LANNY’S CRY FOR HELP
Can someone please tell me where I can get the numbers for total yearly PGA Tour prize money going back thirty or more years?
11:00 am Test Your Memory: Quick, tell me what Tiger Woods did at St. Andrews!
If you are anything like me, you drew a blank for quite a bit of time.
I was doing Google news searches this morning and found an article from prior to the Greenbrier trumpeting that Tiger Woods shot a 32 for nine holes in a practice round. That was reason for optimism, blah, blah, blah. I couldn’t remember anything about Greenbrier other than Woods missed the cut. Oh, wait, no. He finished T-32. I remember that now.
Then I thought about Woods at the British Open. Again, I recalled that he missed the cut. He did miss the cut, didn’t he? After further reflection, yes, he did. He had to play out his final weather-delayed holes on Saturday with nothing on the line.
Could I remember anything else? No, nothing at all. Oh, wait, he dumped his very first approach on his very first hole into the Swilcan Burn.
My point: Woods was as much of a non-factor as it is possible to be at a golf tournament. His playing poorly isn’t even memorable any more. The sports world has been discussing Spieth nonstop, and the exciting finish. (And Rory wasn’t even playing.) I am sensing the golf media is finally — reluctantly — moving on.
That said, let Woods shoot another good score in a practice round and they will all rush back to All Tiger All The Time mode. They are weasels, and scared, imitative weasels at that.
More Thoughts on Justin Ray’s Stupidstics:
But what’s the point (of the example below)? Is he telling us Jason Day is A Big Choker? I certainly don’t see that. Day had the worst of the weather on Sunday at St. Andrews and missed by one stroke. At Chambers Bay, he had freaking vertigo and collapsed on the 54th fairway. And he shared the lead with three other players (who didn’t collapse on the 54th fairway).
We are not told how many people (since WWII, an arbitrary starting point) held the lead at 54 holes in both events. What was the sample size? How many people held the lead in the second after holding the lead in the first and not winning? Three? Sixty? Who knows? Ray didn’t say.
And isn’t there a pretty substantial difference between leading solo by six and being part of a four-way pack and not even knowing if you will be able to play the final round because of vertigo?
Ray’s stupidstics are supposed to have some great “historical” relevance?
There is a randomness to Ray’s information that takes away all meaning. It’s like dumping a jar full of coins onto the floor seventy times, then “analyzing trends.”
“Every time twelve or more nickels came up heads, only twice was the number of heads-up quarters and dimes less than twenty-six or more than thirty-three.” Yes, and the point is? That life is full of random, meaningless patterns?
And when your sample size is small — and in almost every case, Ray’s sample size is small — you’re going to see a lot of “first time in history.”
And then there is the sleight-of-hand aspect. A lot of stats seem “mind-blowing” — until you look under the hood. Take the Birthday Problem. If you randomly ask people their birthday, how many do you need to ask before you have a 50 percent probability that two of them have the same birthday? How many for a 99.9 percent probability? The answers are 23 and 70. Yeah, I know: it seems that can’t possibly be right.
Here’s the Justin Ray formula:
Randomness of life + Small sample size + Sleight of hands = Random after-the-fact cherry-picked Justin Ray stupidstic.
Stupidstic of the Ray: Frankly, I’m disappointed in Mr Elling for retweeting this, but here’s my question… What is the reason for Justin Ray telling the world this?
Am I suppose to go, “Holy sh–! That’s amazing!” I mean, what is the point? This is a perfect example of meaningless information. Ray’s stupidstic is about as interesting as this one: “My mail is generally put in my mailbox face up, but this week on three occasions it was face down. That’s only the third time that has happened since the Korean War.” Or: “I rolled snake eyes followed by box cars. That’s only the fourth time that has happened since the first moon landing.” What’s funny is when Justin Ray tweets out these meaningless stupidstics, 25 or 30 golf reporters will retweet it. A confederacy of dunces.