A British economist and golf betting analyst Keith Elliot has a strange gambling theory he calls “The Nappy Factor” and according to him, it’s no joke. Elliott first wrote about this strange gambling theory—a "nappy," by the way, is a diaper—in his "The Golf Form Book 1996."
And he still stands behind it. "Over the years, I’ve been told in a whole range of sports that the Nappy Factor works," Elliott told The Telegraph. "I’m not sure why, but it’s most potent with sons as the first child and with the second child as a first son.
I am sure it will work for Rory given his personality." When Elliot first wrote about it, he listed Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, and Nick Price as some of the notables whose play had improved after becoming a father, specifically, a new father.
In the case of McIlroy, whose daughter, Poppy, was born Aug. 31, the timing couldn't be better. The 31-year-old who hasn't won a major since 2014 is defending his title at the Tour Championship this week before playing in two major championships—the U.S.
Open and the Masters—in the next couple months.
Babies making golf boom
Danny Willett won the Masters in 2016 just days after his wife gave birth to their first child. Of course, the Willetts added a second child in 2018 and the Englishman has yet to add another major even though his golf has improved since his slump.
Apparently, another golfer has already been doing some calculations of his own. Rumour has it Bryson DeChambeau is considering starting a family baby. "I no longer keep the figures but I know from two different sources that DeChambeau disclosed recently to fellow pro Andrew Landry that he’s worked out the percentage win-rate of new fathers and it’s abnormally high," Elliott told The Telegraph.
As for McIlroy, Elliot might have a point. On the first day of the PGA’s Tour Championship McIlroy ripped off eight birdies, including three in a row to close out a back-nine 30 and a six-under 64 on Friday. That leaves him just four strokes back of leader Dustin Johnson after beginning the opening round seven behind in the staggered-format tournament.
The score matched McIlroy's career best in the Tour Championship and was his best round during the PGA Tour’s restart since an opening 63 at the Travelers Championship, where he went on to finish T-11, also his best finish over the last three months.