Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tour Notebook; Even Best Players Feel the Pressure

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tour Notebook; Even Best Players Feel the Pressure

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

Do PGA Tour players "choke"?

At the very least, research by two college professors suggest that when the financial stakes go up, performance tends to go down.

Daniel C. Hickman of the University of Central Oklahoma and Neil E. Metz of the University of Idaho combined to write the winning paper in the PGA Tour's ShotLink Intelligence competition, introduced in 2012 to give those at academic institutions a chance to use the Tour's statistical database to develop new insights through the data analysis.

Previous studies have used ShotLink statistics to examine behavioral economics and risk management.

Hickman and Metz wrote a paper titled: "The Impact on Pressure: Evidence from the PGA Tour." They showed that as the amount of money riding on one shot increases, the likelihood of executing the shot well is significantly reduced.

For example, the paper used ShotLink data to calculate the potential change in earnings from making or missing a putt on the 18th hole.

CDW, which powers ShotLink, awarded $30,000 - $20,000 to be divided between the two schools and $10,000 to be divided between Hickman and Metz.

Their paper can be found by visiting


Amelia Lewis of Jacksonville captured her second consecutive top 10 finish at the New Zealand Women's Open last week, and it wasn't boring.

Lewis bounced back from an opening-round 73 to shoot 65 in the second round and vault from 49th to ninth. Lewis made two eagles on par-5 holes, four birdies, three pars and one bogey - all on the first 10 holes.

In the final round, she bogeyed two of her first three holes, then doubled the eighth. But she bounced back to birdie three of her next four holes and shot 71 to slip into a tie for sixth.

Lewis tied for second last year, behind winner Lydia Ko, who won again last week.


The PGA Tour will debut its new iPad app this week at the World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship at the Trump National Doral.

The app, developed in partnership with Omnigon and Possible Mobile, not only offers fans real-time statistics, video and the ability to track their favorite players, but uses "predictive" statistics. When a player faces an 8-foot putt on a certain hole, the app will give the average performance of the field and the player from that distance.

Fans also can view swing tracks, tournament news and highlights, watch all players go through a certain hole or track an entire group through the course. The app is available at Apple's App Store.


Davis Love III was named the U.S. Ryder Cup captain last week for the 2016 matches. But he has also agreed to be Jay Haas' vice captain for the Presidents Cup, Oct. 6-11 in Korea. Love was a Presidents Cup captain's assistant in 2013 and Ryder Cup captain in 2012. …

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