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Does the USGA Discriminate in Favor of Tiger?

At the 2007 United States Open Tiger Woods had only eight birdies in his four rounds. So did George McNeill. The USGA paid Tiger $76,417 per birdie and George $2,045 per birdie. How come you ask? Well unfortunately for George and his fellow competitors in USGA events and on the PGA Tour players are not paid by the birdie, or eagle, or by driving distance, or by greens in regulation, or fewest putts per round.

In fact, most weeks on the PGA Tour the statistic that determines winners and losers is a statistic you probably never heard of, something called the Gross Positive Score (GPS). The GPS measures mistakes (bogeys and worse) and in almost every tournament he plays in Tiger has the best GPS. That’s why Tiger is the Number One player in the world. He does not out drive, or out putt, or out chip the competition but he does out think the competition and he has been doing so ever since he turned Pro.

At this year’s U.S. Open Tiger’s GPS was +14 four strokes better than anyone else. That’s how he tied for second place with only eight birdies. By the way the USGA did not discriminate in Tiger’s favor. George McNeill’s GPS was +34.