Monday, 26 October 2020

2020 - Week 44 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open (European PGA Tour) and the Bermuda Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. The fields aren't very strong this week as the big names look to peak for Augusta in a few weeks. Defending champion Brendan Todd headlines the field in Bermuda, while Andy Sullivan is the highest world ranked golfer playing in the first new event in Cyprus.

2020 - Week 43 Winners

Ross McGowan (ranked 83rd by Golf Predictor) won the Italian Open on the European PGA Tour. The 38 year old Englishman won his second tour win with a birdie on the final green. McGowan overcame poor form to secure the title, eleven years after his first victory. McGowan trailed Laurie Canter for much of the final day, but an outrageous hole from the bunker out for birdie on the sixteenth meant he took the lead. Canter replied with a great birdie on the penultimate hole to go down the final hole all square with both McGowan and the finished Nicolas Colsaerts. McGowan poured in his twenty footer for birdie, but Canter missed from twice as close to end his chances. Our top ranked player, Lee Westwood, finished in tied 30th and we had only seven of the top sixteen plus ties (7/21).

 

Patrick Cantlay (ranked 9th by Golf Predictor) won the ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood on the US PGA Tour. The 28 year old American won his third tour title after overtaking frontrunners Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm on the back nine Sunday. After the leading duo stumbled down the stretch, Cantlay came through to win by a single shot after Rahm failed to birdie the final hole. Rahm was our top ranked player and we had thirteen of the top seventeen plus ties (13/25*) in total in this restricted field event.

 

*Due to withdrawals, Palmer & Scheffler are promoted to the top 25 of the GP Rankings.

Monday, 19 October 2020

2020 - Week 43 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions for this week, The ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood (US PGA Tour) and the Italian Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. The PGA Tour relocates the event from Japan to California due to the Coronavirus and Tiger Woods will be defending his title at Sherwood Country Club. He is up against a top quality field that includes seventeen* of the top twenty golfers in the world rankings. The line up in Italy is much more modest, as it's not a Rolex Series event this year. However, there is a large number of tour regulars teeing it up at the new course in Brescia.

 

*DJ pulled out beforehand, reducing the number to sixteen.
 

2020 - Week 42 Winners

Adrian Otaegui (ranked 23rd by Golf Predictor) won the Scottish Championship pres. by AXA on the European PGA Tour. The 28 year old Spaniard won his third tour title with a great start and finish at Fairmount St. Andrews. Otaegui opened with a fantastic 62 (-10) and won the title in style with a closing birdie for a 63 on Sunday. That allowed the Spaniard to overturn a four shot overnight deficit and finally record his first stroke play victory by four shots from overnight leader Matt Wallace. Our top ranked player, Lee Westwood, finished in tied 14th and we had eight of the top sixteen plus ties (8/24) in this new event.     


Jason Kokrak (ranked 40th by Golf Predictor) won The CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek on the US PGA Tour. The 35 year old American won his first tour title at the relocated CJ Cup. Indeed it was local knowledge as an MGM sponsored golfer at Shadow Creek which helped Kokrak to finally get over the line on the PGA Tour! He finished strongly with a 64 to blow past overnight leader Russell Henley and beat a stacked field by two shots from Xander Schauffele. Our top ranked player, John Rahm, finished in tied seventeenth and we had seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/20) in the restricted field event where many of the top players failed to perform.
 

Monday, 12 October 2020

2020 - Week 42 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Scottish Championship pres. by AXA (European PGA Tour) and The CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. The PGA Tour has moved the event from South Korea due to the Coronavirus and and there is a strong, if restricted field for the second week of the new Las Vegas Swing. While sixteen of the top twenty in the world are teeing it up at Shadow Creek, the new Scottish event has a much weaker field for its inaugural staging. Lee Westwood is the only member of the world's top fifty playing in Scotland, along with five others from mostly the lower reaches of the top one hundred.

2020 - Week 41 Winners

Tyrrell Hatton (ranked 4th by Golf Predictor) won the BMW PGA Championship on the European PGA Tour. The 28 year old Englishman fulfilled a boyhood dream by winning the tour's flagship event at Wentworth. Leading by three shots overnight, Hatton was caught early on Sunday after a great start by Victor Perez. However, the Frenchman couldn't keep it going on the back nine and Hatton won comfortably in the end by four shots. Our top ranked player, Patrick Reed, finished strongly with an eagle for tied third and we had ten of the top twenty plus ties (10/23) on the testing Wentworth layout. 

 

Martin Laird (ranked 63rd by Golf Predictor) won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the US PGA Tour. The 37 year old Scot won his fourth tour title in a play-off in Las Vegas. Playing on a sponsor's invitation, Laird beat Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook with a birdie at the second extra hole to take the title for the second time. Our top ranked player, Webb Simpson, finished in tied 13th and we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/23), in a birdie fest where many of the lesser lights came to the fore.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Tournament Correlations Added to Golf Predictor

I am happy to announce a new tournament correlation capability for Golf Predictor. This relatively computationally intensive capability is not available to users directly, but I can run it to identify tournaments with the most similar (good) results in the same GP Season (calendar year) on the same tour (European/US PGA Tour). For example, this may provide insights into an upcoming tournament by comparing the results for the event in the previous year with the other tour events in the same year. Obviously, this would be more useful for events held on the same course as the previous year. The functionality can either compare the entire fields for correlations or just matching top twenty results. The latter is much more useful as it may identity potential good performers in the upcoming event.

