Tuesday 23 December 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho - Happy Christmas Everyone!

Well, it's almost Christmas, so we here at Golf Predictor would like to wish all our readers and members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We thank you for your support in our busy first year and we look forward to it continuing in 2009. It is the season for giving, so as a little Christmas present, we are giving away 3 one month memberships to Golf Predictor.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is email our support line with your user name before next year. We'll pick 3 winners out of a hat in early January. This subscription will start from the first week with a tournament in January if new, otherwise it will be added to your existing subscription.

Like the golf tours, we're going to take a little hiatus for the holidays, but we'll be back in plenty of time to cover a new season of exciting golf on both the US and European* PGA Tours.

Happy Christmas everyone!

*We know - the 2009 season has already started on the European Tour!

Monday 22 December 2008

Harrington Wins Yet Another Award!

Unsurprisingly, Padraig Harrington won the Irish Sportsperson of the Year award again last night. Having won two majors for a country not exactly at the pinnacle of many sports, Harrington was a shoe in for the most prestigious award in Irish sport.

It's the third time Harrington has won the award. We here at Golf Predictor hope he wins it again next year!!

Vijay Wins Chevron World Challenge

Vijay Singh took his season earning over the tidy $18 million mark with victory at Tiger's Chevron World Challenge yesterday. Despite taking an unprecedented 3 months off to allow injuries to heal, Singh showed no signs of rustiness with his twin 67s on the weekend. I suppose it's easy to take 3 months off just after you've won a couple of tournaments and the $10 million Fedex Cup!

A notoriously assiduous practicer, Singh is not easing up now that he's back. He plans to hit balls on Christmas Day when it's quiet on the golf course! We look forward to tracking him in the New Year here on Golf Predictor.

2009 - Week 5 Winner

Richard Sterne (ranked 6th by Golf Predictor) continued his winning streak at home, capturing the prestigious South African Open for his second consecutive victory on the European Tour. Sterne becomes the eight home winner in a row of the world's second oldest Open, mainly thanks to a missed 8 foot putt from Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin (ranked 67th) on the 72th hole. That unfortunate horseshoed effort cost Maybin his maiden victory as Sterne birdied the first extra hole to seal another victory.

Ernie Els (ranked 3) put in a storming finish, coming home in 64 on Sunday. Unfortunately he missed a tiddler at the last which would have got him into the play-off. However, he probably rues his 77 on Saturday more as it gave him just too much to do. England's Lee Westwood (ranked 2) faded on the final day, surrendering his two shot overnight lead fairly meekly and finishing in a tie for third. In a good week for Northern Irish golfers, Rory McIlroy overcame a very poor start to also finish tied third and secure his place in the world's top 50. That gets him into the US Masters next year; not bad going for a teenager!

Our top ranked player, the usually reliable Henrik Stenson, finished in a tie for 34th but overall we had 5 golfers in the top 10 this week.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Scripts Used in Golf Predictor

You must have JavaScript enabled on your browser for Golf Predictor to work properly. For those of you worried about web security and/or using script blockers, this is a list of what JavaScript is used for on the site:
  1. AJAX for partial page updating and a more responsive website.
  2. Trapping AJAX request time outs and reloading the page if they occur.
  3. The Twitter Bootstrap dropdown menus (across the top of every page), pop- up chart windows and collapsible panels.
  4. Highlighting the currently selected page in the appropriate menu.
  5. Displaying all the radial dials, charts and Google Maps on the site.
  6. Displaying the Golf Predictor Twitter feed widget. 
  7. Google Analytics, for tracking web site usage statistics.
  8. To protect email addresses on the Contact Us page from spammer harvesting.
  9. To prevent more than 10 golfers being selected on the 'Compare' pages.
  10. To prevent more than 3 golfers being selected on the 'Field Rankings (Summary)' page.
  11. A third party site runs a script on the "Golfer Odds" page to display the odds for the selected tournament. 
  12. To show the sliders on pages such as the 'Custom Predictions', 'Filtered Predictions' and 'DFS Lineup Builder (DraftKings)' pages and to provide validation for them and the associated text boxes.
  13. To create a DFS lineup and export it to a CSV on the 'DFS Lineup Builder (DraftKings)' page.
This is the complete list to the best of my recollection. I will update it if I add or remember more. As you can see, not much script is used on the site and a significant portion of the script is used is for third party functionality. Note that the site does not (and never will) run any malicious code in your browser. So, if you are using a script blocker, please allow Golf Predictor. You will get a message on screen if JavaScript is not enabled on your browser for any reason.

