There’s no such thing as a slump in golf anymore. There are, however, market trends.
Jordan Spieth should be declared a publicly-traded holding. He should sell shares of himself. You could buy low right now, with his value falling again after his missed cut at the Sony Open, his second missed weekend in a row.
The PGA Tour should come up with its own version of the Nasdaq composite index, with Spieth, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and other top pros listed on the “Big Board.” That’s where we are today, with Woods not the only player being evaluated the way financial analysts measure the assets and liabilities of Fortune 500 companies.
Is former Tiger coach Hank Haney’s opinion that there’s a yip in Spieth’s putting stroke a short-term liability, or a long-term one? Are Spieth’s back-to-back MCs a trend or an anomaly?
Coach Sean Foley said Woods was subject to daily referendums when he worked with him.
Tiger isn’t alone anymore as the subject of intense inspection on web sites, in reader commentaries, Twitter and podcasts. The growing volume of opinion may well be good for the game, nurturing -- or inflaming -- interest like never before, but it comes at a price for players struggling to reverse a trend. There’s more pressure to produce results than ever before, and to produce them more quickly, before negative opinion becomes tsunamic.
Fans are more invested in players, with so many more opportunities to follow them online. The PGA Tour’s live streaming allows fans to isolate their viewing of their favorites through an entire round. That’s only going to grow.
And legalized gambling is only going to amplify the “investment” nature of fandom.
With the federal government taking the shackles off gambling, betting will become a form of day trading. There’s something dehumanizing about all this. Maybe it’s fairer to compare today’s players to racehorses.
This brings us back to Spieth. The immediacy of real-time stats, of real-time betting and live streaming shortens patience among media and fandom.
Is Spieth just off, or is he slumping? Sorry, I mean, is his intrinsic value greater than his current market value?
Woods has dealt with this day-trading phenomenon for a long time, Phil Mickelson, too, but now Spieth and McIlroy are moving onto that “Big Board.”
The skillset of the best in the world always involved mental prowess, but more so now than ever. The skill set requires a greater ability to tune out all the market analysis, or to be able to use it as fuel, the way Patrick Reed seems to be able to do.
ShotLink can’t measure the mental skills required to fight through slumps. Uh, sorry, I mean to fight through negative market trends. Spieth has always had something extra that way, something that has made him one of the game’s blue-chip stocks.
That’s the funny thing about the day-trading nature of today’s game. When all the numbers have been vetted, betting on the heart of a player makes it a game again, humanizes the nature of fandom again.