May 15 - No one questions the influence Tiger Woods has had on golf, but on the stock market? The New York Post reported Monday that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen every Monday following the superstar’s last 18 tournaments in the United States.
ON MONDAY, THE Dow rose 56.02 , to 10,877.33 — the 19th consecutive time the Dow has risen after Woods competed in a U.S. tournament.
The uncanny streak dates back to April 2000, the Post added, and is all the more strange considering the rollercoaster, bearish market that began last year.
The Post also reported that, when Tiger hasn’t played in an American tournament this year, the Dow has fallen eight of the 10 weeks on the following Monday.
The “Woods Effect,” the completely unscientific theory goes, occurs because Wall Street traders are so happy to see him play that the giddy feelings carry over into Monday trading, the Post said.
“It’s as good a system to predict the direction of the market as anything Alan Greenspan has come up with,” half-joked Bill Meehan, a market strategist with Cantor Fitzgerald, to the Post.
WOODS PAYS TRIBUTE TO COACH
On Tuesday, Woods heaped praise on his coach Butch Harmon as the world No. 1 returned to Germany to try to regain his European Tournament Players Championship title.
A late slip last year in Hamburg let in European No. 1 Lee Westwood, but since then Woods has added four majors and will begin Thursday as clear favorite for a title he won at this same St. Leon Rot venue two years ago.
Paying tribute to his longstanding coach, Woods told a news conference: “Butch has been instrumental in helping me change my game and helping it evolve.”
“When I first saw Butch, I was 17 years old, and didn’t really know anything about the golf swing. I just hit it out there and went to find it and hit it again.
“I played a lot by feel. Butch helped me understand my swing and some of the mechanics which go into good ball striking.
“We work very hard to get to that and he has been instrumental in getting my game to that point now.”
The world number one said he was at a key moment of his career when he last played in Heidelberg, having lost his top ranking to David Duval and been relegated to world number three. The American arrived a new ’swing-thought’, or flash of inspiration, that took his game to a new plane.
“It started the week before at the Byron Nelson. I discovered something and it all came together.
“I just had to put it in my play. I started well and shot 62 in the first round and didn’t win, but I proved to myself that my swing was good.
“I came over the following week and won here.
“What did I find? It’s a laundry list of things I’ve been working on since 1997. It just took a while for it to come together where I could trust it.”
Woods also talked about further improvements to his game which will send a chill down the spines of his rivals.
“The goal is the same at the beginning of every year — to say on December 31st that you are a better player than you were on January 1st. That’s a successful year.
“But if you keep doing that year after year you are going to have a pretty good career. That’s been my belief ever since I was a little boy and so far I’ve managed to succeed in doing that.
“Improvement doesn’t always equate to wins. In 1998 I wasn’t winning as much but I was more consistent and I knew that was going to be more beneficial down the line and, lo and behold, in 1999 and 2000 I had pretty good years.
“I think I have been blessed with ability to play this game but I have worked very hard to develop that. I have always had belief in my own abilities to pull off golf shots just because of my work ethic.
“I work very hard and I’ve proved to myself on the range or on a golf course late in the evening that I can pull off golf shots, and if I can do it then I can definitely do it in a tournament.
“I think if I improve my technique and consistency, I will put myself in contention to win more often. I might not win, but at least I am there more often and you are going to get your share of wins.
“That’s the reasoning behind the changes I made starting in 1997 because I didn’t think my game was consistent enough to compete every time I tee it up.
“Now I feel I have gone to that point where if I play bad I might have a chance, whereas before I wouldn’t have a chance at all. The game wasn’t consistent enough to do it.”
Woods also talked briefly of his chances of winning the true ’Grand Slam’, all four majors in one year.
“Well I have one major. Who knows? As I get closer to Southern Hills (the US Open venue next month) I will start working on shots I need there, but now is too soon. Southern Hills, unlike Augusta, is pretty straightforward.”
Reuters contributed to this story.
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