New Golf Predictor Golf Blog Widgets

We have added new blog widgets to Golf Predictor. These widgets will allow you to see the latest posts on the Golf Predictor Blog. Should you wish to read the post, you can click on the widget to open the blog or a post title to open that particular post.

There are 2 slightly different versions of the widget. A wider one with the post title plus a preview of the post is on the member home page, while a narrower version with just the post titles is on the 2 Golf Predictor pages (member section and public section) that link to the blog.

Saturday 20 December 2008

US Tour Commissioner Calls For Shoulders to the Wheel

US PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has reportedly send a video to every player begging, err, I mean urging them to play in more tournaments and participate more while they're at them with the sponsor who's stumping up their big fat pay cheques.

This will no doubt appear like a video nasty to a lot of the pampered pros, who are very used to doing their own thing. However, I'm sure they realise that it's necessary if they want to keep the large trough that their snouts have been wedged into in these tough economic times.

We here at Golf Predictor presume that Finchem included the story about the goose who laid the golden eggs in his video package!!

Friday 19 December 2008

Nicklaus and Sorenstam Recruited to Olympic Drive

Talk about getting the big guns out! The International Golf Federation has named Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam as Global Ambassadors in support of the bid to get golf into the 2016 Olympics.

No finer man than Nicklaus to have in your corner; a legendary player on the course and a legendary gentleman and ambassador for the game off it. Sorenstam's not too shabby either and she does have some time on her hands now that she has just retired from her illustrious career!

This should really help the cause to be one of the two new sports introduced at the 2016 games. The winners will be announced in Copenhagen in October, 2009 and we here at Golf Predictor are rooting for Jack and Annika to succeed (they usually do!).

Tiger as a Caddie

Ever wonder what it would be like to have Tiger Woods as your caddie? This nice gentleman found out thanks to a Buick competition. And Tiger didn't disparage a fellow player even once!! We here at Golf Predictor urge you not to laugh at the putting - he was under some pressure and not used to such quick greens!

Thursday 18 December 2008

Golf Predictor Technology Makeover

We are very excited to announce the addition of AJAX technology to Golf Predictor. This will make the site more responsive for all users. AJAX allows the partial updating of a web page and you can continue to interact with the page while the data is loaded in the background.

In Golf Predictor, this means that when you select a new season, tour or tournament from a drop down box, instead of a full page reload (as was the case up until now), just the part of the page with the information (e.g. data table or map) will be updated. This should make Golf Predictor even better to use. If it isn't instantaneous, an updating message and graphic will appear on the page during the partial update.

You must have JavaScript enabled on your browser for AJAX to work. You already need this for Golf Predictor (for the menu and charts), so that is not an issue. Occasionally a partial page update request may time out. If such a time out occurs, you will be alerted and the page automatically reloaded. Often this is due to a transient network problem and you can simply try again.

We hope this major enhancement will add to your browsing experience. Please contact us immediately if you experience any problems on the site.

Latest on Tiger's Knee - From the Horse's Mouth!

This video has the man himself giving an update on his knee at the Chevron World Challenge, which he is hosting. The announcer also mentions "Caddiegate" at the end!

Boo Weekley to Write a Book

Colourful Boo Weekley has announced that he's trying to get a book published about his life, his path into golf and the various scrapes he has managed to get himself into (including boxing an orang-utan!).

Now while it's unlikely to challenge for a Nobel Prize for Literature, Golf Predictor is sure it would be an interesting read, especially for hunting and fishing enthusiasts!

Putting for Dough Proved Once Again!

More proof, if proof was needed, of the old adage about putting for dough is revealed in more interesting statistics from the US PGA Tour. Joe Durant led the PGA Tour in greens hit in regulation, Olin Browne led the Tour in driving accuracy and Robert Garrigus was the second longest hitter on tour. Yet all three had to go back to Q-School where Garrigus was the only one to win back his card.

