kottke.org posts about Tiger Woods

Observation effectsJan 24 2008

A recent study shows that when Tiger Woods plays in a golf tournament, the other players perform worse than they do when he doesn't play.

Analyzing data from round-by-round scores from all PGA tournaments between 2002 and 2006 (over 20,000 player-rounds of golf), Brown finds that competitors fare less well -- about an extra stroke per tournament -- when Tiger is playing. How can we be sure this is because of Tiger? A few features of the findings lend them plausibility. The effect is stronger for the better, "exempt" players than for the nonexempt players, who have almost no chance of beating Tiger anyway. (Tiger's presence doesn't mean much to you if the best you can reasonably expect to finish is about 35th-there's not much difference between the prize for 35th and 36th place.) The effect is also stronger during Tiger's hot streaks, when his competitors' prospects are more clearly dimmed. When Tiger is on, his competitors' scores were elevated by nearly two strokes when he entered a tournament. And the converse is also true: During Tiger's well-publicized slump of 2003 and 2004, when he went winless in major events, exempt competitors' scores were unaffected by Tiger's presence.

Research papers with a woman as the primary author are more likely to published if the author's gender is unknown.

Double-blind peer review, in which neither author nor reviewer identity are revealed, is rarely practised in ecology or evolution journals. However, in 2001, double-blind review was introduced by the journal Behavioral Ecology. Following this policy change, there was a significant increase in female first-authored papers, a pattern not observed in a very similar journal that provides reviewers with author information. No negative effects could be identified, suggesting that double-blind review should be considered by other journals.

When watched, squirrels fool would-be nut thieves by pretending to bury nuts.

In the journal Animal Behaviour, biologist Michael Steele at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania examines squirrels' caching of nuts. While the furry-tailed creatures made a show of digging a hole in the ground and covering it with dirt and leaves when watched, one time out of five they were faking and nothing was buried.

The squirrels' deception increased after their nut caches were raided.

This is interesting. The PGA offers aSep 05 2007

This is interesting. The PGA offers a non-traditional pension plan for their players that depends on how they perform throughout their careers. Tiger Woods, who performs quite well, could be eligible for almost $1 billion for his retirement if he keeps playing and winning. Billion. Wow.

Tiger Woods tops this year's list ofJun 05 2007

Tiger Woods tops this year's list of top-earning American athletes. He makes $111M a year, more than twice as much as the fellow in second place. A list of the top-earning non-American athletes is available as well. (via cyn-c)

Tiger Woods is playing the best golfMay 09 2007

Tiger Woods is playing the best golf of his career (and possibly anyone's career) and he's not getting credit for it because he's not winning huge against a vastly improved field. "Woods of the '90s played against great talent hindered by a lack serious training; today, Woods plays against great talent enhanced by serious training. The slack is largely gone, as is the reasonable expectation of double-digit victory." He's also come back after slumps due to swing tinkering, marriage, and the death of his father.

The Onion: Tiger Woods Signs $15 Million DealSep 23 2005

The Onion: Tiger Woods Signs $15 Million Deal To Endorse Alex Rodriguez. "Now that beloved, recognizable superstar Tiger Woods is the new face of Alex Rodriguez, we hope to see some [endorsement] offers start rolling in."

Tags related to Tiger Woods:
sports golf money

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