Monday, 30 March 2009

2009 - Week 18 Predictions Online

We have published the predictions for week 18, the Estoril Open de Portugal (European PGA Tour) and the Shell Houston Open (US PGA Tour). It's a chance for a final tune up before the Masters for the participants, so it will be interesting to see how the week pans out. All the main players are in the US already, so the field in Portugal obviously suffers as a result.

The list of pre-2004 champions in the Shell Houston Open (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Fred Couples (2003), Vijay Singh (2002), Stuart Appleby (1999) and David Duval (1998). The corresponding list for the Estoril Open de Portugal is Phillip Price (2001, 1994), Gary Orr (2000) and Michael Jonzon (1997).

Sunday, 29 March 2009

2009 - Week 17 Winners

Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen (ranked 10th by Golf Predictor) followed up his superb third round 62 to take the Open de Andalucia on the European PGA Tour. It wasn't easy though as he had to battle hard with David Drysdale (ranked 36th) on the back nine before prevailing. Our top pick, Miguel Angel Jimenez, finished in a tie for 14th and we had five of the top thirteen in total.

On the US PGA Tour, Tiger Woods (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) 'finally' won again! On his third tournament back from serious injury, Tiger clocked up his 66th PGA Tour victory with his 6th win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Looking at those numbers, it might be prudent to check behind his ear for a birthmark!! Tiger equalled his best ever comeback to overhaul Sean O'Hair's five shot lead on the 18th. He did it in style too, with a trademark birdie finish (see video below). In total, we had eight out of the top sixteen to make it a pretty good week for Golf Predictor.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Average Course Length on the US/European PGA Tours 2003-2009

Now that the average lengths for the courses used on the US and European PGA Tour since 2003 are available on Golf Predictor, it is possible to plot the data and look for trends. The chart above shows the average length of course used on each tour (and on both tours combined) for the 2003-2009 seasons*. A similar page for 2003-15 course lengths is available here.

Looking at the chart, the US PGA Tour courses are consistently about 100 yards longer than those used on the European PGA Tour. The average length appears to stay relatively constant over the period, but that may be due to the fact that we only store the latest available yardage for each course (2009).

*Note that some courses have to be finalised for the 2009 European PGA season. Course lengths have been ascertained from official sources where possible. Finally, the lengthening of existing courses is not reflected in the statistics.

Average Course Length added to Golf Predictor

We have slightly enhanced the 'Courses' page in the member section of Golf Predictor ('View Options' menu). In addition to showing the number of courses that have hosted tournaments since 2003, the average length of the courses is now displayed. The current* average course length for all course used on the European and US PGA Tours since 2003 is 7167.3 yards.

We have also added the average course length to the 'Tournaments' and 'Tournaments(Courses)' pages (also available from the 'View Options' menu). As shown in the screenshot above, this allows you to see the average course length for a selected year and tour. Just more useful statistics for Golf Predictor members!

*The European PGA Tour still hasn't been able to finalise a few tournaments for the 2009 season.

Friday, 27 March 2009

More Enhancements for 'Compare Golfers' Page

Following on from the recent Compare Golfer page enhancements, we are pleased to announce 17 new golfer comparison charts on the Golf Predictor 'Compare Golfers' page. This page is available from the the 'Stats Analysis' menu (member section). As shown in the top image above, the links for these charts now appear when you compare at least 2 golfers. These new comparison charts are for:
  1. GP Rank
  2. Season Average
  3. Last 5 Events
  4. World Ranking
  5. Scoring Average
  6. Weather Average
  7. Course Average
  8. Tournament Average
  9. Similar Tournament Average
  10. Round 1 Average
  11. Round 2 Average
  12. Round 3 Average
  13. Final Round Average
  14. Tournaments Played
  15. Top Tens
  16. Wins
  17. Missed Cuts

The second screenshot above shows the world ranking comparison chart, which shows the, err, world rankings for your selected golfers. As usual, you can hover over a bar to display the text box shown in the image.

