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The Open 2019: Is a Shane Lowry championship victory a statistical inevitability?

The Open 2019: Is a Shane Lowry championship victory a statistical inevitability?
A statistical anomaly prior to the start of the Open Championship in Portrush suggested rank outsider Shane Lowry was destined to win the tournament. The Irishman now tops the leaderboard after two rounds of play. Coincidence?

Irishman Lowry's score of eight under par is enough to place him tied for pole position at the halfway mark of the tournament alongside J.B. Holmes. But if some of the pre-championship predictions are going to come to fruition, the American may as well pack up his golf bag and catch the next flight back to the United States.

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As noted by Twitter user @VC606, the average world ranking of Open winners since the beginning of organized rankings is 33, while the average age of the victorious player across the last 50 years has been 32.4 years-old. 

Lowry, who hails from Offaly in the Republic of Ireland, entered the tournament ranked in 33rd position. His age? Yep, you guessed it, 32.4-years-old. 

While this revelation wasn't enough to persuade the rest of the field to no-show the tournament, it is perhaps interesting to note that Lowry's early success has come as pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy, who shot the course record at Portrush when he was 16-year-old, endured a torrid start to his campaign. 

Three-time Open winner Tiger Woods also underperformed to such an extent that he has decided to take an extended break from the sport to nurse his troublesome back.

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As for Lowry, his pre-tournament odds of 50/1 have plummeted to 4/1 according to one oddsmaker, but those who put some money down on the Irishman winning based on his age and his ranking going into the championship will face a nervous 48 hours as he battles to see off challenges from Holmes, Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood, with the latter two just one shot off the pace.

However, the fact that all three of those players are of the wrong age and ranking to actually win the championship should be some solace to Lowry's backers, depending on their levels of superstition, of course...

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