Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa: Will we see two Grand Slams this year?
Sports writers love a good storyline. And in the world of golf, the storyline this season has been “Will Tiger win the Grand Slam?”
Personally, I think we might see not just one Grand Slam this year, but two.
That’s right, two Grand Slams. One for the men, and one for the ladies.
This weekend we’re treated to the Masters, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s betting against Tiger. But Lorena Ochoa is already a quarter of the way there with Sunday’s win at the Kraft Nabisco.
This has been a season of supremacy for Ochoa. She’s played in four tournaments and won three of them. She’s won the last two women’s majors in a row, with last summer’s Ricoh Women’s British Open. She’s won eight of her last 13 events. The woman is on a roll.
And when she wins, she wins big. Eleven strokes at the HSBC Women’s Champions, seven strokes at the Safeway International, and now five at the Kraft Nabisco. She’s leaving the field so far behind, her competitors are wondering if they’re even playing the same game anymore.
We haven’t seen dominance like this since, well, Tiger Woods. So if she ends up holding four major titles at the same time, do we rename it an “Ochoa-Slam"?
|« While Tiger Woods grinds at the Masters, Lorena Ochoa enters Corona Championship final round with a seven stroke lead||Year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco, is anyone's game »|
No, we won't even see one grand slam.
Just as Michelle Wie won't be declared "a champion."
Alex USMC 1969-73
I'll make a wager with you...if there are NOT two Grand Slams this year, you have to give $1,000 to charity - maybe St. Jude's Children's Hopsital or something. If there are, I'll do the same instead. Will you put your $$ up to back up your prediction?
Jennifer, the best writers are the ones who observe and analyze, not just spout the corporate party line.
That being said, you sure beat reading that drech from Ron Mon. Did you see his last post? Look at him!? He's the magic eight ball!? More like he was snorting a magic eight ball...how is that professional coverage of a sporting event?
A pro writer doesn't just jump on a bandwagon or mindlessly beat a drum to militantly force people to think a certain way. Jennifer already made that mistake with Wie. Now she's jumping the gun on Ochoa. Is she a GOLF writer or a girl power writer. You can be one or the other, but not both. You end up doing stupid things like Time Magazine did, calling her one of the 100 most important people to shape our world.
When I told our local golf writer about the offer I made to Jennifer, he begged me to get in on the action.
Well Jennifer, what's it going to be? Are you in for the St. Jude's prop bet or not? How much confidence do you have in your convictions? Or are you just blowing smoke rings?
No grand slams except at Denny's...or watching baseball. ON the champion's tour side, Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Dave Stockton, and Bob Charles...no GS.
My point being, if two Grand Slams are ever going to happen, this would be the year because we have two such dominant players in each Tour. That doesn't happen too often.
Did you actually write that there seldom are two golfers, one male and one female, who are dominant players at the same time?
Just in the last decade, we've had Woods and Annika win five or more tournaments each in the same year, and on several occasions. You haven't forgotten those years, have you?
I can see by your thinking that the paltry odds of 9-2 on a Tiger grand slam are high that you don't know much about probabilities.
Tiger has excelled in the majors, more so than in the other events. In forty tries at majors, Woods has won 13 times, not quite one in three. Therefore, the odds against Tiger winning any one major are slightly more than 2 to 1 based on his past performance record. To win all four majors in a single year, the odds against would be 2+ to 1 to the fourth power, or about 17 to 1. The odds that the Vegas con man/bookmaker is quoting amount to 4.5 to 1 Ridiculous!
Tiger's record in all tournaments in which he has played is slightly better one out of four. Extrapolated to that same fourth power, The true odds of Woods winning any four specific events, that is, predicting such results and backing up that prediction with a wager, would be about 65 to 1.
Of course, no oddsmaker ever pays the true odds on any outcome. He'd never make a living that way. But anyone who'd make any wagers on Tiger at the miserably low odds being quoted on Woods these days is either stupid or ignorant.
Even worse are the odds being quoted on Tiger in the "imaginary matchups" by the internet sites. One website had Woods being favored over Phil in the first two rounds of the Masters:
T. Woods -275
P. Mickelson +235
This means that a bettor with the hopes of winning $100 per round the first two days would now be in the hole $550! Conversely, a guy who had wagered $100 per day on Phil would now be ahead $470.
In the third round, that site has Tiger -365 up against his playing partner, Andres Romero +325.
If that same punter, now down $550, had a brainstorm to try to chase and to recoup his losses, he would be forced to wager a staggering $2010, pray to God that Tiger came through, and if that happened, he would be even!
As I stated on another thread, Tiger is a superstar, very possibly the best golfer ever, and right now he's on fire, but at those paltry odds, he's the worst bet ever.
Alex USMC 1969-73
first, I happen to agree with you that 9-2 are ridiculously low odds and no one should make that bet. Hence my rejection of Tom's goofy 1-1 odds.
Second, you bring up the issue of Annika and Woods being as equally dominant in their respective tours as Lorena and Woods. For now, both Tiger and Lorena have 75% win percentages for the season. Of course we won't know until the end of the season just how dominant Tiger and Lorena are, but Tiger and Annika never shared anything close to that percentage at the same time.
Annika's most dominant season was in 2005, when she won 10 events out of 20 starts. That season Tiger won 6 of 21 events--great but not his most dominant. Tiger's most dominant season so far was 2006, when he won 8 of 15 events. That year, Annika won just 3 of 20--again, a solid season but not close to her most dominant. It appears that this may be one of Tiger's most dominant seasons, and lo and behold, it may be one of the most dominant seasons we've ever seen on the LPGA as well.
And even if the Tiger/Annika combo does turn out to be equivalent in dominance to the current Lorena/Tiger combo, would you still say that this is something that happens "often"? Tiger and Annika kind of ham-and-egged their dominant seasons, so I would say this kind of season is pretty unusual.
With all due respect, comparing the records of Lorena and Tiger after just four or five rounds to those that Woods and Annika compiled in several full seasons is a exercise in fallacy.
And I never said or implied that that the situation of which you write has happened "often." But it has happened occasionally.
I'd need to examine the simultaneous records of some folks like Arnie and Mickie, Jack and Nancy, etc.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Jack's best seasons were arguably 1972 and 1973, where he won 7 events each year, with 37% and 39% win percentages. Nancy didn't start on the LPGA until 1978. She dominated in 1978 and 1979, with 9 and 8 wins. During those two years her counterpart dominator on the PGA wasn't Jack (he won 4 events in 1978, none in 1979), but Tom Watson. He won 5 events and Player of the Year awards both seasons. Fairly dominating, both Tom and Nancy, but not as dominating as Woods and Ochoa (both players of the year) were last year, when Woods won 7 of 16 events, and Ochoa won 8 of 25.
Yes, I realize this is just the beginning of the season. There's far more data to be crunched. But when was the last time a season started so strongly for players on both tours? We've never seen both the male and female best player start their seasons with 75% win percentages before.
You're also making a point for me when you bring up Jack, Arnie, etc. It's been a while since we've seen this kind of domination. Some might even say it's a little unusual.
Here are some statistics that buttress my point.
Mickey Wright LPGA
1961 10 wins
1962 10 wins
1963 13 wins
Arnold Palmer PGA
1961 6 wins
1962 8 wins
1963 7 wins
I realize that a young person such as you might look upon those years as the dark ages. However, those stats prove that there were several years in which both tours had predominant golfers simultaneously.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Your premise was what was goofy. You may not even get out of the second tournament of this zany double grand slam season you tried trumpeting past us.
Long odds - Lefty on the Mens side and Brittany Lincicome on the Ladies.