Author Archives: Rick Durrett, Ph.D.

Match play golf problem

This problem is motivated by the new format for the PGA match play tournament. The 64 golfers are divided into 16 pools of four players. On the first three days each golfer plays one 18 hole match against the other three in his pool. After 18 holes the game continues until there is a winner. At the end of these three days the possible records of the golfers in a pool could be: (a) 3-0, 2-1, 1-2, 0-3; (b) 3-0, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2; (c) 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, 1-2; (d) 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 0-3. What are the probabilities for each of these four possibilities?