Monday, 15 January 2018

2018 - Week 3 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (European PGA Tour) and the CareerBuilder Challenge (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Once again, several big names have been lured to the Middle East, where Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are among the eight top twenty ranked golfers in the world playing in Abu Dhabi this week. Meanwhile, the US PGA Tour makes its season début on the mainland at La Quinta. All eyes at the annual birdie fest will probably be on Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, with the latter making his 2018 debut in the Californian desert.

2018 - Week 2 Winners

In the opening golfing week of 2017 on the European Tour, Chris Paisley (ranked 59th by Golf Predictor) won the BMW South African Open Championship. The 31 year old Englishman won his maiden tour title by holding off home favourite Branden Grace. Paisley wasn't fazed by a very fast start on Sunday by Grace, coming through impressively with a bogey free 66 (-6). That was good enough to win by three shots after Grace went off the boil mid round before finishing strongly. Paisley was able to maximise his prize money by having his wife on the bag for the first time! Grace was our top ranked player and we had only nine of the top twenty plus ties (9/30) in total.

In the first full field event of the year on the US PGA Tour, Patton Kizzire (ranked 28th by Golf Predictor) won the Sony Open in Hawaii. The 31 year old American outlasted the fast finishing James Hahn to win his second title on the sixth extra hole. Hahn closed with a week low 62 and had an anxious wait while the leaders played the final holes. Luckily for him, many of them faltered, allowing him to tie Kizzire after 72 holes. However, it wasn't to be for Hahn, who had his chance in the play-off. Our top ranked player, Jordan Spieth, finished in tied 18th and we had twelve of the top eighteen plus ties (12/24) in total.



Monday, 8 January 2018

2018 - Week 2 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Sony Open in Hawaii (US PGA Tour) and the BMW South African Open Championship* (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the first week of the new GP season (the 2018 calendar year) on the European Tour, but it isn't a very strong line up this year. Meanwhile, the second leg of the Hawaiian swing is the first full field event on the US PGA Tour in 2018 and a fair number from last week's Tournament of Champions have stayed on to tee it up at Waialae. The EurAsia Cup is not covered by Golf Predictor as it is a team matchplay competition and thus unsuitable.


*The full name of this event this year is the BMW SA Open Hosted by City of Ekurhuleni, which is a little too verbose for Golf Predictor!

2018 - Week 1 Winner

Dustin Johnson (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The 33 year old American won a tour title for the eleventh year in a row with a commanding performance in Hawaii. The world number one lead by two overnight, but he overpowered the course to blow away the field. Johnson came within inches of acing the 433 yard par four twelfth hole on Sunday, but the resulting eagle helped him to win by eight shots on -24. DJ was our top ranked golfer and we had ten of the top eleven plus ties (10/14) in this restricted field event.

There was no event on the European Tour this week.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Similar Field Strength Form Added to Golf Predictor

New Similar Field Strength page (for the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions)

New Similar Field Strength tab on the Prediction Data page (for Dustin Johnson for the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions)
 Performance table (Other tab) with new Similar Field Strength column (also for Dustin Johnson at the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions)

In addition to the existing GP season, recent, course, tournament, similar tournament, similar weather, similar length course, time of season and same region form on Golf Predictor, I am pleased to announce that similar field strength analysis has also been added to the system. This new functionality adds analysis of golfer performance in tournaments with similar strength fields (as determined by the Golf Predictor field strength metric) for each tournament.

A new 'Similar Field Strength' option has been added to the Form menu and the functionality is available for tournaments from week one, 2018 (the week of the Sentry Tournament of Champions). The Prediction Data page has also been updated with a new FS (Field Strength) tab to show this information for each golfer. This analysis is based on the matching results for each golfer in the previous five/six seasons (see point 1 of the notes below) and should be very helpful for your fantasy golf, DFS golf or betting needs. It will allow you to identify golfers who perform better in weak, medium and strong fields, which should be very beneficial for certain tournaments throughout the year. The stats produced are similar to the other form stats available on Golf Predictor:
  1. Average finishing position and standard deviation (consistency).
  2. Best and worst finishing positions.
  3. Number of tournaments played, wins, top tens, missed cuts and withdrawals/disqualifications.
  4. Scoring average and stroke average.
  5. The Field Rank for the golfer in this new metric. The 'Average Field Rank' stat and charts have also been updated to include this new form metric.