 

When comparing the entire field of the selected event to each of the others, if the same golfer has played in both and his results are similar, they are tagged as correlated. The degree of similarity can be adjusted, but the default is plus//minus ten places, e.g. if player A finished 23rd in the selected tournament, any result from 13th to 33rd in any of the other tournaments will be designated as correlated. For top twenty correlations, the results in both compared events obviously have to be in the top twenty.


When finished comparing each tournament to the selected event, the number of correlated results are totalled and expressed as a percentage of the total number of matches found. For example, if there are fifty golfers found that played in both compared events and of those, fifteen had similar results in both, the correlation factor for those events would be 30%. Higher correlation percentages are easier to find when there are fewer matches, so only tournaments with a significant number of matches should count. Through experimentation, with an appropriate lower limit on the number of matches, correlation percentages of approximately 25-40% seem to be the highest. In events with over 120 golfers, the minimum number of matches needed should be set to around fifty for better results in overall correlations. For top twenty correlations, there should be a lower minimum number (e.g. 12) of matches and a similar minimum correlation percentage to overall correlations. In both cases, the minimum number of matches and the minimum correlation percentage for correlated events can be specified in the system.

 

Once the correlations are found, the system can then examine the field for the upcoming event and find those playing who performed well (i.e, finished in the top twenty) in each correlated event this year (or, if the event hasn't been held yet or isn't being held at all, last year's event). This list of players for each correlated event is then amalgamated and sorted by frequency to find the players with the most matches. This should tell us the most likely golfers to perform well. For example, for the 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the golfers with the most matches in correlated results found by the system are:


Bryson Dechambeau, 4 

Abraham Ancer, 4 

Hideki Matsuyama, 3 

Chez Reavie, 3 

Patrick Cantlay, 3

 

The correlated events for this tournament, using top twenty correlations, a minimum of 12 matches and a correlation percentage of 25% are:

 

Genesis Invitational

Players Championship

US PGA Championship

3M Open

Safeway Open

Travelers Championship

Open Championship

RBC Heritage 


There may be a case for only including correlated events that are held on the same course in the last two years. Doing so in the above case would exclude the two majors and reduce the matches for all the golfers above by one, except for DeChambeau. It would also bring other golfers on two matches into the equation, including Frittelli, Simpson, Hahn, Dahmen, Homa, English, Redman, Streelman and Zhang.

 

Hopefully, this new correlated tournaments functionality will be useful for most upcoming events. I will probably run it for most events that are held on the same course as the previous year and post the results either on this blog or on social media. Just another way to make Golf Predictor a little better!

 

   

Monday, 5 October 2020

2020 - Week 41 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the BMW PGA Championship (European PGA Tour) and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the flagship event on the European Tour this week, but the Coronavirus means no Rory McIlroy this year. However, Patrick Reed and Justin Rose have flown over to tee it up on the testing Wentworth layout. Meanwhile, the first event of the Las Vegas swing this year on the US PGA Tour has got an impressive field, with newly crowned US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau making his first appearance since becoming a major champion. In total, there are eight of the top twenty in the world teeing it up at TPC Summerlin.

 


2020 - Week 40 Winners

Aaron Rai (ranked 26th by Golf Predictor) won the ASI Scottish Open on the European PGA Tour. The 25 year old Englishman won his second tour title in a play-off win over Tommy Fleetwood. After losing a tournament late on last week after leading for a long time, Rai did the opposite this week to finish strongly and set a clubhouse target. Fleetwood birdied the last to catch him and after playing partner Robert Rock bogeyed the same hole, it left just two to fight it out over extra holes. Despite finding sand off the tee, Rai took the title at the first opportunity after Fleetwood missed a short par putt to extend the play-off. Fleetwood was our top ranked player and we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/25*) in the weather affected event.    

 

Sergio Garcia (ranked 11th by Golf Predictor) won the Sanderson Farms Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 40 year old Spaniard won his eleventh tour title by pipping the fast finishing Peter Malnati in Jackson. After Malnati posted -18 with a closing 63, Garcia needed a birdie on the last to prevent a play-off. He duly obliged with a great approach to within three feet to secure his first title since his 2017 Masters triumph. Our top ranked player, Scottie Scheffler, finished in tied 37th and we had only four of the top seventeen plus ties (4/22) in an event that is traditionally hard to call.

 

*Waring was a WD, promoting Rai into the top 25 of the GP Rankings.

 

Monday, 28 September 2020

2020 - Week 40 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the ASI Scottish Open (European PGA Tour) and the Sanderson Farms Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There is a weaker than normal field playing in Scotland this year, due to the Covid-19 and its impact on the schedule and on travel. Despite that, there is a decent line-up of European players, with seven of the top fifty in the world rankings teeing it up at the Renaissance Club this week. There is also a weak line-up in Mississippi, where only five of the world's top fifty that are playing in the event. Given both fields this week, there is a decent chance of a surprise winner or two!