shackelford of GolfWorld is reporting the Saturday ratings from the Bridgestone were up 173% (1.1/3 to 3.0/8) and Sunday ratings were up 138% (1.6/3 to 3.8/9) from last year when Bradley won. It’s not the drama and the close finish the casual viewer turns in to watch. It’s Tiger winning, specifically.

  10. tallPK

    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Somehow the TW haters will use the stats to say he still sucks. 5th win this season… I bet you Ricky Fowler would like to have 5 professional career wins total!

    • Greg Hunter

      Aug 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      I bet most of the tour players would like to have 5 wins for their career

      • JumboDebt

        Aug 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        All we seem to hear lately is how Tiger hasn’t won a major in five years. Meanwhile he’s on his way to being the winningest player all time… BUT I have to give Phil the advantage this week at Oak Hill. That 2-wood of his as he calls it will be the difference as he drives all those left-handers draws with that magic club of his. Top that off with superb putting and VOILÀ! Here’s our new PGA Champion!

  11. Billy

    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Blah blah stats aren’t impressive blah blah can he win a major blah blah blah

    • tallPK

      Aug 5, 2013 at 5:43 am

      you took the blah blah out of my mouth mouth

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

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Opinion & Analysis

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Most birdies in a round: 6

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