Tiger Woods Watch/Greater Hartford Open Semi Live Blog

STUNNER:  Greensboro News and Record Asks of Woods: “Are the injuries and creeping self-immolation part of something far more sinister?”

Ed Hardin of the Greensboro News and Record writes:

He’s a shell of his former self, and now he has to endure a long public fall as we judge his game, his personal choices and even his success. Was it all real? Are the injuries and creeping self-immolation part of something far more sinister?

I think the story of Tiger Woods is just getting started. This could be an epic downfall, professionally and personally.

Dinosaur Golf Media, Clinging to Tiger Woods, Continues to Spit on Spieth

It’s actually gotten funny.  The FiveThirtyEight website — which started the Spieth Grand Slam odds discussion —  describes Jordan’s chances as “pretty low” at 100-1.  “Pretty low” won’t do for our glorious and talented golf media.  In their zest to minimize young Jordan’s history-making year, they tell us those “pretty low” 100-1 odds equate to:

“virtually no chance”  (Golf Digest)

“virtually nil” (SB Nation)

“virtually impossible” (Chicago Sun Times)

I don’t know about you, but if, when boarding an airplane, I were told the chances of a crash are 100-1, that doesn’t strike me as “virtually nil.”  I wouldn’t board.  I’m pretty sure not a single member of the golf media would either.

How long until we see Jordan’s chances described as “mathematically impossible”?

But, don’t lose hope.  The Gray Lady comes through with a fantastic article about Spieth and the Slam, “Grand Slam, Rarest of Feats, Is Within Reach“:

In its modern incarnation, no one has ever completed a Grand Slam in golf, and no one has come especially close.


To win the Masters and the U.S. Open at 21 is an eye-opening accomplishment, sure to be celebrated for years on its own. To ask Spieth to go on and win the next two majors is a tall order.

But that does not mean that everyone will not be watching to see if he can do it.

9:00 am: More on the Mediotic “Single Season” Grand Slam

From PGATour.com:

When Tiger Woods won the 2001 Masters, he achieved something no golfer has ever done — hold all four professional major titles at one time. Since it didn’t happen in a calendar year, it wasn’t officially recognized as a single-season Grand Slam.

Note the propaganda:

  • Bobby Jones did something far greater: he won the true grand slam.  But two of his four wins were not professional tournaments, so PGATour.com sweeps Jones’s reality-based grand slam under the rug.
  • Wasn’t officially recognized?  You know what else isn’t officially recognized?  Saskatchewan as the 51st state.  Using the wording PGATour.com did makes it sound like:  Not officially, but everyone knows it really is a grand slam — just not officially.  Just like everyone knows Saskatchewan is the 51st state, right?  Just not officially.

I’m going to look around a little and gather a few examples of media misuse of the term “grand slam,” and maybe find Woods’s statement, too.

5:38:  I was looking at the article written about the probablility of Spieth winning the final two majors this year.  People seem astounded or comforted or something that they are about 100-1.  But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that two 10-1 events both happening have a 100-1 chance.

I don’t have a problem with the article except for one thing.  I think they do a pretty good job, and they attempt to account for everything.  However, they make the naive mistake of thinking betting odds are probabilities:

That’s why the betting markets consider McIlroy, and not Spieth, the favorite to win each of the season’s final two majors.

Tiger Woods is 25-1 to win the PGA Championship.  Does that represent a 4 percent probability he’ll win, or is it a reflection of bettors wanting to bet on someone “famous” and/or someone they root for?

I read the article quickly, but it seems decent enough, so I’m not bashing it.  It’s just that telling us the chances of two 10-1 probabilities happening is 100-1 is first day Probability 101 stuff.  Still, I guess it’s light-years ahead of Chamblee analyzing Tiger Woods’s swing.


The golf world is on pins and needles today, waiting to find out if Big Cat will officially enter next week’s Greenbrier.  Here’s a photo of Big Cat addressing the media after Chambers Bay, demonstrating the state of his golf game:


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15 Responses to Tiger Woods Watch/Greater Hartford Open Semi Live Blog

  1. Ken says:

    Awesome. I loved Top Cat.