This new functionality brings the total number of available charts in Golf Predictor to an incredible 162! All members can view the scoring average comparison chart, but only subscribers can view the other 16 charts. So, sign up today and reap the full benefits of Golf Predictor, the premium professional golf statistics site.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

European Ryder Cup Leadership Debacle Continues

As Monty plays in his 500th European PGA Tour event, the European Ryder Cup Captaincy debacle continues. First there was the almost farcical goings on before Monty was eventually confirmed as the top dog. Since then, Monty has been periodically confirming Jose Maria Olazabal as a vice captain, while Olly has been periodically denying that this is the case.

We here at Golf Predictor think it's gone beyond a joke at this stage. Come on lads, sort it out for goodness sakes!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Arnold Palmer Invitational - Memorable Moments

Just to whet your appetite for this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational (covered by Golf Predictor), here are some memorable moments from previous years. These moments include a great hole out by Robert Gamez and a string of wins by Tiger Woods (who else?!). And no, I don't know what the large sword is all about either! Tiger slays enough foes without it!!!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Golf Predictor Goes Twittering!

While never a fan of social networking sites (especially pointless ones), there is now a Golf Predictor page on Twitter. You can follow it by clicking here or on the link in the side panel on the right of this page, where the last five Twits/Tweets are displayed!

This will be used for minor posts, announcements of important blog posts and wistful musings perhaps!

2009 - Week 17 Predictions Updated

We have had to run the predictions for this week's tournaments again. We noticed that Padraig Harrington's ranking was unreasonably low after our initial run. Upon investigation, a minor flaw was discovered in our ranking algorithm for golfers with no relevant experience (in this case, no course history). This has now been fixed and the new ranking lists are now online. 

This should make the Golf Predictor rankings better in the future and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

2009 - Week 17 Predictions Online

We have published the predictions for week 17, the Open de Andalucia (European PGA Tour) and the Arnold Palmer Invitational (US PGA Tour). Both events are hosted by pros this week, with Miguel Angel Jimenez doing the honours in Spain. European Ryder Cup captain and tour stalwart Colin Montgomerie reaches the milestone of 500 European PGA Tournaments this week. It would be great if Monty could mark the historic occasion with another win. On the US PGA Tour, there is an impressive turn out for Arnie's tournament, where Tiger Woods tops the bill. Phil Mickelson is now perilously close to him at the top of the world rankings, so Woods will be eager to get back to winning ways on the Bay Hill track.

The list of pre-2004 champions in the Arnold Palmer Invitational (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Tiger Woods (2003, 2002, 2001 & 2000), Tim Herron (1999), Paul Goydos (1996), Fred Couples (1992) and Paul Azinger (1988). The Open de Andalucia is only in its third year.

2009 - Week 16 Winners

Estanislao Goya (ranked 13th by Golf Predictor) has won his first European PGA Tour title at the Madeira Islands Open BPI. The 20 year old Argentinian survived an amazing back nine charge by Callum MacAulay of Scotland to secure a title at only the sixth attempt. MacAulay came home in 28 with birdies at eight of the last nine holes for a final round 64. That stupendous effort involved only 10 putts in the last 10 holes. However, it wasn't enough and Goya managed to hold out for a one shot victory. Our top pick, Anthony Wall, finished in a tie for 5th and we had seven of the top fifteen in total.

On the US PGA Tour, Retief Goosen (ranked 10th by Golf Predictor) overcame tricky putting conditions to win the Transitions Championship. On greens similar to his US Open victory at Shinnecock Hills, The Goose sank a gutsy five footer to win by a shot. The fairytale ending didn't happen as veteran Tom Lehman wilted on the final day and eventually finished in tied eight place. Our top pick, Kenny Perry, finished in a tie for seventeenth and we also had Steve Stricker (who once again let a lead slip on the back nine) in the top ten.

Competition Winner

Thanks to all who entered our St. Patrick's Day Competition. The winner has received his free month's subscription. Stay tuned for more Golf Predictor competitions during the year. The next one will probably be to celebrate our upcoming one year anniversary!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Most/Least Consistent Golfers on the 2008 European/US PGA Tours

Thanks to the new standard deviation (SD) information in Golf Predictor, it is now possible to see who were the most/least consistent performers in any completed season since 2003. Looking at the data for 2008, it is possible to see how great Tiger Woods really was in his truncated season. With finishes of 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 & 5, Tiger's SD was just 1.5, not far off perfect (zero). Given the average SD for all golfers in 2008 was 37.1, this was extraordinary consistency, even if it was only seven tournaments. Tiger's nearest challengers in the consistency stakes played a similar number of tournaments or less. The most consistent golfers who played a full season of events were Sergio Garcia (SD of 17.9 from 25 events), Robert Allenby (SD of 18.8 from 29 events) and Robert Karlsson (SD of 20.1 from 24 events). It is no surprise to see Karlsson up there after his wonderful season.

