[In the Monkey See, Monkey Do Department, Golf/SI is repeating Chamblee’s nonsense 90 percent number, which he totally pulled out of his ass: “He pointed to Woods’ 13-17-3 Ryder Cup record compared to his almost 90 percent win rate in regular match play.”
In what other sport are the reporters so incompetent that if one of them says, “San Diego won four Super Bowls,” the other will all repeat it as fact? The incompetence of today’s golf reporters is staggering.]
Brandel Chamblee was yesterday discussing Tiger Woods (what a shock) on Golf Central. His point, as I interpreted it, was that Woods should not be a member of the Ryder Cup captain’s entourage because Woods was never really passionate about the Ryder Cup and had a bad record playing in it. The obvious inference was that Chamblee was linking the two: Woods didn’t care much, so he played like crap. Okay, whatever. But then Chamblee pointed out Woods’s 13-17-3 Ryder Cup record and said that elsewhere in match play, Wood had an “almost 90 percent win rate.”
My bullshit detector went off, of course. 90 percent means, you lose one, you win the next nine. Forever. I know Golf Channel goes out of their way to exaggerate Woods’s accomplishments and justify their obsessive coverage of him, but this claim went beyond ludicrous. But, hey, it’s not like I’m infallible. Chamblee said it so confidently and used such a specific number, he must have done the research. Right?
Yeah, right. Saying bullshit confidently is Chamblee’s bread and butter. So it is pretty much a waste of time for me to dig through the numbers to disprove a factoid of Chamblee’s which was almost assuredly created out of thin air. But I did it. For you guys. That’s the kind of swell person I am.
Just The Facts, Ma’am (These numbers come primarily from Adam Sarson’s website, with a couple of the totals from other sources to speed things up. If you see anything wrong — and you well might, as I did this quickly — please tell me):
Ryder Cup Total 13-17-3 43.9% Ryder Cup Singles 4- 1-2 71.4% Ryder Cup Team 9-16-1 36.5%
Presidents Cup Total 24-15-1 61.3% Presidents Cup Singles 6- 2-0 75.0% Presidents Cup Team 18-13-1 57.8%
Everything Else Total 39-14-0 73.6% Everything Else Singles 36-12-0 75.0% Everything Else Team 3- 2-0 60.0%
Okay, you can quickly see no number comes anywhere near 90 percent. But there are many other things to note:
- Chamblee was comparing Woods’s Ryder Cup total percentage to an imaginary 90 percent which simply does not exist in this reality.
- If you compare Woods’s Ryder Cup total percentage to the the highest category, you are then comparing Total (Ryder Cup) to Singles (Everything Else or Presidents Cup). Apples to oranges.
- If you compare Singles to Singles, Woods’s Ryder Cup is 71.4% to 75%, hardly a staggering difference.
- Everything Else numbers include a lot of matches vs WGC #64 seeds. Note, too, the Presidents Cup International team has been consistently weaker than the Ryder Cup European team.
- If you compare totals, the numbers are Ryder Cup 43.9%, Presidents Cup 61.3%, Everything Else 73.6%. You could make a valid argument that strength of opposition explains much of that difference.
- Obviously, Woods’s results in team events are greatly influenced by his playing partner.
Subtlety, nuance, and circumspection are hallmarks of intelligence. They seem to be missing from Brandel Chamblee’s toolbox.
In fairness to Chamblee, at least he was — in contrast to a Gary Williams — saying something with the potential to ruffle a few feathers. The problem is… Chamblee made it up.