Tiger Woods Invades Europe

I have never played a round of golf in my life. Ever. Yet my odd fascination with records and statistics has led me to Tiger Woods.

You can read about all his records and everything else anywhere on the Internet, but I have for you today a special Gary exclusive calculated by me.

Since he has turned pro, Tiger has won the PGA Player of the Year Award eight times. This is given to the person each year who is the biggest money winner on the tour. No surprise there. He plays on the PGA Tour and he’s really good. The equivalent award for the European PGA Tour is called the Order of Merit. It is determined in the same fashion as the PGA Tour award, but they calculate everything in Euros and they use tournaments on their schedule instead of the American PGA Tour schedule.

Here are the current leader of the Order of Merit for 2006 as of today:

1 Paul Casey 22 events €2,256,194
2 David Howell 18 events €2,089,487
3 Robert Karlsson 26 events €1,852,231
4 Padraig Harrington 16 events €1,494,063
5 Henrik Stenson 20 events €1,491,716

It just so happens, that there are some tournaments on the European, Asian, and American PGA Tours which overlap. In particular, the majors and the World Golf Champion Events. There are four of those events each, every year.

You need 11 tournaments on the European PGA Tour to qualify for the Order of Merit. So far this year, Tiger Woods has played at eight European PGA Tour Events and a ninth, the WGC-American Express Championship is this weekend. Here is how he has done in the eight tournaments he’s attended so far in 2006:

Dubai € 329,760.30
WGC-Accenture € 104,989.08
Masters € 260,070.87
US Open € 1,582.79
British Open €1,045,965.60
PGA Championship € 959,469.52
WGC-Bridgestone €1,014,833.58
HBC World Match Play € 61,971.66
Total €3,778,643.40

Basically, he’d be winning by a wide margin and this doesn’t even consider his ninth tournament this weekend, which he’s won four times.

So, when all is said and done, he will have won more money than anyone else on the European PGA Tour at European PGA Tour events, yet he will not win the Order of Merit.

All he’d have to do is show up to two European events and send in the application fee to join the European tour and he’d win their championship.

Moreover, this year will be the 6th year he would have won the Order of Merit (1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002, 2005).

Had they no minimum tournament requirement, he would have taken 2 titles away from Colin Montgomery and would have tied him and Seve Ballesteros this year for the most Orders all-time. Moreover, he would be the career money winner on the European Tour.

Considering that this is in a sport where the biggest infraction you can have is not signing your scorecard, this should not be surprising.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.