At the other end of the scale, despite this British Open heroics, the veteran Greg Norman was actually the most inconsistent performer last year. The Great White Shark had finishes of 3, 133, 14, 110, 149 & 7. These wildly fluctuating results gave Norman a SD of 68.4, albeit from only six events. The least consistent golfers who played a full season of events were Michael Campbell (SD of 52.6 from 23 events), James Kamte (SD of 51.8 from 23 events) and Steve Allen (SD of 50.3 from 21 events). Again, it was no surprise to see the erratic former US Open Champion Campbell falling in the consistency stakes. Hopefully he can get on a more even keel this season.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Major Enhancement - Standard Deviation Added to Statistics/Predictions

We are pleased to announce the addition of standard deviation to the statistical data available in Golf Predictor. For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, here are the two pertinent questions (with answers!) that you might be asking yourself:

What is standard deviation?
Standard deviation (SD) is a statistical measure of the dispersion of a set of numbers. A low SD means the numbers are all quite similar, a high one means they are very different. For example, take the number sets (49, 51, 48, 52, 50) and (1, 99, 2, 98, 50). Both sets have an average of 50, but the SD of set 1 is 1.58 while the SD of set 2 is 48.50.

How is standard deviation relevant to Golf Predictor?
When looking at a golfer's results over a period of time, the SD is a measure of how consistent that golfer has been. If his finishing positions are all similar (be they good or bad!), he will have a low SD. Therefore, when it comes to analysing results from the current season/last five events, previous years at the same tournament/on the same course and last 12 similar events, we can use SD to measure consistency.

We have also added SD to the completed season statistics. By looking at the season data since 2003, it becomes apparent that the SD for a golfer can be interpreted roughly as follows:

  • 0: Perfect consistency (same result every time)*
  • Less than 10: Unbelievably consistent
  • Between 10 and 20: Very consistent
  • Between 20 and 30: fairly consistent
  • Between 30 and 40: so-so consistency
  • Between 40 and 50: fairly inconsistent
  • Between 50 and 60: very inconsistent
  • Over 60: All over the place.
*Very unlikely to happen over more than a few tournaments, although Tiger came unbelievably close in 2008!

From this week on (week 16, 2009 - the week of the Madeira Islands Open BPI/Transitions Championship), the season/last 5/historical SD data will be available on the 'Prediction Data' page for each golfer. The season SD is also on the 'Season Data' page for each golfer for every completed season since 2003. In addition, the 'Season History', 'Last 5 History', 'Course History', 'Tournament History', 'Similar tournament History' and 'Season Statistics' pages now also have a sortable SD column and two new charts each. The charts on each of these pages show the most/least consistent golfers in the field (prediction pages) or for the chosen season/tour ('Season Statistics' page). The season SD charts are also accessible from the main 'Tournament Predictions' page.

This has been a major enhancement to Golf Predictor. In addition to the SD features outlined above, consistency has now been added to our prediction algorithm. For example, if all other things are equal and the two golfers have the same season average, the more consistent (the one with the lowest SD) will be ranked as more likely to perform on a given week.

This new functionality brings the total number of available charts in Golf Predictor to 145. As with most of the existing ones, only subscribers can view these new charts. So, sign up today and reap the full benefits of Golf Predictor, the premium professional golf statistics site.

Tiger to Appear Down Under for Juicy Appearance Fee

The tax payers of Victoria, Australia must be delighted that Tiger Woods has deigned to grace them with his presence this November. Woods has apparently agreed to compete in the Australian Masters for the princely sum of US$3 million in appearance fees. That works out at over US$10,000 per shot and doesn't include the big prize money that he's likely to win. We here at Golf Predictor wish we spent more time on the practice range!