A closer look at the stats tables reveal that while Durant was the best at getting to the green, he was also the worst on it (197th out of 197 with 30.86 putts per round). Browne may have been the most accurate off the tee, but he was also one of the shortest (194th - 272.1 yard average drive) and also a poor putter when he eventually got there (176th with 29.99 putts per round). Meanwhile, Garrigus may be long, but he's also all over the shop (176th in driving accuracy - 56.23% of fairways hit) and a poor putter (154th with 29.74 putts per round).

We here at Golf Predictor reckon that more work on the practice green would really have been the order of the day for these guys!

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Butch Wades into Caddiegate!

Butch Harmon has added to the storm in the teacup that is Steve Williams' appraisal of Phil Mickelson. Butch was indeed right to call the affair deplorable and so on. Even if he wasn't working with "Nice Guy Phil" these days, it would have been the right thing to say!

All caddies, get your CVs (resumes) in order - there could be a vacancy opening up for a big paying part time job with some heavy lifting and high fiving required! We here at Golf Predictor are dusting ours off and hitting the gym!

Everybody Loves Padraig!

2008 just keeps on getting better and better for Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who has just won 2 more major awards. First of all, it was announced that he had become only the third player to win the Golf Writers' Trophy two years in a row. Then, more pleasing for him perhaps, he became the first European winner of the US PGA Tour Player of the Year. Voted by his peers, he probably pipped Tiger Woods to the award.

It was an interesting match up. Harrington won 2 majors, but in truth did little else all year. Woods, on the other hand, only played 6 events before injury ruled him out for the season. He did win 4 of those tournaments (including the one legged major of course!) and finished no lower than fifth, but it would probably have made a slight mockery of the award had he received it for so few events played. Still, Padraig is a worthy winner as he was magisterial in those two major victories and two majors in one year is a fantastic accomplishment. It must be pleasing to know that everyone - fans, players (bar Sergio Garcia!) and journalists like you! Perhaps he could give Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini a few tips!!

As far as we know here at Golf Predictor, the only accolades that Harrington hasn't won this year are the BBC Overseas Personality of the Year and a Nobel prize. While the Olympics and Mr Bolt robbed him of the former, we think that the latter will remain slightly out of his reach! He is very determined though, so if he takes up a new hobby (perhaps economics, given his financial background!) in 2009, you'd never know!

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Most Impressive List in Golf

We can't decide here at Golf Predictor which of the following lists is the most impressive:
  1. Golfers who have won a career grand slam
  2. Golfers with the most major victories
  3. Golfers with most US PGA Tour wins
  4. Golfers with most European PGA Tour wins
So, why not have your say. Let us know which one you think is the most impressive! We're veering towards number two above, but it's mighty close!

Golfers With the Most European PGA Wins

In terms of European PGA Tour victories, the most successful golfers of all time are:
  1. Seve Ballesteros, 50 (1976-1995)
  2. Bernhard Langer, 42 (1980-2002)
  3. Tiger Woods, 37 (1997-2009)
  4. Colin Montgomerie, 31 (1989-2007)
  5. Ian Woosnam, 29 (1982-1997)
  6. Nick Faldo 30 (1977-1996)
  7. Ernie Els, 24 (1994-2007)
  8. José María Olazábal, 23 (1986-2005)
  9. Sam Torrance, 21 (1976-1998)
  10. Mark James, 18 (1978-1997)
  11. Lee Westwood, 18 (1996-2007)
  12. Sandy Lyle, 18 (1979-1992)
This list might not have the legends of golf that other lists have, but since the European Tour is only in existence since 1972, it could hardly compete with the much older US PGA Tour (founded in the 1930s).

Regardless, it sure does have a lot of the big names in golf (and European Ryder Cup Captains/Vice-Captains) from the last thirty years or so. Although they have a combined nineteen major victories between them, it's a shame than Monty hasn't contributed to that total (yet!). It's great to see Seve, a stalwart of the European Tour, on the top of the list. Four of the top ten still compete (six if you include the occasional Faldo/Langer appearance), so we'll be tracking them on Golf Predictor as they try to move up this list!

