I was watching Champions golf and saw Phil Mickelson competing against the likes of Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and Kirk Triplett (Langer hurt his back). I started wondering if Phil would rather play in this event or the Houston Open which is the PGA event this week. To give some context to why I wonder this, when you’re over 50 you can plan in the Champions League. Last year, Phil Mickelson won one of golf’s 4 majors. Meaning he beat the best competition in the world earlier this year. He should be head and shouldesr above the Champions competition yet he’s opting to play there. To be fair, Phil is a super streaky golfer. No one in their right mind would have predicted Phil wins a major in 2021. His last major was 2013. I was betting so heavy against Phil on Louis that I needed a second mortgage. So what is a premier talent doing in the Champions golf instead of competing against the best?
I have no answer but I can share my own experience with streaks in the furthest possible extreme from my above example. Since bowling is now back for me, I get many opportunities to shoot the 10 pin. The 10 pin usually happens on a pocket strike ball that comes in a tad too light and the 6 pin whirls around furthest back right pin leaving it standing. For a right handed bowler, it’s the most difficult non-split pin to pick up. I’ve spent many years practicing it and think I should be about 60+% picking it up. For a stretch of time recently, I missed 10 in a row. It was unexplainable. I’d throw it in the gutter. Miss too far to the left. It was unbelievably frustrating because a strike ball turns into an open and opens KILL the average. For some unknown reason more recently, I’ve hit about 8 in a row. No changes to my approach for hitting it. Nothing different except the streak.
Since Sam put up his chess post I started playing a bit more because no one throws out a challenge that I think I can win and gets away scot free. I didn’t play 5 minute games but I wanted to improve my rating. Unfortunately the opposite happened and I played worse than ever. My usual 1500 rating dropped all the way down to 1330. What readers don’t understand is that your rating is a measure of your intelligence. It’s a pride factor whether you want to admit it or not IF you want to care about it. If you don’t care about getting better, what difference does it make? So I spent some time playing and was continuously getting worse. For a guy whose played 19,000 games in 10 years, you wouldn’t think I’d be getting dramatically worse. I was 300 points off my highest rating only 5 months ago. However, In the past 2 days I went from 1330 back to 1475. Nothing changed. Was I not feeling well? Was I playing while having a few beers or on an edible? Is that the difference? It’s unexplainable aside from outside forces in life affects the performance. Perhaps the subtlest change makes major difference. Could this be why Tom Brady is the greatest because he minimizes these factors so that they are 0. Just a thought to high level competition.