Is Tiger Woods Half As Good As He Used To Be?


How much lower are Tiger Woods’ chances of winning a Major Championship than they were in his prime?  The statistical evidence indicates that Tiger’s chance of winning this week’s Open Championship are substantially lower than they were in 2008.  The evidence is not yet conclusive that his chance of winning a Major has dropped by more than 50%, however.

During Tiger’s prime (1997-2008) he won an incredible 30% of the Majors he entered (14 out of 46) but has not won any of the last 16 Majors in which he has competed.  Tiger in his prime would have experienced a 16 Major drought about once every 83 years.  Even if Tiger’s chance of winning a Major were half as much as in his prime, he would still be expected to win 3 Majors every 5 years – an accomplishment over an extended career surpassed only by Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger’s drought in Majors is inconclusive evidence so far that his odds of winning a major have dropped by half – but it is getting close.  A golfer with a 15% winning percentage in Majors has a 7.4% chance of not winning 16 consecutive Majors.  It would, however, be a significant departure from the norm for a golfer with a winning percentage of 15% to go 5 years without a Major Championship.

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