Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Prediction Update for Week 37, 2008

We have had to re-run the prediction engine for this week's tournaments to fix a minor discrepancy. This should result in rankings that are a little more accurate. Note that you may have to refresh the prediction pages to see the updating rankings. Golf Predictor apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

New Course Length Charts

We are happy to announce the addition of 4 more new charts to Golf Predictor. This new functionality brings the number of charts on the site to 41! These new charts are:
  1. Longest courses used in a given season.
  2. Shortest courses used in a given season.
  3. Longest courses in the database.
  4. Shortest courses in the database.
These charts are accessible from the Member section of Golf Predictor. Charts 1 & 2 are viewable on the "View Options - Tourn. Stats" page, while charts 3 & 4 are viewable on the "View Options - Courses" page.

The screen shot above shows the longest courses used in the 2008 season. As usual, hovering over a bar shows additional information. The longest course indicated above, the 7,746 monster Conservatory Course at the Ginn Hammock Beach Resort, may not play to its full yardage. We will update the database when the tournament information becomes available. Note that charts 3 & 4 cover all courses in our system. Currently this includes all 2008 courses and all related courses from the 2003 season on.

Only subscribers can view these new charts. So, sign up today and enjoy the full functionality of Golf Predictor, the premium professional golf statistics site.

Monday, 28 July 2008

2008 - Week 37 Predictions Now Online

We have published the predictions for week 37, the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational (both tours) and the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open (US). With the 6 time winner, Tiger Woods, being missing, the WGC event is wide open this year for the first time in its 10 year history. In the other event this week, the weaker Reno-Tahoe Open has gone for the "girly gimmick" to boost ticket sales and invited Michelle Wie to tee it up. She hasn't exactly covered herself with glory on the men's tour (or women's tour for that matter!) so let's hope she doesn't emulate that unfortunate amateur from last week's Russian Open! Unsurprisingly, she is rated joint lowest by Golf Predictor to produce the goods this week, although this is primarily because she has no relevant statistics to speak of.

Competitors who were winners of the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open before 2003 (when Golf Predictor records commence) include Notah Begay III (1999) and Chris Riley (2002). The only man on the corresponding list for the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational is Craig Parry (2002).

2008 - Week 36 Winners

As with most tournaments with lowly ranked Golfers, the Russian Open turned out to be a hard one to forecast. Having said that, a former winner, Mikael Lundberg (ranked 9 by Golf Predictor) continued Swedish golfers' love of the event by coming through to reclaim the title. Interestingly, one poor Russian amateur finished 40 over after 2 rounds, including an almost unbelievable 99 on day one! He must be Putin's nephew to get a place in the field because I'd almost score better than that! I won't name him to spare him a few blushes, but I can't see how that is going to help his game or his confidence. On a more positive note, Joakim Bäckström bagged the most rare of birds, an albatross, on day 1 of the event. The only other one that I can recall in recent times is Graeme McDowell's in last year's Volvo Masters.

Meanwhile, Jim Furyk (ranked 1) failed to make it 3 titles in a row at the soggy
RBS Canadian Open. Furyk finished in a tie for 14th this time, but well done to rookie Chez Reavie (ranked 87) for coming through to claim his maiden tour victory. We had Anthony Kim, Mike Weir and Sean O'Hair in the top 10.

Interestingly Greg Norman finished lower
(tied 5th) in the British Seniors Open yesterday than in the British Open proper (tied 3rd). If he hadn't double bogeyed the 17th, it could have been better for Norman, but I guess "if" has been the story of his major career.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

New Golfer Odds Comparison Page Added

We have added a handy odds comparison page for all members who like to have a flutter on golf tournaments. All members can view this new page, which is accessible from the "View Options" menu in the Member section of our site.

This new page compares the odds from a number of on-line bookmakers for the golfers in upcoming tournaments. The default page content includes the BBC golf news feed and you can select an event or a match up using the drop down lists. The screen shot above shows the odds for leading contenders in the RBS Canadian Open, this week's tournament on the US PGA Tour. It may take a few moments for the betting information to appear, so please be patient. You can click on the odds or the bookie graphic to go to the corresponding bookmaker site. You can toggle the odds format between decimal and fractional under the odds list.