The announcement has met with mixed feelings in Australia. Some are welcoming the first appearance of the golfing phenomenon down under since the 2008 President's Cup. Others are concerned about the vulgar appearance fee and the removal of the limelight from their national open two weeks later. For a region rebuilding after devastating fires where many lost their lives and/or property, to give one man that amount of tax payer's money for hitting a ball seems a little obscene. On the other hand, his appearance will generate a multiple of his fee in economic benefits.

I guess it makes good business sense, but that doesn't make it right! If I was him, I know to whom I would be donating that appearance fee. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Woods will be as magnanimous.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

2009 - Week 16 Prediction Updates

We have had to update the predictions for this week's tournaments on Golf Predictor. The new slightly amended rankings are now available on the site for the Madeira Islands Open BPI (European PGA Tour) and the Transitions Championship (US PGA Tour).

We noticed that there was a minor problem with a great new feature that we have introduced to the system. The entry lists have changed slightly from yesterday also, so we used the latest lists second time around. Note that you may have to refresh/reload the prediction pages to see the new rankings. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Saint Patrick's Day Competition!

Begorrah and bejaysus, tis Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow, so it is! To celebrate our national day here in Ireland, we are offering a free one month subscription to Golf Predictor. All you have to do to have a chance of winning is email our support line with your user name and wish us a happy Saint Patrick's Day! We may even award a number of free subscriptions if we receive particularly nice entries. You have until 9am (GMT) this Saturday, March 21th, to enter.

If the winner is not already a subscriber, the subscription will run for one month from the day of notification. Otherwise, it will be added to the winner's existing subscription.

Good luck!

2009 - Week 16 Predictions Online

We have published the predictions for week 16, the Madeira Islands Open BPI (European PGA Tour) and the Transitions Championship (US PGA Tour). You know the European Tour marketing department are in a bind when they have to invoke Christopher Columbus to, err, whip up a frenzy about a tournament! However, I'm sure the new Seve designed course at Porto Santo will offer a stiff test to the not too illustrious competitors.

The list of pre-2004 champions in the Transitions Championship (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Retief Goosen (2003), K.J. Choi (2002) and John Huston (2000). The corresponding list for the Madeira Islands Open BPI is Bradley Dredge (2003), Diego Borrego (2002), Niclas Fasth(2000), Pedro Linhart (1999), Jarmo Sandelin (1996) and Santiago Luna (1995).

2009 - Week 15 Winners

Phil Mickleson (ranked 4th by Golf Predictor) won the battle of Butch's Babes by winning his first WGC title at the CA Championship in Miami yesterday. Mickelson overcame Nick Watney (ranked 53th) and debilitating dehydration to clinch his second title of the season and move back to second in the world ranking. Tiger Woods, our top ranked player, finished in a credible tie for 9th (for anyone else anyway!) on his return to stroke play action. The rest of the top ten had an unexpected dearth of top players. Brief highlights, including Watney's brilliant chip on the 9th and agonisingly close birdie effort on the 18th, are available here:

Elsewhere, the lesser lights on the US PGA Tour were at the Puerto Rico Open. Even if all the top players were trying to tame the Blue Monster, the victory of the 816th ranked golfer in the world was an impressive feat. Michael Bradley (ranked 107th by Golf Predictor) secured his first Tour victory in eleven years courtesy of a sharp short game. The win propelled him up to 260th in the world ranking and the earned him an invaluable two year tour exception, among other things. Our top ranked player for this event (Jerry Kelly) also finished tied 9th and we had three other golfers in the top 9 plus ties.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Henrik Stenson to Star in Stiptease 2!!

Henrik Stenson risked causing several heart attacks among Florida's senior golf fans at the WGC - CA Championship on Thursday. Having landed in the muck on the third hole, Stenson decided to play the ball as it lay. Fortunately for his most ardent fans, this involved disrobing down to his kacks and his glove!

Those interested in Henrik's lunchbox, can see a picture here. It is unknown whether he used one of his socks to, err, enhance his profile!! In fairness to the Swede, he took the whole episode in good humour, not that he had any choice in the matter!

Butch's Babes Take Control!