Golfers With the Most US PGA Wins

In terms of US PGA Tour victories, the most successful golfers of all time are:
  1. Sam Snead, 82 (1936–1965)
  2. Jack Nicklaus, 73 (1962–1986)
  3. Tiger Woods, 70 (1996–2009)
  4. Ben Hogan, 64 (1938–1959)
  5. Arnold Palmer, 62 1955–1973
  6. Byron Nelson, 52 (1935–1951)
  7. Billy Casper, 51 (1956–1975)
  8. Walter Hagen, 44 (1916–1936)
  9. Cary Middlecoff, 40 (1945–1961)
  10. Gene Sarazen, 39 (1922–1941) and Tom Watson, 39 (1974–1998)
Another mightily impressive list. Byron Nelson won half his total in about 2 years during the 1940s! Again Tiger has almost caught Jack in about half the time and is well on track to beat Slammin' Sammy's record. Luckily for Snead fans, Woods hasn't played in many events in recent seasons. We'll be tracking Tiger on Golf Predictor as he guns for yet another record!

It's worth noting that if Ben Hogan had not been so seriously injured in a car crash in 1949, he would surelty have won far more tournaments. The fact that he recovered to play golf again at all is miraculous, never mind to almost win the grand slam in 1953.

Golfers With the Most Major Victories

In terms of major tournament victories, the most successful golfers of all time are:
  • Jack Nicklaus, 18 (1962-86)
  • Tiger Woods, 14 (1997– )
  • Walter Hagen, 11 (1914–1929)
  • Gary Player, 9 (1961–1978)
  • Ben Hogan, 9 (1946–1953)
  • Tom Watson, 8 (1975–1983)
  • Arnold Palmer, 7 (1958–1964 )
  • Sam Snead, 7 (1942–1954)
  • Gene Sarazen, 7 (1922–1935)
  • Bobby Jones, 7 (1923–1930)
  • Harry Vardon, 7 (1896–1914)
Who said cream doesn't rise to the top?! Some impressive names there, none more so than the part-time amateur Bobby Jones. He makes the list despite having a short career span and not being eligible for the US PGA Championship, which wasn't a major at the time. His other amateur majors aren't included in this list either.

Tiger has amassed 14 majors in less than half the time Jack took to win 18, so as long as his knee holds out, it seems to be a question of when, not if, he takes the most coveted of records from the Golden Bear. We'll be tracking him on Golf Predictor as he aims for another record!

Golfers who have won Career Grand Slams

Many great golfers have won multiple majors down through the years, but very few have the complete set. The only golfers to win the career grand slam as we now know it are:
  • Tiger Woods
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Gary Player
  • Ben Hogan
  • Gene Sarazen
Tiger and Jack have three career slams, an unbelievable achievement. Of course, no one has managed to win the four in the same season yet, although Ben Hogan was robbed of a great chance by stupid scheduling in 1953. The British Open and US PGA were too close together and tragically Hogan couldn't get back from Britain in time for a crack at his fourth major of the season. Tiger Woods managed to have the most impressive mantelpiece in golf history when he held all four majors simultaneously in 2002. Unfortunately for him, it spanned two seasons of brilliance, but it was still a remarkable achievement.

The only player ever to win a bona fide grand slam is the most famous and brilliant amateur golfer of all time, the great Bobby Jones. However, when he achieved the impossible under the greatest of pressure in 1930, the grand slam was somewhat different, consisting of the the US and British Amateur and professional Opens. Jones would go on to found Augusta National and The Masters tournament, which was first held in 1934.

What Jones achieved was fantastic and has never been equalled. However, what odds on a rehabilitated Tiger Woods cementing his standing as a golfing immortal by achieving the modern equivalent? We'll be tracking him on Golf Predictor as he tries his hardest!

Tiger's Caddie Telling It Like It Is!

Tiger Woods' caddie, Steve Williams, didn't exactly enhance the already frosty relationship between his boss and the world number 3, Phil Mickelson, with comments printed in a New Zealand newspaper.

While speaking your mind can sometimes be an admirable quality, there are times when a bit of tact is called for. This was one of those times. Confirming what everyone knows and fanning the flames of animosity by throwing in his own tuppence worth was plain dumb and causes unnecessary complications. At the very least, he should learn what speaking off the record means*!