We hope you find this new page useful. Note that the betting information comes from an external web site and Golf Predictor has no control over the contents or the layout.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

News Widget Moved to Blog

We have moved the golf news widget from the home page of the Golf Predictor member section to the right hand side of this blog. This was done for 2 main reasons:
  1. We believe that is the best location for such a widget.
  2. The widget can cause annoying JavaScript errors in Internet Explorer 7 when incorporated into our site.
Using the widget, you can get all the latest golf news from respected sites around the web. Currently, the widget contains news feeds from Reuters, the BBC, the US PGA (US tour news) and the US PGA (European tour news).

Press the menu button on the top of the widget or use the arrows alongside it to select a feed (blank=Reuters). Click on a headline to read the full story.

British Open Footnote

As Padraig Harrington became Ireland's most successful ever golfer and joined a very illustrious group of golfers who retained the British Open, the tournament statistics show that he achieved it in the hardest event thus far this season.

Available from the 'View Options/Tourn. Stats' page on Golf Predictor, the data and charts show that the average round in the British Open was almost 5 over par, almost a full shot worse than the next hardest event (the South African Airways Open). The first round was the most brutal with the player average score of just below 6 over. A lot has been said of Tiger's absence, but he hasn't a good record in challenging conditions so I doubt even he would have outperformed the pride of Ireland!

Monday, 21 July 2008

New Course Par Chart

Closely related to chart 7 described here, we have added our 37th chart to Golf Predictor. This latest chart allows you to see the breakdown of course pars for all the courses listed in the database. This will allow you to get a quick visual indication of pars for courses used by the pros. It is no surprise to see that 72 is the most common par on championship courses, as shown in the screen shot above. Most courses used from 2003 onwards on the US PGA and the European PGA tours have been entered into our system. The outstanding ones are due to be added very shortly.

Any member can view this latest chart, which is accessible from the "View Options - Courses" screen in the Member section.

2008 - Week 36 Predictions Now Online

We have published the predictions for week 36 - the Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship (Europe) and the RBS Canadian Open (US). The former has a pretty weak field (see the "Field Strength" chart) but there are some pretty big guns teeing it up in Canada this week.

Competitors who were winners of the Canadian Open before 2003 (when Golf Predictor records commence) include Dudley Hart (1996), Billy Andrade (1998) and Scott Verplank (2001). The corresponding list for the Russian Open is Iain Pyman (1999 & 2002) and Jamie Donaldson (2001).

2008 - Week 35 Winners

While Padraig Harrington (ranked 12 by Golf Predictor) was a most worthy winner of the British Open, almost all of the highest echelon of golfers were blown away by the ferocious winds around Birkdale. Only Ernie Els (ranked 4) and unsurprisingly Robert Karlsson (ranked 10) performed well and ended up in a tie for seventh. Even then, they needed strong finishes to sneak back up the leaderboard. That high finish in a major catapulted Karlsson up one whole place on the world rankings (see here)! Interestingly enough, the next tier of golfers performed very well in The Open with 8 of the golfers ranked 11-20 by Golf Predictor finishing in the top 20.

Harrington's major victory makes it 6 wins this season (so far!) by 5 different Irish golfers - surely "our" best ever year on tour.

The much maligned Kenny Perry (ranked 1) failed to capitalise on a weak field and win again on the US tour at the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee. Despite being the highest world ranked player by a country mile, Perry could only finish 6th (which is far better than Paul McGinley did in a similar situation in the St. Omer Open) in an event won by Swede, Richard S Johnson (ranked 68). Johnson capped off a fine display with an impressive wood of his own (not quite as good as Harrington's on 17 though!) to set up the winning tap-in birdie on 18. Not counting Heath Slocum, who was actually a late alternate for the British Open, we also had Joe Ogilvie, Dean Wilson and Chad Campbell in the top 6 and ties.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

One Armed, Bagged it!

I've been sitting on that awful pun for almost a week! Great news for Irish sports fans as Padraig Harrington successfully defended his British Open title. He prevailed despite a wrist problem that threatened his very participation before the start of the event. While his injury wasn't as severe as Tiger's, at least Harrington won without needing a play off! Despite a rough patch just before the turn, Ireland's finest came home brilliantly in 32, hitting some fantastic shots under pressure. In particular, his second shot to 4 feet on 17 for eagle wrapped up the title in fitting style.

Greg Norman ended his amazing week in tied third place, despite some odd club and shot choices. He seemed to tighten up somewhat on the final day, unfortunately a characteristic of his game for many years. Poor old K.J. Choi (aka The Tank), the final member of the top three coming into the final day, unfortunately lived up to his nickname by tanking! He topped off an awful day with a disastrous 8 on the par four 18th to plummet even further down the leaderboard.