Two of Butch Harmon's star pupils, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney, hold a four shot lead after three rounds of the WGC - CA Championship. Overnight leader Mickelson shot 69 while Watney caught him with an impressive 67. Tiger Woods continued his slow improvement throughout the event with a round of 68. However, he was plagued by putting woes again as he missed a succession of birdie chances. We here at Golf Predictor will be interested to see will he continue to improve on the final day. You can see brief highlights here (with somewhat unusual commentary!):

Camilo Villegas continued his welcome return to form with a 69 and a share of third place. Kenny Perry's round was derailed when his tee shot unfortunately hit a rake on the 13th. The ball moved from its eventual lie as he was addressing it and he incurred a one shot penalty. Perry's ensuing double bogey took the wind out of his sails, but he's still well placed in tied 5th going in to the final round.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Enhancements to Golfers and Search Pages

We have enhanced the 'Golfers' page in the member section of Golf Predictor ('View Options' menu). As shown in the first screenshot above, the following changes have been made:
  1. The golfer names are now hyperlinked. Hovering over one will show some extra information, while clicking it will open the new 'Golfer Details' page (see below).
  2. We now display the number of tournaments that each golfer has played since 2003 in a sortable column.
  3. We have added 2 new charts to the page. One shows the most common nationalities among the golfers and the other shows those who have played the most tournaments since 2003. Rather unsurprisingly, Americans have by far the biggest number of professionals. Rather surprisingly, Vijay Singh is not in the top 20 in the most tournaments played chart!
  4. We display the total number of golfers in the system, both on the main golfer page and the new chart pages.
These 2 new charts, accessible to all members, bring the total number of charts in Golf Predictor to 129. The second screenshot above shows the new 'Golfer Details' page, accessed by clicking on a golfer name on the revamped golfers page. This page shows the basic golfer information and all the tournament results for that golfer since 2003. As usual, hovering over a tournament name will show some extra information, while clicking it will display the full information on the 'Results' page for that golfer/tournament.

In addition, the Golf Predictor search page has been updated to include similar functionality for the results of player searches. The number of matching results for each search (tournament/golfer/course) is now also displayed for your convenience. We hope you find these new enhancements useful.

WGC - CA Championship - Second Round Summary

Phil Mickelson wasn't lying yesterday when he said his game was in tip-top shape. Lefty added a 66 to his opening 65 to take control at the half way point of the WGC - CA Championship. His two shot advantage comes courtesy of a remarkable three chip in birdies, confirming that his incredible short game is back in the groove. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods is still struggling to find his groove on his return to stroke play action. While his score of 70 was a one shot improvement over Thursday's round, he finds himself well back after a succession of un-Tiger like irons. Although others might be, we here at Golf Predictor are not surprised that even Woods needs time to get back in the swing of things (pun intended!). You can watch some of his misfires here:

Other players catching the eye at Doral include young Northern Irish man Rory McIlroy and Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand. McIlroy shot up the leaderboard with a fine 66, despite two bogies near the end of his round. He hit back superbly however, finishing eagle-birdie for a share of third place. Only an unfortunate triple bogey at the last prevented Marksaeng from occupying second spot. Still, not bad going for a guy who apparently started playing with a golf club he made out of bamboo and bicycle tyres!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Tiger's First Stroke Play Round Over

Tiger Woods hit a solid, if unspectacular 71 on his return to stroke play yesterday at the WGC - CA Championship. While happy with his ball striking, he was left a little cold by the greens on the Blue Monster, as you can see here:

Elsewhere, Phil Mickleson continued his recent return to form by shooting 65 for a share of the lead. Indeed, Mickelson himself reckons that he is currently playing as well as he ever has, especially from 50 yards in (and he was never exactly the worst in that department!). We at Golf Predictor are glad to also see a welcome return to form for Camilo Villegas (67) and Padraig Harrington (66), neither of whom have been setting the world on fire lately.

Doral - Memorable Moments

Better late than never, here are some memorable moments from past events held on the Blue Monster course, venue for this week's WGC - CA Championship (covered by Golf Predictor). These moments include an amazing hole out finish by Craig Parry, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods on the prowl and Scott Hoch faffing around in the dark!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

2009 - Week 15 Prediction Update (Puerto Rico Open)

We have had to update all the predictions for the Puerto Rico Open on Golf Predictor as we noticed that two of our top five ranked golfers are not playing this week. These golfers who decided not to tee it up are J.B. Holmes (who was the top ranked player) and Fredrik Jacobson.