The first screenshot above shows the new 'Similar Field Strength' form page and most of the stats listed above for the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions field. This page is very similar to the existing form pages, and like those pages, is sorted by GP Rank and has fully sortable columns. Hovering over the golfer's first name will show his world ranking, as shown above for Hideki Matsuyama. The second screenshot above shows the new FS tab on the updated Prediction page for Dustin Johnson for the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions. The third screenshot above shows the new Hist (FS) column in the Performance panel. Some notes on this new functionality:
  1. The time scale analysed to produce these statistics is the previous five seasons, plus any results from the current season. This means that at the start of a new GP season (year), the stats will encompass the tournaments from previous five years, while at the end of that GP season, they will encompass six years.
  2. Field size is taken into account when calculating the field strength for a tournament. Therefore, it is also taken into account when grouping tournaments by field strength. This is to prevent smaller fielded events with better quality fields being grouped with events with larger, but weaker fields.
  3. The above mentioned allowance for field size has been done to maximise the effectiveness of the groupings.
  4. Field strengths analysed are those within plus and minus four of the tournament being analysed.
  5. The predictions/field stats are usually produced on Mondays. However, adding tee-off groups affects the field strength of a tournament if the field changes (and it usually does!). Therefore, the field similar field strength data is recalculated after the tee-off groups are added and the field has changed. Tee-off groups are usually added on Tuesdays, so you may have to reload a page from your browser cache (by pressing F5 on Windows) to see the very latest similar field strength data.
  6. If the field size is greater than 140, the event is considered a full field event and field size is not taken into account when analysing tournaments with similar strength fields. This may have to be taken into account for the odd tournament with a huge fields, e.g. the Joburg Open. 
  7. If the field size is less than 140, only field sizes within plus and minus fifteen are analysed. This was found to give the best results. 
  8. Some tournaments may not have any other events (other than previous versions of the same event) with similar field strengths/field sizes. In these cases, the data produced may be similar to the course/tournament history for the golfer for that event (it will depend on whether the field strengths in previous seasons were similar enough). This week's tournament, the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions is one such event.
  9. I have also updated the Field Rank, Field Rank (Summary) and Field Rank (Form) pages with this new Similar Field Strength metric. All charts on these pages have have updated also.
  10. You may have to refresh a page to see the new Form menu option or the new stats/charts on Prediction pages. 
  11. You may have to reload the site style sheets (by pressing Ctrl+F5 on Windows) to see the prediction page tabs on a single line on smaller devices. This is because a new tab (FS) was added and this impacts the display on smaller sized screens. 

These new stats also come with twelve new charts. In each case, the tournaments analysed are those that are in the period outlined in the first point above. The following charts have been added to the system:
  1. Top performers in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  2. Most consistent performers in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  3. Least consistent performers in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  4. Players with the most number of wins in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  5. Players with the biggest winning percentage in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  6. Players with the most number of top tens in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  7. Players with the biggest top ten finishes percentage in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  8. Players with the least number of cuts missed in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  9. Players with the smallest cuts missed percentage in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  10. Performance breakdown (wins/top tens/missed cuts/finishes/non-finishes) for a golfer in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years.
  11. Results in events with similar field strength in the previous 5 years for the selected golfer (line chart).
  12. The Similar Field Strength stats panel has a new box plot, as shown above.  

These twelve new charts brings the total number of charts on the site to 499. This new functionality should greatly assist in picking golfers, depending on the strength of the tournament field. As you can probably tell from the length of this post, a lot of work has gone into this new analysis and I hope you will find it useful. As usual, any feedback (via comments on this article or email) would be most welcome. The new similar field strength functionality is available to all users, although only for the golfers you are permitted to view (all golfers for subscribers, those ranked 11-25 for non-subscribers). In addition, non-subscribers will not be able to view all of the new charts listed above. Therefore, sign up today to get the most out of Golf Predictor, the premier European and US PGA Tour statistics site.