The Fairytale Continues!

Greg Norman played some composed golf yesterday in horrendous conditions to stay on course to become the most geriatric major winner in history. Despite barely missing a raft of putts/chips (particularly on the last 2 holes), the 53 year old used all his experience to move 2 clear of the field after a fine 2 over par 72. That left him also on 2 over for the tournament, a great achievement in the very blustery conditions, where gusts of 40-50 miles an hour were common.

Leading the chasing pack are defending champion, Padraig Harrington (72), and overnight leader, K.J. Choi (75). I can't decide which of the three I'd prefer to see winning! Being Irish, Harrington shades it, but what a story if Norman hangs on or indeed if Choi becomes the first Asian winner of a major. I only hope Norman doesn't press the self destruct button or is robbed by a lucky chip in again.

It's not just those three that are in the hunt though. There is a whole posse of players lurking just behind them and some (e.g. Simon Wakefield and Ben Curtis) played great stuff in the gales yesterday. It's shaping up to be a great day's golf - may the best Irish man win!!!!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

British Open - Second Round

Luckily for the players, conditions were more benign on Friday, although this could be the calm before the storm if today's forecast is to be believed. Some of the big guns got their act together in the second round to make the cut, including Els, Mickelson and Westwood. Several players took advantage of the conditions to move into contention, not least Camilo Villegas who posted a brilliant 65 which included 5 straight birdies to finish.

Defending champion, Padraig Harrington, also finished spectacularly with birdie-par-eagle-birdie to finish up within 3 of the leader, K.J. Choi (-1). The only player under par at the half way point, K.J. has played very solidly thus far. It remains to see how he can cope with the high winds although he did play well on Thursday in awful conditions. I'm sure all those prayers from home in Korea will propel him along.

Story of the tournament so far though has to be the performance of the Great White Shark himself, Greg Norman. He has been rolling back the years with some great golf this week, despite being practically an occasional golfer these days. Consecutive rounds of par has the 53 year old hall of fame inductee alone in second and the only man not to go over par in either of his rounds. Now wouldn't that be a great story if Norman could make history by becoming the oldest ever major winner by 5 years.

It's also great to see former champion, David Duval, back in form and contending after a torrid time for the past few years.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Rather Them Than Me!

Well, we're off and running in The Open and the weather is terrible. I think the forecast suits those who start late today and early tomorrow, so keep that in mind if you're having a flutter. It also suits a golfer from the British Isles who would be more used to these conditions.

Harrington has started and is struggling manfully like everybody else at the moment. I saw a few preview programmes last night and I don't mind admitting that I almost got choked up again seeing him win last year! I also saw again the putt Sergio Garcia barely missed on the final hole in regulation to win it. It's amazing to think that he literally came within an inch of winning.

My list of people that I'd most like to see winning is:
  1. Monty, for obvious reasons.
  2. Sergio, because he came so close last year, is a great player and a nice guy.
  3. Any Irish player, for patriotic reasons.
  4. Any other European player, for confident boosting purposes.
  5. Any worldwide player (excluding the US), because it's good for the game.
  6. Rocco Mediate, because he came so close in the US Open and is a nice guy.
  7. Any other American (they have won enough majors!).

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Handy Information!

Hot on the heels of Luke Donald pulling out of the British Open with wrist problems, it transpires that defending champion, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, is similarly afflicted. Harrington picked up the injury after the successful defence of the Irish PGA Championship last week. Somewhat ironically, he was about the only leading player to get competitive action on a links course in advance of the British Open. The latest news is that, thankfully, he will be defending his title after all, albeit probably with strapping applied. After practicing for 9 holes yesterday (but not hitting from the rough), he declared himself fit to compete. He has to be suspect though, especially if he ventures a lot into the long grass. Tiger won the last major on one leg. It will be interesting to see how Harrington does in this one with one hand!

Irish members - don't forget that today is the closing date for the €200,000 Sunday Tribune competition. You can enter by email so get cracking if you haven't already entered your prognostication!!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Intermittent Issue Fixed

One of our subscribers reported an issue yesterday with main "Tourn. Predictions" screen (Member section - Stats Analysis menu). After logging in, the member was told that he was not subscribed and the logged in user name changed to another user.

