Bubba Watson Towers Over Tiger Woods At Augusta

yet another example of golf media bias

I happened to look at the odds at Bovada today for next April’s Masters.  Tiger Woods, who has not won at Augusta in ten years now, was listed at 10-1.  Bubba Watson, who has won 2 of the last 3 Masters, was listed at 18-1.

Betting odds reflect the views of the general public, so I started wondering how in the heck the public got the idea that Tiger Woods is a better bet than Bubba Watson at the 2015 Masters.

My conclusion?  The golf media’s All Tiger All The Time coverage misleads them.

Consider this fact you’ll never hear from the mainstream golf media:

Tiger Woods has won four of twenty Masters.  Bubba Watson has won two of six.  If Woods’s win percentage of 25 percent is incredible, Bubba’s win percentage of 33 percent is staggering.  We’re talking Nicklaus-Hogan stuff.

So, next April, when the golf media devotes 80 percent of their coverage to Tiger Woods’s “return” — it would be 90 percent if not for Rory’s career slam storyline — ask yourself if maybe, just maybe, Bubba would “move the needle” a little more if the golf media didn’t hide the fact that when it comes to the Masters, Woods is so far behind, Bubba can’t even see him in his rearview mirror.

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22 Responses to Bubba Watson Towers Over Tiger Woods At Augusta

  1. Bermuda Bob says:

    I am not someone to bet on golf, but I’ve discovered that the British odds-makers usually have something of an “inside leg” on the pulse of the games played that they post odds on.

    I believe that Watson has proven the age old golf axiom that “A busted clock is correct twice a day” … He is in the right place with the right game at the right time, nothing more, northing less.

    1. His name is Gerry Watson … I continue to maintain that the word “bubba” is a pejorative term in some circles, and I continue to wonder why he is allowed to use it … I say this in consideration of the fact that the Tour no longer wishes their player to smoke, curse, or fart on the course as it might be caught on TV or some unfortunately placed microphone.

    2. Gerry Watson is a left-handed golfer playing on a golf course that was purposely designed to be penal to righ- handed players.

    3. That shot he made on the 1st Masters he won could only have been made by a left-handed player who played vintage “risk-reward” …

    4. This is also the reason why Phil and Little Mickie Weir prevailed there as well, and for the same reasons.

    If you doubt my contentions, I give you the list of places he has won as proof. He is not the talented golfer many like to embrace. He is probably a mixture of a nice man and a yahoo who, quite fortunately, found his niche and flourishes there for a awhile.

    I have yet to analyze the Ryder Cup course, but if it’s tight and treed, he will not be a contributor to the team score.

    • lannyh says:

      Scoreboard.

      There are obviously horses for courses, but whatever the reason, he’s two for three, and two for six all-time. That should be headline news. In the eyes of the world, Augusta is THE course for a horse to excel on, after all.

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        Yes, I agree, throughly. Who of us would not drop everything if invited to play that “cathedral” of golf.

        I am simply explaining the reason for his winning.

        If Augusta were to do the right thing, they would consider that since 2003, the event has been won by left-handed players 50% of the time. That’s an astounding percentage and if they want to maintain the “sanctity” of the course, they need to do something to make it equally penal for left-handers.

        The game and the course demand that !!!

        Rock On !!!

      • lannyh says:

        No doubt. Some courses definitely favor certain types of players. Another example would be Firestone, where distance off the tee is important, but there is little penalty for inaccuracy off the tee. Colonial, on the other hand, tends to favor accuracy over power.

  2. sretsam68 says:

    Lanny,
    I am in complete agreement with you, love your site and the information you communicate. It is funny, though. I am a Nicklaus fan and if you go back to some of the old telecasts, Jim McKay is so far up Nicklaus’ arse, it is really funny. Today, we are annoyed, etc. at the pathetic commentary by such luminaries as Tilghman, Azinger, Begay, etc., but since I was pretty young when McKay and Whitaker, etc. were doing their thing about Nicklaus, it is funny to look back. Would be even more humorous to imagine an “Internet” of sorts back then. Palmer, Nicklaus, et al would be “gods”. Don’t get me wrong, I think the biased coverage toward Woods is nauseating and applaud you and your site.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, there is nothing wrong with praising a player in his prime who is contending for a tournament. Woods, however, is spoken about almost nonstop, even when having a bad year and is not in contention. Six major-less years later, the golf media still obsesses over Woods. As well, regarding Jack, he was not much liked when he first came up. He certainly wasn’t treated as the role model to end all roll models. I think the media would have much preferred Arnold Palmer to be winning. Also, players like Player and Trevino, and later Watson and Miller pushed Jack into the background, even though he would show us in 1986, he could contend (and win) a major.