Monday, 1 January 2018

2018 - Week 1 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Sentry Tournament of Champions (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the first week of the new GP season (the 2018 calendar year) and it's time for everyone to look forward to another full year of golf! I would like to wish all readers/users a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018 using Golf Predictor!

There is no event on the European Tour this week.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Golf Predictor Public Facing Pages go Secure!

I am pleased to announce that the public facing pages of Golf Predictor have been upgraded to use secure pages (SSL). This means all URLs for public facing pages on the site will now start with https:// rather than http:// and offer greater security to site users. This upgrade was done to make Golf Predictor part of the growing Google Secure Web initiative and benefit from the small boost in Google Rankings as a result of going secure. Hopefully, it will not mess up the search rankings for the site!

Please edit any bookmarks you may have to point to the new URL (just add an "s" after http). Note that you will be automatically redirected to the secure URL if you continue to use the non-secure version. However, the home page should now be accessed via https://www.golfpredictor.com for a prettier URL! Using the old URL will result in you being directed to https://www.golfpredictor.com/default.aspx. The login and register pages already used SSL to secure the information entered on them, but the latter page has been slightly updated to use a more streamlined approach to redirect to the secure version.

One disadvantage of using SSL could be a slight reduction in site speed. It can also cause other configuration issues, so I will monitor the site for a few weeks. If this upgrade to the public facing pages goes well, I will look to upgrade the member section of the site to also use secure pages. Just another way to make Golf Predictor better!

Monday, 11 December 2017

2017 - Week 49 Winner

Shubhankar Sharma (ranked 40th by Golf Predictor) won the Joburg Open on the European PGA Tour. The 21 year old Indian won his first tour title with an impressive display in Johannesburg. Despite having to sit on a final round lead for two nights, sue to severe storms necessitating a Monday finish, Sharma showed great maturity to hold off a charging Erik van Rooyen for the win. In a profitable first visit to South Africa, Sharma also made me very happy as I had backed/tipped him at 100/1! Our top ranked player, Dylan Frittelli, finished in tied 42nd and we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/26) in this event with a large, poor field and difficult weather conditions!

There was no event on the US PGA Tour this week.

Monday, 4 December 2017

2017 - Week 49 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Joburg Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. The European PGA Tour returns to South Africa for the second running of the tournament in 2017. In addition to a new slot on the calendar on the 2018 European Tour season, the tournament also moves to two new courses, while its usual home gets renovated. Coupled with the usual large weak field, this makes it a bit of a lottery once again. This year, the field seems even weaker than normal, with only two members of the world's top one hundred teeing it up in Johannesburg. On the bright side, one of those is former major champion Louis Oosthuizen, who is the overwhelming favourite for the second week running.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

2017 - Week 48 Winners

Dylan Frittelli (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old South African won his second tour title in a play-off in windy Mauritius. Frittelli prevailed over Arjun Atwal with a birdie at the first extra hole after the pair had finished tied on -16 after 72 holes. Our top ranked player, Louis Oosthuizen, had a costly treble bogey on the 70th hole, but still finished tied 12th. Overall, we had six of the top sixteen plus ties (6/19) in the weak fielded event in difficult conditions. 

Cameron Smith (ranked 4th by Golf Predictor) won the Australian PGA Championship on the European PGA Tour. The 24 year old Australian made it a great weekend for Cameron Smiths by winning his maiden European tour title in a final day battle down with long time leader Jordan Zunic. After his namesake lade the Aussies to victory in the rugby league world cup final, Smith overcame a three shot overnight deficit to prevail on the second extra hole over third round leader Zunic. Our top ranked golfer, Sergio Garcia, finished poorly for tied 24th and despite the weather and limited history in the system, we had eight of the top twenty plus ties (8/23) in total. 

There was no official event on the US PGA Tour this week. Golf Predictor doesn't cover the (very) restricted field junket that is the Hero Challenge, even if Tiger had a promising return to action!