This problem was caused by the caching of the web page on the server. If a subscriber happened to log in after an unsubscribed member, this situation could occur with most of the pages in the member section. We have changed the caching (which is used to boost performance of the site) to use the client (your browser) for caching, so this should not happen again. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Incidentally, there was a workaround. Selecting another tournament from the drop down list and then selecting the top entry seemed to resolve the problem.

Monday, 14 July 2008

2008 - Week 35 Predictions Now Online

We have published the predictions for week 35 - the British Open (both tours) and the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee (US). Apologies for the slight delay, which was due to the unavailability of some necessary data and thus outside our control. It's the third major of the year and the first Tigerless one, so it will be interesting to see who takes full advantage of his absence. It is hard to believe that it is a year since Padraig Harrington sent Irish fans (yours truly definitely included!) into raptures with our first major in 60 years. Bar Mayo winning an All-Ireland*, I can't see it ever being topped for me! Let's hope he can defend the title and not cause as many chomped fingernails in the closing stages this year!!

Competitors who were winners of the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee before 2003 (when Golf Predictor records commence) include Billy Mayfair (1993), Carlos Franco (1999) and Shigeki Maruyama (2001). The corresponding list for the British Open is too long to list with practically every champion since the 1970s back for another go!

* Gaelic football reference. The 32 counties in Ireland play a championship every year. Mayo, despite being a large county with a proud football tradition, haven't won since 1951. It looks like their long suffering fans will have to wait at least another year for Nirvana!

2008 - Week 34 Winners

It looks like Kenny Perry's controversial decision is paying off as he won the John Deere Classic yesterday. It wasn't a stroll in the park for Perry (ranked 1 by Golf Predictor) who bogeyed 18 to fall into a play-off. Fortunately for him, his two opponents found the water on the first extra hole to hand it to him on a plate. It should be even easier for him next week to add to his streak of 3 wins from 5 starts! There weren't many other top players competing which made it harder to predict, but we also had Woody Austin (ranked 3) in the top 10.

Meanwhile, on the European Tour, The Irish started winning again as Graeme McDowell (ranked 9) continued his great season by winning again in the Barclays Scottish Open. Our top ranked pick, Phil Mickleson, didn't catch fire at all, despite a wonderful ace on Saturday. We also had Ernie Els (ranked 3) and the ever reliable Miguel Angel Jimenez (ranked 7) in the top 10.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

New Tournament Calendar

We are pleased to announce the addition of a tournament calendar to Golf Predictor. This new view provides a more visual interface for browsing the tournaments in the database. It is available by clicking on the "Calendar View" link on the "Tournaments" page ("View Options" menu of the member section). You can return to the Tournaments page at any time by clicking on the main menu link or the "List View" link on the calendar page.

The screen shot above shows almost all of the calendar for this month (July 2008), with all the events on the US PGA and European PGA tours. Each entry includes the tournament icon (flag), the tournament name, tour and day number. You can click on the tournament name to view the complete tournament information. Days from previous/following months are in grey, weekends are light yellow and the current date is highlighted in green. You can navigate directly to a specific month using the month and year drop down lists shown above. Alternatively, go to the previous/next months by clicking the appropriate link on the calendar title bar.

As with our Google Maps, the calendar entries are taken directly from our database, so it only contain tournaments that we have entered into our system. We are constantly adding historical and upcoming events so we hope to have complete calendar in due course.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Tournament Selection Policy

Kenny Perry has kicked up a bit of a fuss by electing not to play in the British Open this year. Despite being one of the hottest players on the US PGA Tour this year, the veteran has decided to play against some relatively weak fields on the US Tour instead. He is lining up in the John Deere Classic this week and the second string U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee next week, the week of the British Open.

While commendable for honouring commitments made before his run of form, there is something wrong when a guy can simply decide not to bother his arse competing in a Major. Despite all the guys who would give their eye teeth to tee it up in the British Open (or any other massive tournament), Perry would rather focus on making the Ryder Cup in his home state. He is pretty unapologetic about it, despite being practically a shoe-in for the team already and showing what easily be construed as a certain disrespect for the game. While it is his right to pick and choose where he plays, this is indicative of a deeper malaise in golf.

As pointed out by Tom Pernice Jr, a US PGA Tour Policy Board member, unlike stars of team sports, golfers are free to choose where and when they play, as long as they play the minimum number of events (15 in the US). This has resulted in consistently weak fields in some events and super rich stars pulling out of big events (like Majors or The Tour Championship) to suit themselves. This in turn leads to problems with sponsors, so it is in the tour's interest to sort it out.

