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The 18 players who can absolutely win the PGA Championship (according to science!)

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Admit it, GolfWRX: The only thing we golf dorks love more than golf, is science-y golf. Golf where we boast online to strangers about our 1.5 smash factors, our stupidly positive angles of attack, and our (community average) 138 mph clubhead speed.

And how can we not love science? After all, it offers us life, and breath, and Phil Mickelson’s spectacular calves. But most importantly, this week, science offers us a 100 percent foolproof way to determine which players stand a chance against the formidable Black Course at Bethpage.

And let’s get this out of the way up front — maybe you’re here because of Rich Hunt’s annually excellent piece, “The X Players who can win the Masters,” where Hunt filters out those who cannot win the Masters, using complex statistics like Max Height, Carry Distance, and other very important stuff.

Yeah. This isn’t that.

This, my friends, is for the guy (or gal!) who likes their golf blended with unnecessarily complex scientific theory, compiled by a dude whose greatest scientific achievement transpired in the urinal of a 7th grade bathroom.

By now, we’ve all seen that Bethpage WARNING sign at least 324 times this week. We get it, Golf Channel. The course is difficult. But something not so difficult? Proclaiming that PGA Pro Ben Kern wasn’t going to beat Brooks Koepka last year.

Kern’s 1991-era super-relaxed-fit Dockers and wide-brimmed hat will be sorely missed this year, replaced by 20 other PGA teaching Professionals with the same chance to win in 2019 as Julius Boros.* (Zero. Zero chance.)

Moving on.

Have you heard of Albert Einstein’s theory of “Special Relativity?” For those of you whose scientific acumen is akin to Ben Kern’s fitness plan, here’s the gist; Time is a landscape. We move through it, and time is the same for everybody. Therefore, using Einstein’s theory, the following dudes are obviously way too damn old to win this week. Science!

Vijay Singh, Rich Beem, Jim Furyk, Brian Gay, Paddy Harrington, Shaun Micheel, John Daly (even in his stupid cart,) Steve Stricker, Y.E. Yang and of course, Beau Hossler. Yes, Hossler’s actual age is only 24, but he went from looking 15 to 48 overnight with the growth of seriously patchy facial hair. In this pure scientific study, looking old = being old. Surely, Einstein would agree.

Another group with no shot at the Wanamaker Trophy stems from the 16th century concept of Heliocentricism– the belief that earth revolves around the sun. Clearly, this eliminates Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, and Patrick Reed, who believe the earth revolves around them.

We’ll assume everyone is familiar with the Broglie-Bohm theory, right? Good.

In considering the velocities of particles in terms of the wave function, and applying it to the 2019 PGA championship, anybody who doesn’t possess GolfWRX-level clubhead speed doesn’t stand a chance. As a matter of science, you must bomb it at Bethpage, so you can eliminate these short-knockers from your betting list; Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Kevin Na, Brian Harman, Brandt Snedeker, and a whole bunch of others. For the purpose of time, you know who they are. Cross ‘em off.

A surprisingly fun science rabbit hole is the idea of “Quantum Randomness.” There’s a real thing out there called a “Quantum-mechanical random number generator” and people sell them commercially. You are all now 3 I.Q. points smarter after reading this paragraph.

Now, here’s some people eliminated at random, in the spirit of Quantum Randomness; Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Tway, Richy Werenski, Kyle Stanley, J.J. Spaun, Andrew Putnam, Pat Perez, and Thorbjorn Oleson.

Oh, Kevin Tway is your favorite player? Feel free to argue with science in the comments.

And last but not least, we’ll scrub the remaining field through the incredibly influential Physics concept of “Nonlocality.” Do I understand the concept, even in the slightest? Nope.

So, I’ll just apply it literally, and we’re going to boot every non-American not named Rory McIlroy, since McIlroy owns property here, married an American girl, and practically never plays in Europe anymore. Basically, Rory McIroy is more American than you.

So, for those following along at home, here are the 18 people that can scientifically win the PGA.

Tony Finau
Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy
Brooks Koepka
Dustin Johnson
Bryson DeChambeau
Rickie Fowler
Patrick Cantlay
Xander Schauffle
Jimmy Walker
Max Homa
Lucas Glover
Jason Kokrak
Gary Woodland
Keith Mitchell
Scotty Piercy
Keegan Bradley
Aaron Wise

Who’s going to win? I don’t know. I’m waiting on my Quantum-mechanical random number generator to arrive that I bought off Amazon Prime (free shipping!)

Once it arrives, scientifically, I’ll have a much better idea.

*Boros, in case you were wondering, is not in the field this year due to his untimely demise back in 1994. **

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. AggOwl

    May 16, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Was Michelson intetionally ignored?

  2. Monty

    May 15, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Has anybody actually read the theory of relativity? Didn’t think so. But hey, this was fun. Hooray, golfwrx for fun stuff.

  3. Zach

    May 15, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    I hate science. I like this though.

  4. Josh D

    May 15, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Keegan Bradley is to 10. Woodland misses the cut. DJ wins. Book it.

  5. Hjkn

    May 15, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    ?????????????????????????

    • 9821

      May 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

      The direct implication of Relativity is that time is NOT the same for everyone. Otherwise, this was a fun read. 🙂

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