Home-field advantage is real. Look at college football, which kicked off in earnest last week. According to data collected and analyzed from 10,028 games over 14 college football seasons, playing at home gives a team between a 7.55 percent and a 13.61 percent edge over playing at a neutral site when all other factors are equal. The advantage for the home team is, on average, 7.879 points.
But those stats are usually meaningless in golf. Not only are there up to 156 players in most tournaments, even American Patrick Reed had some fans at Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush at the Open Championship in July. And Rory McIlroy, despite growing up just down the road and holding the course record at Portrush, didn’t have the edge you might expect.
Team events are different. Football games are one-on-one matchups with uniforms and mascots, marching bands and cheerleaders. You can boo the visiting team. Golf doesn’t have that … until it does.
Next week at the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, there will be uniforms, rivalry matchup...
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