What can be done? Hard to say. An economist will tell you life is all about incentives. It's pretty hard to offer incentives to pampered multi-millionaires though! You could try making some tournaments mandatory, but I'm sure sudden injuries would crop up. You could perhaps vary the ranking points at different events each year or band tournaments together. With the latter, the pros would pick different events from each band each year. Doesn't sound workable in practice though, does it?

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

New Google Maps Player Results Mapping

We all know that professional golfers are a peripatetic lot; travelling the world to hit a small ball around a field* in exotic locations. While most of us see this as a glamorous lifestyle, those of us that travel a bit know that it gets old very quickly. Only a small percentage of pros can afford to run a private jet. For the rest, life on tour is one hotel room after another, punctuated by delays, layovers and countless hours getting irradiated in a metal tube with wings. And I haven't even mentioned lugging clubs all over the globe and all the times their bags must go missing!

Anyway, you can now get a visual indication of each pro's carbon footprint on Golf Predictor! This is available by clicking on the "Results Map" link on the "Results By Player" page ("View Options" menu of the member section). Like the previous posts (here and here) on new Google Maps features in Golf Predictor, it is available to all, whether you are subscribed or not.

The screen shot above shows most of the locations of all the events played by Retief Goosen thus far on the US PGA and European PGA tours this season (2008). There are a few more tournaments in California and Arizona that are off screen above. Looks like Retief will have to plant a lot of trees! Hovering over our customised markers will display additional tournament/result information. You can use the controls in the top left of the map to move the map and zoom in/out.

As before, the maps plot directly from our database, so they only contain tournaments that we have entered into our system. We are constantly adding historical data so we hope to have complete maps for previous years in due course. Also, the tournament address data can be quite vague (e.g. Shanghai, China), so do not expect accuracy at high zoom levels! We will fix any howlers as they become apparent.

*My mother's basic description of all ball/field sports!

Monday, 7 July 2008

World Ranking Anomalies

Is it just me or does anyone else wonder just how the hell Justin Rose is in the world top ten?! What exactly has he done this season (or in recent memory for that matter, besides choking again at Augusta!)? The answer is nothing much if you look at his charts in Golf Predictor!

On the other hand, you have the super consistent Robert Karlsson. Over the past 2 months or so, Robert has rarely been out of the top 6 in a tournament, but he's hardly moving up in the rankings. In fact this week, despite finishing tied 6th in The European Open, he didn't budge from number 23 in the world. I suppose he was lucky not to lose a few places!!

I know different events have different points and it's done over a 2 year rolling period, but this is ridiculous! I'm sure there are many other oddities in the rankings, but they are 2 that I have noticed lately. Answers on a postcard please!

2008 - Week 34 Predictions Online

We have published the predictions for week 34 - the John Deere Classic (US) and The Barclays Scottish Open (Europe). There are some pretty big names over in Scotland in advance of the British Open, although they'd probably be better off practising on a links course!

Competitors who were winners of the John Deere Classic before 2003 (when Golf Predictor records commence) include J.L. Lewis (1999) and J.P. Hayes (2002). The corresponding list for The Barclays Scottish Open is Peter O'Malley (1992), Thomas Bjorn (1996), Lee Westwood (1998), Colin Montgomerie (1999) and Ernie Els (2000).

Sunday, 6 July 2008

2008 - Week 33 Winners

Well done to Ross Fisher (ranked 49 by Golf Predictor) for his fantastic wire to wire victory in the European Open. He started brilliantly with a 63 and completed his runaway victory in style on Sunday by holing out from the bunker on 18. Fisher hadn't done much since his 2nd place finish in the opening tournament of the season (HSBC Champions in China), so this really gets him back on track. Sergio Garcia (ranked 2) finished in exactly the position predicted by Golf Predictor. Sergio also finished in style with a stunning 66 in blustery conditions, his best putting display and one of his best ever rounds, by his own reckoning. Our top pick, Robert Karlsson, continued his consistent form by finished tied 6th and we also had Graeme McDowell, Soren Hansen and Jeev Milkha Singh in the top 10.

