Athletes are supposed to rise to the challenge when competing against the best, but in one sport they melt like ice under the desert sky. The name Tiger Woods alone was enough to hurt the performance of PGA Tour competition over the last decade, according to a new study.
Northwestern University studied PGA scores from 1999 to 2010 and discovered that when Woods merely entered a tournament, other players shot nearly a full stroke higher than when he didn't participate.
And this wasn't because of golfers gambling to compete against Tiger by attempting riskier shots to stay in contention. Northwestern economist Jennifer Brown says if that were the case, researchers would expect to see players hit more eagles and more double bogeys when playing against Woods, reflecting a high-risk, high-reward strategy. But that didn't happen. There were significantly fewer eagles and double bogeys when Woods played.
Tiger Woods used his personal power to cash in on PGA Tour earnings. Northwestern's research indicates Tiger's earnings would have fallen 11.1 percent from $54.5 million to $48.4 million between 1999 and 2006 had the other PGA stars not struggled with him on the course.
In other words, the study claims Woods picked up nearly $6 million in extra winnings that otherwise could have gone to other players on the field.
If only this worked in other sports: LeBron James would have a few rings for Cleveland and Peyton Manning would have more than one Super Bowl trophy.
What's the old Woody Allen saying? Ninety percent of life is just showing up?
Shots like this held build the superstar status of Tiger.
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