      And I can’t once remember an announcer gravely telling me “Nicklaus is important to golf.” Not once did a columnist write that golf would “die” without Nicklaus. Nicklaus was covered like, say, Peyton Manning. Woods is covered like a combination of Justin Bieber and the Pope.

      That’s how I see it, anyway.

  3. Bermuda Bob says:

    I, too, recall those days when you waited for Wide World of Sports to seen just about everything throughout the sports year !!!

    I always thought that the Commentators of those days were still so much more respectful than those of today.

    What I recall for fondly was that:

    1. The Commentators then did not take themselves as seriously as they do today. The only spoke when they had something worthwhile to say. They didn’t worry about “dead air” …

    2. They wore Sports Jackets, instead of suits of today that make them look like something they are not. They also didn’t wear ridiculous things like a striped suit, with a striped tie, over a striped shirt with French Cuffs !!!

    3. They also spoke properly. They did not create grammatically incorrect terminology like “… a great driver of the ball.” or “… a great putter of the ball.”.

    4. They also did not rename clubs, by calling clubs things like “FairWay Metal” … The term is physically correct, but if it were made of fiberglass which was tried), what would they then do ???

    All of this means that we long for the relative civility of yesteryear, but while enjoying the advances of technology. That’s where Jack Nicklaus is wrong. We DO NOT need a ball that does not go as far as they do today. We need to allow technology to advance and players to adapt.

    After all, Rory has certainly done it, and many players – Eric Compton the latest – have observed that he is longer that TW ever was. That’s while TW rarely hits a FairWay …

    I wonder what Jim McKay and his contemporaries think up in that great 19th Hole in the sky ???

    Rock On !!!

    • sretsam68 says:

      1. Agreed – Pat Summerall was famous for silences and I liked them a whole lot better that Nantz not shutting up.
      2. Agreed.
      3. Agreed.
      4. Agreed.

      Golf (I believe) is the only sport that does not have a standardized ball. I’m all for technology, but I hate to see classic course becoming obsolete or augmented to the point they lose their inherent “style”. One wonders sometimes when Nicklaus and Palmer complain about the ball whether they are guarding their records? I read where Stadler said if he were to play the same Stadler who won the Masters in 1982, that’s today’s 50+ version would win. To me, that isn’t right…

      There is also a great article on-line about Brandt Snedeker playing with yesteryear’s equipment and marveling about how the players then were able to get the ball around the course so efficiently.

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        Ah, Pat Summerall !!! Jim Nantz is what I call an Omni-Commentator. He has a remarkable year of events, but brings only a modicum of information to whatever he comments on. This is why there is so much falderal in his work.

        I do decry Ken Venturi, who, when he realized he had reached his usefulness at CBS, decided to re-name clubs. A Wood does not have to be made of wood, any more than an Iron has to be made of iron, to be called what it is !!!

        As far as denying technology making courses obsolete, I give you TW, who now can’t hit a FairWay to save his “toasted” life, but Rory is hitting FairWays constantly. There is not one guy who has everything figured out and performs consistently, as Rory has also proved recently.

        I say keep technology advancing until a guy can drive a Green and stop it as if he approached with a Wedge. Then we can talk about a standardized ball. Until then, Jack and his records will continue to sleep well each night !!!

        Rock On !!!

    • lannyh says:

      I don’t like “fairway metal” either. They find “3-wood” inaccurate because the clubs are not made of wood, but “3-iron” is fine even though irons are not made of iron.