Anthony Kim (ranked 4) shot a fantastic bogey free 65 to take the AT&T National title, his second of the season. Kim's flash belt buckle seems to be bringing him luck as he becomes the youngest multiple winner in a season since Sergio Garcia in 2001. Our top pick, Jim Furyk, finished tied 3rd with Robert Allenby (ranked 2) and Rod Pampling (ranked 8) to round off a good week for Golf Predictor.

Previous Posts Updated with Screen Shots

We have updated some of the posts in the Enhancements section with screen shots to illustrate the new functionality described in the entry. Click on Enhancements in the Posts by Category section of this blog (right hand column) to view the updated material.

New Google Maps Course Mapping

Following on from our previous post on US PGA Tour and European PGA Tour tournament mapping, we have also used Google Maps to add individual golf course mapping to Golf Predictor. This feature is accessible from a link on each tournament and course page in the member section. As before, it is available to all whether you are subscribed or not.

The screen shot above shows the location of The London Golf Club, home of this weekend's tournament on the European PGA Tour. Hovering over our customised marker will display additional course information. As before, you can use the controls in the top left of the map to move the map and zoom in/out.

The map plots directly from our database, so it only displays courses that we have entered into our system. We are constantly adding historical data so we hope to add all the courses used in previous years in due course. Also, the address data can be quite vague (e.g. Shanghai, China), so do not expect accuracy at high zoom levels! We will fix any howlers as they become apparent.

Counting each map type as a chart, that brings our total number of charts up to 35 in Golf Predictor!

New Google Maps Tournament Mapping

We keep on adding features here in Golf Predictor! We are excited to announce the addition of Google Maps to our site. This cool feature allows you to see where the tournaments for each tour (US PGA Tour and European PGA Tours) are held each year. This screen is accessible via "Tourn. Locations" on the "View Options" menu of the member section and is available to all, whether you are subscribed or not.

The screen shot above shows the locations of all the events thus far on the US PGA tour this season (2008). Hovering over our customised markers will display additional tournament information. If you think the geographical spread is impressive, you should check out the European Tour map! You can do that by clicking on "Euro" in the "Tour" drop down list above the map. You can use the controls in the top left of the map to move the map and zoom in/out.

The maps plot directly from our database, so they only contain tournaments that we have entered into our system. We are constantly adding historical data so we hope to have complete maps for previous years in due course. Also, the address data can be quite vague (e.g. Shanghai, China), so do not expect accuracy at high zoom levels! We will fix any howlers as they become apparent.

Tiger Woods vs Roger Federer

Wimbledon is the big tennis event in this part of the world and I've been watching tennis (as well as golf) this past 2 weeks! Having seen a lot of Roger Federer in action, I've noticed a few similarities (and differences) to Mr Woods.


  1. They both have been completely dominant in their sports in recent years.
  2. They both are incredibly consistent in the majors/grand slams.
  3. Consequently, they have both been world number one for yonks!
  4. Consequently, both have had an aura of invincibility about them that affects their opponents. However, Roger's has slipped somewhat this year, probably due to illness (see below).
  5. They both get paid a fortune to wear Nike clobber (clothes).
  6. They both get paid a fortune!
  7. They are of similar height and weight and both play righted (admittedly the latter is not exactly earth shattering!).
  8. Unsurprisingly, they both started playing young, although Tiger (2) famously started a lot younger than the tardy Roger (6)!
  9. Their parents come from different continents. Asia/North America (Tiger) and Europe/Africa (Roger) - that's impressive planetary coverage!
  10. They both seem to be very personable individuals, which is commendable given the goldfish bowl they have to live in.
  11. They are very respectful of both their fellow competitors and the history of their respective sports.
  12. They both are heavily involved in charity work and are brilliant ambassadors for their sports.
  13. Both have had career impacting health issues in the past year. Woods and his knee, Federer had glandular fever. Funnily enough I've suffered from both ailments so that gives me some perspective here. Those who have never experienced the dehabilitating effects of his illness have been quick to write Federer off. Those who have are full of admiration for him.
  14. Both are obsessed with records. Tiger to beat Jack, Roger to beat Pete and so on.
  15. Both have raked up an impressive amount of tournaments and majors in their career. According to my research, Tiger has 86 wins worldwide/14 majors while Roger has 55 wins/12 grand slams. Roger is younger than Tiger though and will have a much shorter career.
  16. Both can play the most sublime shots under the most extreme of pressure. In fact both seem to thrive on it, especially Tiger.
  17. They are both fantastic front runners and experts at closing out a victory.
  18. Both have fantastic technique and wonderful swings.
  19. Both are the complete player with no obvious weakness in their respective games. Tiger's driving can be erratic, but he's such a gifted (and long) player, he can conjure up something from almost any position.
  20. Both are supremely fit athletes. Tiger in particular has raised the bar in his sport for physical fitness.


