Dominance, Intimidation, and 'Choking' on the PGA Tour

Robert Connolly; Richard Rendleman
July 2009
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports;Jul2009, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p1161
Academic Journal
Extending the work of Connolly and Rendleman (2008), we document the dominance of Tiger Woods during the 1998-2001 PGA Tour seasons. We show that by playing 'average,' Woods could have won some tournaments and placed no worse than fourth in the tournaments in which he participated in the year 2000, his best on the PGA Tour. No other PGA Tour player in our sample could have come close to such a feat. We also are able to quantify the intimidation factor associated with playing with Woods. On average, players who were paired with Woods during the 1998-2001 period scored 0.462 strokes per round worse than normal. Although we find that Woods' presence in a tournament may have had a small, but statistically significant adverse impact on the entire field, this effect was swamped by the apparent intimidation factor associated with having to play with Tiger side-by-side.


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