      I agree with sretsam regarding new technology obsoleting (ruining) classic courses. In no other sport do equipment manufacturers call the shots. Can you imagine major league baseball allowing 600-feet baseballs along with corked bats, forcing the ball parks to adjust by tearing down outfield bleachers and extending the ball park into the parking lot/neighborhood?

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        Well, as an afterthought to the comments about standardized equipment …

        Golf allow players to play a conforming golf ball, with conforming clubs but there is no such thing as a conforming golf course. All other sports, except MLB, have an exactly conforming field of play. Golf, on the other hand does not.

        Golf course Architects are allowed to build all sorts of penal aspects to a course, think of it:

        1. A Par 3 can be from as low as 60 yards to over 200 yards.

        2. The course can be built from a forest of tall mature trees, or none.

        3. Sand traps can be anything from “Waste Bunkers” to real “Bunkers” that look as if they were caused by bombs. I once played a Green with a Bunker in the middle, where you could log a GIR and a Sand Save all while making Par !!!

        4. Water Hazards can run the length of a Fairway, be right in front of the golfer, or cause the Green to be a peninsula. Then there are ocean affects !!!

        The contrasts can go on forever, based on what you consider a challenge or a penal aspect. I think that if Architects can be allowed that latitude, a little ole conforming ball can be allowed to be chosen by the Player.

        Rock On !!!

      • lannyh says:

        Au contraire! Baseball fields have varying distance to the outfield fences. Houston has a flagpole in their outfield, for crying out loud.

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        I believe you overlooked my comment about MLB parks where I said: “All other sports, except MLB, have an exactly conforming field of play.”

        Rock On !!!

      • lannyh says:

        You’re right, I did. But baseball rather weakens your argument.

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        Well, actually, I think it weakens the records in Baseball … For instance, and records that Derek Jeter might have attained are not true to form, because he has done them only in American Leagues parks. Obviously, with the exception of the few he saw in the years of mixed-league play, but he has not been forced to play in all of them …

        Golfers have to play diverse courses … THEN … they change the distance of the Fairway by changing Tees, and they change the positioning of the Pin on the Green !!!

        Both Yankee Stadiums is/was the same as it always was for all the players. They never played it with the Home Run wall further out, or a short corner moved about.

        Golf is unique, and we ought to let it stay that way !!!

        Rock On !!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It would seem all this equipment talk is being skewed somewhat by what the pros are able to do with it. The Pro Golfer represents a miniscule precentage of overall golfers so the advances in technology are geared more towards Johnny Golfer; the pros are just allowed to benefit too, which they are able to do at 10 times the level.

    If anything is to be done, it should be done at the tour level. Hell, they have limited flight golf balls made mainly for driving ranges with limited space. Give the tour a limited flight ball with lower MOI and “trampoline effect” numbers and let them have at it.

    • Bermuda Bob says:

      I could not disagree with you more. “Limited Flight” balls would make the guys who are marginal drivers (like TW) better, which is unfaire to guys like Rory who are already driving the ball better – on average, lately – than everyone else.

      Rory could sue and win in Court because they had changed aspects that he had demonstrably conquered, even if it was not always. It’s like those stupid parent who give their kids a lowered basketball hoop so they can dunk volleyballs … It’s not the real world !!!

      If and when the MAJORITY of golfers were hitting nothing but Fairways and making Par with nothing but Wedges, because of it, then I’d consider something, but not until. What you’d be doing is penalizing the competent players for becoming competent.

      Let’s face it, Corey Pavin didn’t bitch that everyone else was longer, he just found a 4 Wood and learned to reliably hit it !!!

      Rock On !!!

      • lannyh says:

        Bob, you sound like you are a rep for one of the golf equipment manufacturers.

        Forget about player A and player B. Forget about Tiger does this, Rory does that. ALL players are hitting the ball farther. I recently read Geoff Shackelford’s book, The Future of Golf, and he went into this topic in great depth. Somewhere around 2003, a change was made to the golf ball which added some ten yards to average driving distances that year. Just by changing the ball. And other more minor changes are made to clubs and balls every year.

        The USGA DOES make changes, such as the anchored putter ban (those players would have same claim to a lawsuit that Rory would have in your example), and the R&A banned the small golf ball some years back. Both have also banned square groves.