  1. Tiger is getting more dominant, if anything. Federer is now being severely challenged by Nadal. Worryingly for Roger, Nadal is getting a lot closer to him on other surfaces than he is to Nadal on clay.
  2. Woods is the best on any type of course. Federer is only number 2 on clay (after the practically unbeatable Nadal), brilliant on grass and not too shabby on any other surface. Tiger would be in a similar situation if he couldn't handle links courses as well as say, Padraig Harrington, and kept losing the British Open to him.
  3. Tiger has a fairly even spread of victories in all 4 majors. Unfortunately Roger can't complete the set until he figures out how to beat Nadal on clay. While the French Open eludes him, he makes up for it at Wimbledon. He goes for his sixth title in a row today, against an increasingly dangerous Nadal.
  4. Federer has never won a grand slam on one leg, but I suspect he'd give it a good shot at Wimbledon.
  5. Like a lot of Americans, Tiger is multiracial and monolingual. Like a lot of Swiss, Roger is monoracial and multilingual!
  6. Roger designs natty jackets and cardigans with his initials emblazoned on them for Wimbledon. As far as I can tell, Tiger just has a baseball cap with his initials on it!
  7. Tiger hosts his own tournaments. To the best of my knowledge, Roger doesn't.
  8. Except for his putter, Tiger uses Nike equipment, down to the ball. Roger doesn't. He uses a Wilson racket and as a tennis player, can not choose the ball he uses! However, he is on the player's council, so maybe he can exert some influence in that regard!
  9. Roger is serene and placid on court. Tiger is more emotional and prone to the odd expletive. Golf is far more frustrating though, so let he without sin.....!
  10. Roger plays very gracefully and moves almost effortlessly on court. Tiger bludgeons the ball off the tee and when his knee is fine, tends to stomp around the course (with minders in tow).
  11. Federer is unbelievable accurate with his serving (at least in Wimbledon this year!). As noted above, Tiger can be all over the shop with his driving.
  12. Tiger rebuilds his swing fairly often (against most experts' advice) to make himself even better. Roger's technique seems to be more of a gradual evolution.
  13. Tiger always has a coach. Roger goes it alone a lot. The tennis 'swing' is not as complicated and easier to self-diagnose though. Besides, what could anyone teach him?! Clay court experts, send in your résumés!
  14. Roger is rich, Tiger is extremely rich! In fact, Woods is widely expected to become the first sports billionaire.

I've probably left a lot of stuff out, but it's not a bad first cut at a comparison!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

New Features and Charts

Following on from the post on the hardest courses on the US PGA Tour, we got thinking here at Golf Predictor. We have that information in our database, so why not dig it out for our members?!

Well, that is exactly what we have done, and then some! We have introduced a new screen in the "View Options" section called "Tournament Statistics". It is abbreviated in the main menu for real estate reasons! On this new screen, you can see all the completed tournaments with field size, course par, average round score and difference between the average score and par for the course all as sortable columns. This allows you to list the tournaments in a given year by field size and difficulty.

And we didn't stop there! We have also created 7 new charts, available on this new screen. These new charts are:
  1. Tournaments with the largest fields.
  2. Tournaments with the smallest fields.
  3. Tournaments with the lowest average round score.
  4. Tournaments with the highest average round score.
  5. Tournaments with the lowest average round score relative to par.
  6. Tournaments with the highest average round score relative to par.
  7. Breakdown of courses by par score.
Charts 5 & 6 are the most accurate yardsticks for course difficulty as the course par is taken into consideration. Looking at those charts, they confirm that the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic is the easiest tournament so far this season (in fact across both tours) and that the US Open is the hardest on the US tour. As an example, chart 5 is shown in the screen shot above. Hover over a bar to display the text box shown in the image. However, 3 European tour events played even tougher than the US Open, though this was largely due to inclement weather. The easiest European tour event so far has been the Italian Open.

This new functionality brings the total number of available charts in Golf Predictor to an impressive 33! As with existing ones, only subscribers can view all these new charts. Non-subscribers are limited to charts 2 and 7 only.

So, sign up today and reap the full benefits of Golf Predictor, the premium professional golf statistics site.