Monday, 27 March 2017

2017 - Week 13 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Shell Houston Open (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the final tune-up for The Masters and there's a strong field in Houston, where the course is set up like Augusta as usual. Eight of the top twenty in the world are teeing it up, including Jordan Spieth, who will hope for a better week in his home state than last week!

There is no event on the European PGA Tour this week. 

2017 - Week 12 Winners

Dustin Johnson (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play on the European/US PGA Tour. The 32 year old American continued his impressive recent form and won his third tournament and second WGC title in a row with a one up win over Jon Rahm in the final. Both big hitters had played very well to reach the decider, but after Rahm got off to a bad start and was five down after eight holes, DJ looked like he would be able to coast to the title. However, Rahm bounced back and brought the match to the final green. Indeed, he was unlucky not to extend the match further when he was distracted as he chipped to the final green. and extend his lead at the top of the world rankings. Bill Haas beat surprise packet Hideki Tanihara in the third place play-off, despite the Japanese player recording an ace. Last previous years, a surprising number of the bigger names exited after the round robin stage and the event wasn't helped this year by three withdrawals over the first couple of days.

D.A. Points (ranked 87th by Golf Predictor) won the Puerto Rico Open on the US PGA Tour. The 40 year old American won his first third title in the second string event in Puerto Rico. Points finished strongly with four birdies in his last six holes to win by two shots from a trio of players. Our top ranked player, Wesley Byron, finished in tied 62nd and in this usually difficult to predict event, we had eight of the top seventeen plus ties (8/23).

Monday, 20 March 2017

2017 - Week 12 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/statistics for this week, the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play (European/US PGA Tour) and the Puerto Rico Open (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Although Golf Predictor is designed primarily for stroke play events, like previous seasons, the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play has been put through the prediction engine. As usual, there's a second string line up for the Puerto Rico event as all the big names are playing in Austin. That will give some of the lesser lights a great chance of tasting success on tour!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

2017 - Week 11 Winners

Marc Leishman (ranked 29th by Golf Predictor) won the Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard on the US PGA Tour. The 33 year old Australian won his second tour title at Bay Hill, in the first edition of the tournament since the passing of the host. Leishman came from three shots back to overtake overnight leaders Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman. The Australian had to overcome a poor tee shot to par the difficult finishing hole and pip the third round leaders by a single shot. Our top ranked player, Henrik Stenson, disappointingly and surprisingly missed the cut and we had only seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/22) on the testing layout. 

There was no tournament on the European Tour this week.

 

Monday, 13 March 2017

2017 - Week 11 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Unsurprisingly, there's an even stronger field than usual at Arnie's event this year, as this marks the first running of the tournament since the great man passed away. Despite all the talk in the media about who isn't turning up, there are twelve of the top twenty in the world are in Orlando to pay tribune to The King.  

There is no tournament on the European PGA Tour this week.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

2017 - Week 10 Winners

S.S.P. Chawrasia (ranked 38th by Golf Predictor) won the Hero Indian Open on the European PGA Tour. The 38 year old Indian successfully defended his home open title with an impressive display in New Delhi. Playing on the very challenging Gary Player designed DLF Golf and Country Club this year, Chawrasia was a class above the rest and ran out a comfortable seven shot winner. Our top ranked player, Rafa Cabrera Bello, had a topsy turvy final round, but finished strongly for tied 5th. Overall, we had only six of the top seventeen plus ties (6/20*) in an event with a poor field on a difficult course.

Adam Hadwin (ranked 28th by Golf Predictor) won the Valspar Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 29 year old Canadian won his maiden PGA Tour event in an exciting final day tit for tat battle with Patrick Cantlay. Despite leading by four shots overnight, Hadwin was reeled in by Cantlay on the back nine. They were all square coming down the last, but a costly bogey by the American allowed Hadwin to pip him to the title. Our top ranked player, Henrik Stenson, finished in tied 7th and in an event where most of the bigger names failed to perform, we only had four of the top eighteen plus ties (4/21).


*Scrivener was disqualified, promoting Meesawat into the top twenty of the GP rankings.