Woods was quick to distance himself from the remarks, no matter how true they may have been. Mickelson was quick to stick the boot in himself, saying how fortunate he was to have a class act on his bag! It should be very interesting to see what happens when Williams and Mickelson cross paths again. Unfortunately, Golf Predictor doesn't track fights on the first tee!

*Update - apparently he thought he was speaking off the record. He'll make sure in future!

Great White Shark Still Lurking

We were surprised here at Golf Predictor to notice that Greg Norman is still ranked in the top 200 in the world. Now while this is obviously mainly due to his outstanding performance in this year's British Open, it's still impressive going for a man who spends most of his time these days playing tennis and making wads of cash as a business titan!

Monday 15 December 2008

2009 - Week 5 Prediction Online

We have published the predictions for the fifth week of the 2009 golfing season, the South African Open Championship (European PGA Tour). It is also the last event in the 2008 calendar year for Golf Predictor, so we're looking forward to our well earned Christmas break!

As with last week, there are a lot of lesser known South Africans in the field. However, there are more big names competing this week, with the big name South Africans out in force for their national open.

There are 4 past champions from pre-2004 in the field (we use the results from the previous 5 years). They are Trevor Immelman (2003), Tim Clark (2002), David Frost (1999) and Ernie Els (1998), who all won on a different course to the Pearl Valley layout now used.Tim Clark also just won the Australian Open yesterday, so his confidence will be high.

Cosmopolitan World Top 10

Gone are the days of US dominance at the top of the world rankings (hurrah!). While they still hold 2 of the top 3 spots in the list (Woods & Mickleson), that's all they have in the top 10 at the moment. In fact, Sweden has as many golfers in the upper echelon, thanks to the wonderfully consistent play of Karlsson and Stenson in 2008.

In all, there are golfers from 8 different countries and 4 different continents in the current top 10. A fifth continent is represented by 11th spot and the complete set is achieved in the top 18. That goes to show the current global strength of golf. Long may it continue, especially the part with the Irish man in the top 4!!

2009 - Week 4 Winner

As feared yesterday, Thomas Aiken buckled under the pressure to hand Richard Sterne (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) the Alfred Dunhill Championship. American Len Mattiace also buckled in the last round, recording two treble bogies to plummet down the leaderboard. If only he was as accurate under pressure as the guy who threw his shoes at his president yesterday, Mattiace might have won the tournament! Sterne wasn't complaining though as he became the first home winner in 3 years, securing the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit title to boot.

It wasn't a great week for the top players in the field. Our top ranked player, Lee Westwood finished in a tie for 16th and we also had David Lynn in the top 10.

Sunday 14 December 2008

Aiken Breaks Course Record in Alfred Dunhill Championship

Little known South African, Thomas Aiken, lowered the Leopard Creek course record by 2 shots with a sparkling 61. Having had 9 birdies and no blemishes after 17 holes, he chipped in for eagle on the par 5 18th for good measure!

That superb 11 under par effort beat the previous mark set by compatriot Trevor Immelman and catapulted Aiken to the top of the leaderboard. We here at Golf Predictor will be interested to see if the 25 year old can keep up the good work under the pressure of the final round.

Saturday 13 December 2008

Mount Juliet Baulks at Holding the Irish Open

The scramble is on to find a host course for the 2009 Irish Open, Ireland's only European PGA Tour event. Previous reports had suggested that Mount Juliet would stage the event, but yesterday the estate management reluctantly had to refuse the hosting invitation from the European Tour.

The reasons given were prior commitments on the estate at that time, but the premature leaking of the venue as a fait accompli certainly didn't help matters. It is now believed that the search for a new host course is centred on the East coast, as everyone knows that's where the best courses in Ireland are!!!!!!!!!!

Friday 12 December 2008

Golfer Results Page Enhanced

We have improved the look of the golfer results page. This page is available whenever you click on a golfer name on any of the Golf Predictor pages that lists tournament results. We have now brought it more into line with the other such pages in the Member section of Golf Predictor.

We have also taken the opportunity to add the golfer's total to the page i.e. the number of strokes the golfer took in the tournament.

