The Thought Bubble-Why Tiger Woods will win The Masters
The endless debate: Tiger or Jack? While that question will probably never have a definitive answer one thing is clear, their golfing accomplishments are forever intertwined and shockingly similar. They each have over 100 professional wins, 79 PGA TOUR Wins for Tiger (2nd all time) and 73 PGA TOUR Wins for Jack (3rd all time). 18 Majors for Jack and what seems to be a fleeting 14 for Tiger. This we all know, but look closer, and you will see a connection with the Masters and Augusta that may just give us all a glimpse of the future, maybe even help us predict the future?
Of golf’s 4 Majors Championships the case can very easily be made that The Masters is the most important, most significant and certainly the most popular tournament, regularly grabbing the highest television ratings year after year and it is the only one held on the same golf course without fail, Augusta National. Tiger Woods once said: “Everyone knows what the Masters is, even if you’re a non-golfer. People know what Wimbledon is. They know what the Super Bowl is. There are certain events that people just know about.” There is something mystical about The Masters that is hard to define as Jack Nicklaus put it: “I don’t think about winning the Masters as part of the slam. You want to win the Masters because of what it means to the game.” I am droning on, as I often do in Matt’s ears, but stick with me here, there is a point! Perhaps it’s these reasons or maybe more personal ones but one thing is undeniable the stats support the notion that The Masters means the most to Tiger Woods AND to Jack Nicklaus.
Competing at The Masters Tiger has amassed 17 top 25s, 13 top 10s, 11 top 5s and collected 4 green jackets. (side note here-he did all of this having only played in 20 Masters by the way, 1 of which as an Amateur) All of these numbers are the highest total in each of these respective categories for each of the Major Championships. Jack Nicklaus totaled 29 top 25s, 22 top 10s, 15 top 5s and 6 green jackets. Setting aside how ridiculously good and far beyond the rest of the golfing universe these numbers are the similarities are staggering. What’s the point? Well, Nicklaus played in 45 Masters Tournaments, 24 of these came AFTER the age of 40. Tiger Woods turned 41 this past December and this will be his 20th start in the Masters as a professional. Assuming he can stay healthy that means he could potentially be competing in another 20+ Masters!!! I know, I know…”he won’t be competitive when he’s 47”… “he’s already past his prime”… “Domenic, go to break!.” But you’re wrong!!
I would say you could make a solid argument, maybe even expect, that Tiger will win AT LEAST 1 Masters in the next 10 years, the numbers support it. Take into account Jack’s average finish at Augusta his 40s (and his victory in 86) which was 14th place. That was his average finish at the Masters in his 40s, think about that!!! Tiger’s average finishing place at Augusta thus far is 8th place (that is insane by the way!) So what’s your next concern, the “young guns,” well, I am glad you brought that up (please see my chart below). All the “young guns” are all too young to win the Masters according to the averages (with the exception of Dustin Johnson). It will be 3-4-5 years before these guys reach the “average age” of a Masters champion which is 31-32. Plus if you look at the Vegas odds they support Tiger’s chances to win the Masters. Vegas knows what they are doing they aren’t going to put Tiger at 500-1 because they could get crushed, there are smart stats people who work for them that hash through all this stuff. Right now as it stands today Tiger Woods odds in Vegas are 66-1 (25 to 1 before the spasms) to win the Masters …there are literally only 8 (8!!!) golfers who currently have better odds than 25-1 to win the Masters….Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Bubba Watson and Adam Scott. All of those guys except Hideki are Major champions. These are the odds with Tiger coming off like 900 months of no golf and with the oddsmakers seeing him play next to no golf. He is 66-1 to win the Masters THIS year, right now, after WDing in Dubai and pulling out of Genesis and Honda with these back spasms he still has better odds to win the Masters than defending champions Danny Willett, Matt Kuchar, Branden Grace, Lee Westwood, Daniel Berger etc etc etc…ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Think about that, in fact, go re-read that. What if he finishes 4th…or 10th next year he could possibly be the favorite based on this! All signs statistically point to Tiger Woods winning the Masters again before 2025 in my mind. I would be shocked if he didn’t have a top 5 finish in the next 3 years…SHOCKED. By the way, Jack Nicklaus had Masters victories in 3 straight decades the 60s, 70s and 80s….safe to assume Tiger does the same 90s, 2000s , 2010s, no?? Nothing would make Tiger happier than matching the Golden Bear’s Green Jacket total. Honestly, nothing would make me happier as a golf nut either. Of course…he can’t do any of this if he keeps having back spasms….Man would I love to hear your thoughts…
Young Guns Age