    • Ken says:

      Look at the worshipful eyes on Benny and and three cats in the back row. It’s like the commentary desk on The Golf Channel.

      Then you have that sad little cat in the front row. His name is Kyle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Surely to be a cartoon if he enters the event.

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    Bobby Jones in 1930, bet on himself(Pete Rose loves this guy) with a British bookie(yes there was gambling back then too), that he’d win the grand slam(might have been called winning all four championships then), but Jones won all 4(50-1 odds) and collected $60,000(again that’s in 1930 money)….

  4. Anonymous says:

    You’d mentioned in January that Rory had 50-1 odds on him winning the Grand Slam this year. And now Speith’s odds are at 100-1 after capturing the first two legs of it. What am I missing?? Were Rory’s odds too low or are Speith’s odds too high?? Since Speith is the number 2 golfer in the world, I would expect his odds to be in the 25 to 20- 1 odds considering what Rory was getting in January.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Vegas is part perception part reality….Rory HAD won the last two majors, JUST like Spieth now has won the first two of this year…..In hindsight, HAD Rory won this year’s grand slam, it would have been SIX major wins in a row, so IMO 50-1 odds was not NEAR enough to put money on it……As 6 majors in a row is a tall order….
      The perception is STILL that Spieth is too young, and NO one has done this ‘Grand Slame’ thing yet……Spieth still has a very limited track record in majors, and Rory is a big factor as well…….If Rory wasn’t playing in either final two majors, the odds may be cut in half…..
      100-1 is actually pretty big odds….Think of it from a rich person’s point of view…..If someone put one grand on Spieth to win, and he did, it would become one hundred thousand dollars…..If Vegas made the odds too big, they’d go broke if it happened, as everyone would a wager $10 or $20 for kicks and giggles and still win alot of money…

    • lannyh says:

      I think probably both are low, based on probability. I don’t remember Rory’s, but I was quoting Bovada or someone I’m sure; those guys quote what they are willing to lay, which is going to be far short of the probability, to allow for their (certain) profit. Let me go look for Jordan’s betting odds now…

      Okay, backing Jordan will only fetch you from 25-1 to 28-1.

  5. Ken says:

    I’m surprised that it’s only 100-1 since it has never been done. I’d think that the odds would be much longer.

    Imagine the pressure on Spieth and the media circus at the PGA is he wins at St. Andrews. It would be very cool to see.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Spieth winning the British would make the PGA Championship the biggest event in MODERN sports history…..Considering we just saw the first Triple Crown winner in horse racing in years, could also add to the interest
      It could also accomplish what we’ve been waiting to see—-FINALLY putting the nail in the coffin on this OBSOLETE golf coverage, that we’ve been dealing with for the last several years(although I’m sure they’d try to keep up the charade)…..

      • lannyh says:

        Yup. Wouldn’t that be something?

      • Ken says:

        I agree. Greatest feat in modern sports history.

        I’d love to hear The Golf Channel try to explain how Woods still was better, still had that “Wow!” factor. It’d be fun to listen to, and they would try.

  6. Kris says:

    I feel like Inbee Park got more press during her run at the Grand Slam. She also had a lot more people thinking she was going to do it. I guess since Annika Sorenstam never held all major titles at once they couldn’t minimize Inbee Park’s potential accomplishment.

    • lannyh says:

      Now that you mention it, that DID get a lot of publicity. Weird. I do expect it to get pretty wild by the British Open, though. Put aside the Grand Slam; matching the “Hogan Slam” would be monumental on its own.

  7. Sports-realist2 says:

    I’ve been trying to find what Jack Nicklaus’ odds were to win the Grand Slam….Vegas has been around for a long time……I did see where in the 1986 Masters, going into Sunday, Nicklaus was an 18-5 bet if you thought he’d win……
    Was also looking for American Pharoah odds to win the Triple Crown BEFORE the first race of the season began….

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