Monday, 6 March 2017

2017 - Week 10 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Hero Indian Open (European PGA Tour) and the Valspar Championship (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. As the build up to Augusta begins in earnest, five of the top twenty in the world rankings are teeing it up in Florida, including last week's major victim of food poisoning in Mexico, Henrik Stenson. Meanwhile, the European PGA Tour returns to India with a similar strength field to last year, but on a different course. They have a bigger name to headline the field though, with Rafa Cabrera Bello teeing it up in New Delhi. Note that as Golf Predictor does not track the Asian Tour, the tournament/course history of the Asian tour players is not taken into account.

Box Plots Added to Season Segment Data Page

New box plot (showing pop-up) on Season Segment Data page
Further to this post from around eighteen months ago, I am pleased to announce that I have added box plots to the Season Segment Data page for each golfer. In total, four new box plots have been added, one for overall statistics and one each for early, mid and late season segment statistics. The screenshot above shows the Overall panel on the Season Segment Data page for Rory McIlroy. Hovering over the plot will show a pop-up, as can be seen above.

This brings the total number of charts on the site to 479. I trust you will find these new box plots useful as a graphical representation of the golfer's performance in each season segment. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even better!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

2017 - Week 9 Winners

Dustin Johnson (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the WGC - Mexico Championship on the European/US PGA Tour. The 32 year old American won his fourteenth tour title just two weeks after his thirteenth and enjoyed a successful first outing as world number one! Despite playing a tight, tree lined course at altitude in Mexico, the big hitting Johnson put in an impressive performance on the short, but testing layout against a quality field. Johnson did make it hard on himself on the back nine though, having frittered away a four shot lead to be caught briefly by Jon Rahm. However, he steadied the ship and won by a shot in the end from the fast finishing Tommy Fleetwood. Including the winner, we had eight of the top sixteen plus ties (8/19).

Dean Burmester (ranked 3rd by Golf Predictor) won the Tshwane Open on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old South African* won his first tour title with an impressive final day performance. Burmester came out of the traps quickly, going out in 29 and building up a six shot lead. After that, the tournament was practically over and, despite some back nine jitters, he had a comfortable three shot victory. Our top ranked player, Jaco van Zyl, missed the cut, but we had eight of the top eighteen plus ties (8/21).


*originally a Zimbabwean! 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Further Site Optimisations

Further to this post from last year, I have also made the following additional changes to increase the performance of the public facing section of  Golf Predictor:
  1. I have further consolidated the number of style sheets to a single one. This should increase performance by reducing the number of HTTP requests to display pages.
  2. I have removed all unused CSS classes in the one remaining style sheet. This reduced the file size considerably.
  3. I have minimised the remaining CSS to further optimise loading times.
  4. Similarly, I have consolidated the three JQuery/Twitter Bootstrap JavaScript files used on these pages into one file and minimised all the code to optimise loading times. I have also loaded this file asynchronously for an added performance gain.
  5. I have changed the order that the CSS and JavaScript files are loaded for speedier rendering of visible content (more pertinent for mobile users).
  6. I have added expiry dates to these seldom changed CSS and JavaScript files, in addition to the image files used on these pages.
  7. I have removed the keywords metatag from these pages. This is because search engines do not use this for ranking sites any more and some commentators speculate that it may actually hurt a site's ranking.
  8. I have altered the code to reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to display the AJAX text pop-ups on the public facing pages. I plan to remove these pop-ups in the not too distant future, so stay tuned for future developments!
All these changes will make the public facing site perform a little better, particularly for first time visitors (files/pages should be cached thereafter!) and help with its search page ranking. For a small operation competing against the Goliaths of the sports industry, it is very important that Golf Predictor is optimised as much as possible from a search engine ranking perspective. More could be done with the CSS (at the expense of maintainability), but for now, I'll leave it as is.

The files in the member section have not as yet being similarly optimised. These pages are not crawled by search engines and anyone viewing them is by definition less fickle than someone perusing the site home page! In addition, the CSS files for this section change much more often, which causes caching problems if they have an expiry date and are harder to maintain if they need to be minimised after each small update. They may be optimised in the future, but since they are performing perfectly fine as they are, they will remain as they are for now.

I have tested all the public facing pages, but please contact me immediately if you experience any problems. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even better!