Tiger Woods finds himself 7 shots back of the leader, Trevor Immelman, with a total of 12 players in front of him. Woods got to one under par with a birdie at 17 Friday, and then preserved that red number by making a part on 18 with a 3rd shots from the 10th fairway that defies description. Woods' opinion that winning all four Majors in a calendar year is easily within reason will be put to the test this weekend.
Woods has led at the 54 hole mark on each of his 13 Major championships, or to put it another way, Woods has never come from behind on a Sunday to win a Major. And yet, Jennifer Brown, from Cal-Berkeley has written a paper that shows that Tiger makes other players scores go up.
Brown uses Woods' dominance of the PGA tour to show that the benefit of internal competition in the workplace depends on the relative abilities of the workforce. When you have someone who overwhelms the competition, it could reduce the efforts of the others. Brown says that on average, the better PGA golfers scores are 0.8 strokes higher in a tournament when Tiger Woods participates, compared to when Woods is absent. During the stretches when Woods is winning several tournaments in a row, the average jump in scores is almost 2 shots per round. When Woods is in a slump, the scores of the other elite players drops back down. When the Phil Mickelson's and Sergio Garcia's of the tour assume that 1st place money is out of reach, their incentive to work harder drops as well.
Green Jackets are for closers
Players at the bottom of the PGA food chain do not have higher scores when Woods is in a tournament. Afterall, you can get the same set of steak knives with the money from finishing 45th or 46th.
At any rate, he is still in position to win his 5th green jacket on Sunday. Predictions are as the tournament continues, weather and course conditions will become tougher, and there are just a few players in front of him with Major championships on their resume (Retief Goosen, Mike Weir and Phil Mickelson). In 2005 Woods trailed Chris DeMarco by 6 shots at the halfway point. By the time the rain delayed third round was completed Sunday morning he had a 3 shot lead.
UT ex Justin Leonard just made the cut at plus 2, while former Masters champ Ben Crenshaw missed the cut at 8 over par.
Of course, maybe there is another "Cinderella Story" out there on Sunday.