Daly in Doo-Doo Down Under

Even more controversy for poor John Daly on his 3 tournament sojourn in Australia. In this case, I feel he was justified to be upset when someone stuck a camera in his face as he prepared to take a shot on his final hole at the first round of the Australian Open. The ensuing flash at close quarters having "burnt" his eyes, Daly took it upon himself to test the camera's durability by hurling it into a tree. Assuming it was Japanese, the camera should still be in perfect working order!

It hasn't been a great return for promoters as Daly, who has received an appearance fee for the three events in Oz, has missed the cut twice so far and struggled to a 78 yesterday. We can look forward to seeing more fireworks from Big John next year on the European Tour, where he plans to play regularly. Golf Predictor doesn't recommend that you bring your camera to record it for posterity though!

Corey Pavin to Captain US Ryder Cup Team

Corey Pavin has been announced as the successor to Paul Azinger and captain for the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales. He'll have a tough act to follow as Zinger did a great job, although he was probably helped by the fact that Tiger Woods was unavailable!

Pavin now steps up to the mark after his predecessor couldn't be persuaded to stay on for another battle. Way to quit while you're ahead! We here at Golf Predictor wonder what odds now on the official US team outfits for 2010 being combat gear of some description?!

Thursday 11 December 2008

US Tour - Cowboys Don't Like Golf!

While looking at the 'Tournament Locations' page (Member section, View Options menu) on Golf Predictor, it struck us that the US Tour doesn't in fact cover that much of the US! This is especially true if you take the huge state of Alaska into account!

It seems to have been this way for years, with huge swathes of the North West and Rocky Mountain states being without a single tournament. It may well be that all the golf fans are grouped in the flag (and population) dense areas shown on the map above. Maybe the US PGA should try to boost golf's popularity among cowboys!!!

Golf is Natural Resource in Ireland!

While the apparent saving of the Irish Open on the European Tour calendar is great news for Irish golf fans, the knight in shining armour had a pretty interesting comment to make. The hero in question is the much maligned (and seemingly unsackable!) Martin Cullen, currently Minister for Sport in the Irish government.

Having done copious amounts of good work behind the scenes, it now seems that the 2009 event will be held in Mount Juliet under the sponsorship of 3, the mobile telecommunications company. It's quite a coup for the minister to get new (and increased) sponsorship in this economic climate and he was adamant that it was vital to do so.

Asserting that golf was one of Ireland's few "natural resources", Mr Cullen felt it was imperative to preserve the status of the event. We are not sure however, if he has plans to dig up the Old Course in Ballybunion and export it to a foreign buyer!

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Harrington is European Golfer of the Year Again

To round off a memorable year, Padraig Harrington has been crowned as European Golfer of the Year. Not content with the two majors, two Shot of the Month awards and the Shot of the Year, Harrington also managed to "successfully defend" the Golfer of the Year award!

And is he happy? Of course not. He plans a rigorous program in the gym and changes to his swing in advance of the Masters in April. We wish him well in his quest for the "Paddy Slam"!

Our favourite Swede here at Golf Predictor, Robert Karlsson, was Harrington's closest competitor for the Golfer of the Year award. After a tremendous season where the ultra-consistent Karlsson won the Order of Merit and the team World Cup, he was unfortunate that another European bagged two majors.

Frazar Succeeds at Q-School

After hitting the stupendous 59 on Saturday, Harrison Frazer kept his focus admirably and coasted to the Q-School medal. Despite a double bogey finish, Frazar still had 8 shots to spare over his nearest challengers. Other familiar names making a welcome return to the full tour (and thus tracking by Golf Predictor!) include John Huston, Notay Begay III and former Ryder Cup player Chris Riley.

Seve Watch: Good News

It has been reported that Seve Ballesteros has been released from hospital after over 2 months and 4 brain operations. While everyone at Golf Predictor is delighted at this fantastic news, Seve himself says that this is only a temporary release on his website. Still, it can only be good that he is let out at all, especially only a week after his last operation.

As an aside, I never realised Seve had a tattoo before now! He appears to have one (possibly of a golfer) on his arm in the picture on his home page! That rebel spirit seems to be aiding in his recovery!

