Originally Posted by iacas
Tiger plays a very par-based game. That's how you win majors - making a lot of pars and taking advantage of the few opportunities (usually par fives) when you get them. If his playing partner knows that he is tasked with making a lot of birdies, then that affects how they play, and then that in turn affects how Tiger plays.
I'd been meaning to come back to this, but have a moment now
I don't disagree with the analysis, but just want to take it another direction. I seem to recall giving a hypothetical and silly example of a fourball not so long ago where both pairings recorded a better ball par made up as follows
X = 9 birdies and 9 bogeys
Y = 18 pars
The chances are X has won by about 6 holes, provided that for every bogey X1 makes X2 makes a birdie. The 4 or 5 occasions when they both bogey are easily wiped out by the 13-14 occasions when at least one of them birdies etc
The hypothesis is simple, and relates to the idea of streaky players against solid players being better suited by matchplay, and certainly in the fourball format. I know there was a sort of orthodox line of thought that you a pair 1 streaky with 1 steady, but my own view has tended to be go for broke, and pair 2 streaky players in fourballs and then 2 steady players who can keep the ball in play in foursomes
So to get to the point I wanted to consider. We all look at the numerous stats generated over the tour in stroke play conditions. Driving distance, fairways hit, GiR etc Is the most relevant one one for matchplay however the frequently overlooked 'birdie to bogey ratio'? I'd happily have a prolific birdie maker on the team in a fourball, and ride out their bogeys as an 'occupational hazard'
Looking at the stats as they stand. Sergio ranks number 1, followed by Adam Scott
Next on the list we have two Americans who are going to qualify by right, (Bubba & Dustin)
So the wildcard in 5th place is ....... Kevin Na!!!
Rory, Jimmy Walker, and Zach are the next 3, until we get to the ninth, Ryan Moore (Champion flat jockey in the UK incidentally) Chris Stroud completes the top 10
Hoffman, Howell III, Bradley, & Todd all make the top 20, as do the likely qualifiers of Spieth and Kurchar
Should we be looking to a different set of stats to identify players with matchplay potential?
The absentee (who I expected to see) is Mickelson (perhaps he doesn't make the bogeys?). I'm increasingly wondering if he could be missing out? He doesn't fit the profile of Ray Floyd or Lanny Wadkins who Tom selected last time the gun was put to his head and he had to call it