Our sports editor, Paul Arnett, watches a lot of golf. He just returned from the Masters, and he was at the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina this week.
I asked him after Sei Young Kim made those two fantastic shots to win the tourney what is a reasonable percentage for a pro golfer to make that 18-foot chip that forced the playoff. He estimated 10 percent, or less. Sounds reasonable to me.
Now, obviously that 156-yard 8-iron a few minutes later to win it with an eagle 2 on the first playoff hole is quite a bit more rare.
With some extremely rudimentary research, I’m going to say it’s around 10,000 to 1. That is based — very loosely — on SCA promotions estimate that “the odds of a golfer holing out from 150 yards is somewhere from 10,000 to 15,000 to 1.”
Since we’re using a guesstimate based on a professional golfer on the chip, I’ll go with the lower end of the spectrum for the 150-yarder.
So, using this formula, the odds of making the chip to force the playoff and then the 156-yard hole out would be somewhere around 100,000-to-1.
This is obviously not scientific, and I more than welcome more thorough analysis by anyone with the inclination.
All I know is even if I were the richest person in the world I wouldn’t bet against Kim making any kind of crazy shot in a clutch situation, especially considering she also won a tournament in Korea due to a hole-in-one on No. 17 of the final round a couple of years ago.