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Stats Delay

Unfortunately, due to recent regular delays in the availability of certain key statistics, it may be necessary to change the time Golf Predictor pledges to produce our weekly predictions by. We are hoping that the delay in recent weeks is because of the US PGA Tour off-season.

We will monitor the situation and make changes in the New Year, if necessary. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but this situation is beyond our control.

2009 - Week 4 Prediction Update

As per our announcement last week, we have re-run the prediction engine for the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the 4th event on the 2009 European Tour schedule. As expected, there isn't much variation in the Golf Predictor rankings for the tournament, using the most up-to-date data.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Frazar Shoots Magical 59 at Q-School

American Harrison Frazar shot a spectacular 59 in the fourth round of the US PGA Tour qualifying tournament yesterday to grab a four shot lead with two rounds remaining. Frazar went out in 30 and just narrowly failed to finish with 8 consecutive birdies on the Nicklaus Tournament course at PGA West in California. Unfortunately, he had to settle for a mere 59!

Let's hope he does better in the qualifying cauldron than David Gossett, the last player to shoot 59 at Q-School, who nevertheless subsequently failed to secure his card.

Saturday 6 December 2008

2009 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters Cancelled

The European PGA Tour have announced the cancellation of the 2009 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters due to financial and security concerns. The event, scheduled for the 5th-8th of February, was considered a success in its inaugural running last season and hopes to return in the 2010 campaign.

Unfortunately, recent tragic events on the sub-continent and the on-going global financial malaise have taken their toll. The European Tour joins both major women's tours in cancelling events due to the worsening economic climate. Let's just hope that this is not the thin end of the wedge, even if it reduces our work load here at Golf Predictor! Regrettably, we have removed the tournament from the system.

Thursday 4 December 2008

2009 - Top 5 Longest Courses on the European PGA Tour

Based on the course information in Golf Predictor, these are the longest courses on the European PGA Tour in the 2009 season:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton GC at Dove Mountain (WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship) - 7833 yards
  2. Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates (Dubai World Championship) - 7758 yards
  3. Hazeltine National GC (US PGA Championship) - 7674 yards
  4. Barseback G & CC (SAS Masters) - 7655 yards
  5. Royal Johannesburg and Kensington GC (Joburg Open) - 7589 yards
There are several new entries this year from the 2008 list. However, some yardages may change as the official tournament length of some courses becomes available. I will update this post when necessary.

You can get more detailed information by looking at the 'Longest Courses' chart on the 'View Options/Tourn. Stats' page (Euro Tour, 2009 Season) in the member section of Golf Predictor. Click on the "Lists" category opposite to see more such lists.

2009 - Top 5 Longest Courses on the US PGA Tour

Based on the course information in Golf Predictor, these are the longest courses on the US PGA Tour in the 2009 season:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton GC at Dove Mountain (WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship), 7833 yards
  2. Hazeltine National GC (US PGA Championship) - 7674 yards
  3. Torrey Pines, South Course (Buick Invitational) - 7569 yards
  4. Trump International Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Open) - 7569 yards
  5. Walt Disney Word Resort, Magnolia GC (Children's Miracle Network Classic) - 7516 yards
You can get more detailed information by looking at the 'Longest Courses' chart on the 'View Options/Tourn. Stats' page (US Tour, 2009 Season) in the member section of Golf Predictor. Click on the "Lists" category opposite to see more such lists.

2009 - Top 5 Shortest Courses on the US PGA Tour

Based on the course information in Golf Predictor, these are the shortest courses on the US PGA Tour in the 2009 season:
  1. Brown Deer Park GC (US Bank Championship in Milwaukee) - 6759 yards
  2. Pebble Beach Golf Links (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) - 6816 yards
  3. TPC River Highlands (Travelers Championship) - 6820 yards
  4. Le Cantera (Valero Texas Open) - 6896 yards
  5. El Camaleon GC (Mayakoba Golf Classic) - 6923 yards
This is the same as the 2008 list. You can get more detailed information by looking at the 'Shortest Courses' chart on the 'View Options/Tourn. Stats' page (US Tour, 2009 Season) in the member section of Golf Predictor. Click on the "Lists" category opposite to see more such lists.