        Rory is going to hit the ball farther than other players regardless of the equipment. If not, then the credit for Rory’s great play would go to the scientists in the Nike labs, not to Rory.

        Maybe you are looking at it like this. Rory is playing great the way things are right now, and I really, really want him to surpass Woods’s 14 majors, so … DON’T CHANGE A THING! That’s a fair enough take. However, the bigger picture is that old classic courses are losing their character due to the distance created in a lab. The players aren’t getting better, the clubs and balls are. As for amateurs, while they don’t get near the benefit the pros do, they still have gained a lot of distance. That simply means their courses require more real estate and more upkeep, increasing costs.

        TaylorMade and Calloway and Titleist spend a lot of money advertising on television. Rank-and-file players don’t, nor do course operators. The result is that the USGA and PGA Tour allow the equipment manufacturers to call the shots.

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        Hi Lanny !!!

        I appreciate your trying to get into my head, but honestly, it’s as simple as this:

        If a ‘standardized ball” that restricted how far it could go, like those “soap balls” at driving ranges, you would be robbing from Rory to allow (1) a lesser driving player or (2) a less accurate player, to accomplish what he no longer can, try as he would.

        Yes, I remember the smaller ball, and the square grooves. I thought the ball’s size being standardized was a good thing, the square grooves not so much.

        I honestly thought that some of the long putter guys would get together and file a class action suit because their present work standards were being altered, possible inexorably. I guess I was wrong. Personally, I agree with the ban, but I still thought they would try and stop the ban. Silly me !!!

        I disagree with you on both points you made in conclusion.

        (A) I think there are more good players, and parity is the game of the day. Yes, there are a few exceptional players, but I believe that more and more the others are getting their due because the media does not have TW’s every twitch, twiddle, and twaddle to cover. I also think many guys do not play as much, being able to stay home with families because they are making more $$$ than anyone would ever need.

        (B) I do not think courses are losing their dignity. I think they can remain the same and watch as so many of we amateurs watch as they do what we do week-in and week-out. I love seeing a pro go “Kaploosh” … It gives me the chance – I love it when it’s in the 19th Hole – to revel by shouting “Hey, I can do that too !!!” Of course, I do it more often than they do !!!

        How often have we seen guys stink up courses like they did last week, or on other courses that were not designed for Tour Pros ??? As I said at the beginning of this conversation, maybe they need to make them more penal, both to lefties and better players. Amateurs playing then should rightfully play the advanced Tees.

        I don’t want to change for any reason … certainly not to preserve anyone’s records. Records are made to be broken. I want to see golf get to that point where a guy can drive a normal length Par 4, but that won’t happen because he can’t stop it … but if that ever happens on a regular basis, I welcome you to come back to me so we can solve the problem here !!!

        This has been a great conversation, and I have enjoyed it tremendously !!!
        Rock On !!!

      • lannyh says:

        Bob, why do you think Rory would have less of an advantage with a “short” ball? If Rory outdrives a guy by 10 percent, it doesn’t matter if it is 330 yards to 300, or 110 yards to 100. The relative advantage would remain the same.
        But it DOES matter to the course. For example, consider the No. 13 tee box at Augusta.
        I find it odd that you think the smaller ball size being banned was okay, because that ball went farther. I actually played one for a while in a windy clime and it made a lot of difference. I found the ball and just thought it was a regular ball. One day, a playing partner looked at it (after I had raved about it) and pronounced it illegal. He was just razzing me, but he knew it truly was illegal for real competition. I held it up to a regular ball and it was noticeably smaller. Anyway, maybe we can take this up again when I get my review of Shackelford’s book posted, as this matter is a key element of his book.
        Take care.

      • Bermuda Bob says:

        Lanny, you know as well as I do, that you can make numbers do whatever you want … The bottom line for me is that there ought not be anything that dampers distance, performance, or any other aspect from what technology allows …

        I guess we’ll agree to disagree on this one …
        Rock On !!!

    • lannyh says:

      Anon, I totally agree. Johnny Golfer doesn’t reach the swing speeds to get the trampoline effect. As well, the pros have detailed analysis done on their launch angles, which allows the club makers to further tailor clubs to their swings.

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