2009 - Top 5 Shortest Courses on the European PGA Tour

Based on the course information in Golf Predictor, these are the shortest courses on the European PGA Tour in the 2009 season:
  1. Kennemar G & CC (KLM Open) - 6626 yards
  2. Hong Kong GC (UBS Hong Kong Open) - 6703 yards
  3. New Kuta GC (Indonesia Open) - 6812 yards
  4. Crans-sur-Sierre GC (Omega European Masters) - 6822 yards
  5. Saint Omer GC (Saint Omer Open pres. by Neuflize OBC) - 6884 yards
There are a few changes from the 2008 list. However, some yardages may change as the official tournament length of some courses becomes available. I will update this post when necessary.

You can get more detailed information by looking at the 'Shortest Courses' chart on the 'View Options/Tourn. Stats' page (Euro Tour, 2009 Season) in the member section of Golf Predictor. Click on the "Lists" category opposite to see more such lists.

2009 - Week 4 Prediction Issue

We have just remembered that the South African leg of the European Tour doesn't start until next week. Therefore, we will run the prediction engine again then when the slightly different world rankings become available.

We do not expect much variation in the rankings as there is no European or US Tour event this week. However, there are several events on the lesser tours, so some golfers might have a good week there. Golf Predictor apologises for any confusion caused.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Irish Hot Shots

In addition to winning 8 tournaments (including 2 majors of course!) on the European Tour in 2008, Irish golfers won 4 Shot of the Month awards and the top 3 Shots of the Year!

Harrington's majestic five wood to 3 feet in the wind at the 17th in the final round of the British Open deservedly won the Shot of the Year (and Shot of the Month in July). As if it was needed, Harrington again provided proof that he had the mettle of a true champion at the penultimate hole of the US PGA Championship. He won the August award and 3rd place in the Shot of the Year for his approach to 8 feet at the tricky par 3.

Graeme McDowell's seven iron in the Ballantine's Championship play-off in March completed the Irish clean sweep of the podium. Darren Clarke was the other Irish monthly winner in April. Talk about a great year! It will he hard to top that in 2009 and Rory McIlroy unfortunately just failed to get the ball rolling this season in Hong Kong.

Sorting More Convenient on Tournaments Page

In an effort to maximise convenience for you, our loyal users, we have made a slight alteration to the 'Tournaments' page in the Golf Predictor member section (View Options menu).

For approximately the first half of the season, the events will now be sorted by week in ascending order by default. When we move into the second half of a season, they will be sorted by week in descending order by default. Of course, you can still click on the week column header to change the sorting direction, if desired.

This change means that you should be able to find the current week's tournaments (and recent ones) with less clicks of the mouse and less loading of pages. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even easier to use!

Seve Watch: Bad News

Unfortunately, more bad news for the legions of anxious Seve Ballesteros fans worldwide as the golf legend is reportedly back in intensive care after a fourth brain operation. While we all hoped that he was well on the road to recovery, a valve had to be implanted in his brain to drain more fluid and a bone defect caused by an earlier operation had to be fixed.

His condition is reported as stable, but it doesn't look good as some sources report the hospital as refusing to even confirm the surgery. Once again, here's hoping that Seve recovers fully.

Monday 1 December 2008

2009 - Week 4 Prediction Online

We have published the predictions for the fourth week of the 2009 golfing season, the Alfred Dunhill Championship (European PGA Tour). Not to be confused with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship played in the Autumn in cold, blustery Scotland, this event is held in sunny South Africa during their summer. Similar to last week, it's another relatively weak field due the location and time of year. Unsurprisingly, a lot of lesser known South Africans make up the numbers but there are a few big(gish) names competing all the same.

There are 2 past champions not accounted for in our statistics analysis (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years). They are Mark Foster (2003) and Sven Struver (1996), who won on a different course to the Leopard Creak layout now used.

Sweden Win the World Cup

Sweden finished with a blistering foursomes round of 63 to claim the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. Golf Predictor's favourite Swede, Robert Karlsson capped off a great year by partnering Henrik Stenson to victory in China.

Spain (Jimenez & Larrazábal) finished in second place and the organisers managed to find 2 Aussies not playing in the Australian Masters, only for them to finish disappointingly and drop into a tie for third with Japan.