The new amended rankings are now available on the site. We apologise for the inconvenience, which is beyond our control. We use the entry lists that are available on the Monday before a tournament to generate our predictions. However, these are always subject to change due to late withdrawals.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Golf Predictor Page Enhancements

Further to our announcement of new hover text capability for the Prediction Data and Compare pages in our member section, we are pleased to announce that almost all pages on the site now features this hover text.

This allows us to display more relevant data to you at a glance. For example, the screenshot above shows the main prediction page with the mouse over Camilo Villegas. Note that for pages with lists of hyperlinked golfer names (such as above), only the first name has hover text. The information on the hover text varies from page to page and can move from row to row by moving the mouse down the left hand side of links with hover text.

Hopefully, this makes Golf Predictor even better!

Note: You may have to refresh/reload some pages to see the new hover text correctly.

Players Apathetic to Impending Crisis?

It appears that the entreaty made by US PGA Tour Commissioner to the players to roll up their sleeves is falling on deaf ears. The pros seem to be burying their heads in the sand if the season thus far is anything to go by. There has been a lot of comment about the Bob Hope event in particular, which has been once again shunned by the top players. Instead of celebrating 50 years of tradition, some decided to trouser fat appearance fees from Middle Eastern sheiks. The rest, they just stayed at home.

Have these guys lost so much perspective and earned so much cash that they are oblivious to or apathetic about the catastrophe around the corner? They are fortunate that most of their sponsors are locked in for several years. If the economy continues to stagnate, you can bet your bottom dollar on a sponsor exodus. Golf Predictor won't be crying any tears for them when the brown stuff finally hits the whirly thing! In his day, Palmer tried to play every tournament every other year and Nicklaus played ones he didn't really want to out of a sense of tradition. Times were different then and they needed the money for one thing. Lee Trevino has suggested making today's pros play every event at least once every three years. That seems pretty unworkable with today's pampered prima donnas who seem to be be content fiddling while Rome is engulfed in flames!

There is trouble on the European PGA Tour too, with a couple of tournaments already cancelled and more in jeopardy. Tragically, the Seve Trophy is said to be amongst them. While not the most prestigious event, it would almost be shameful to can it, given what the man himself has just gone through. To insult the legend, who largely made the tour what it is today, at his lowest ebb surely must be avoided at all costs.

Monday, 9 March 2009

2009 - Week 15 Predictions Online

We have published the predictions for week 15, the WGC - CA Championship (Europe/US PGA Tour) and the Puerto Rico Open (US PGA Tour). For the second WGC event in a row, the WGC - CA Championship boasts an impressive field (including Tiger, of course). This must really annoy the Donald, whose tournament in Puerto Rico is very much a second tier event as a result! Interestingly, there is a Villegas brother playing in both events this week. I hope for his sake that Manuel's current form is better than that of his more illustrious brother!

The list of pre-2004 champions in the WGC - CA Championship (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Tiger Woods (2003, 2002 & 1999) and Mike Weir (2000). The Puerto Rico Open is only in its second year.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

2009 - Week 14 Winner

Y.E Yang (ranked 55th by Golf Predictor) became South Korea's second ever winner on the US PGA Tour at the Honda Classic today. He didn't make it easy on himself, but he eventually joined compatriot K.J. Choi in the US PGA Tour winner's circle. Yang frittered away a four shot lead after 12 holes of the final round, but he secured victory with a two putt par from 50 feet on the par five 18th. The win booked Yang a place at next week's WGC event, a Masters berth, a two year US PGA Tour exemption and a juicy million dollar plus cheque. Not a bad haul at all!

The big names didn't perform too well this week. Our top pick, Sergio Garcia, tied for 13th and we also had Robert Allenby, Davis Love III and Rory McIlroy in the top 13 plus ties. Our second ranked player, Luke Donald, withdrew before the tournament started due to a wrist injury.

There was no European PGA Tour event this week.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Tiger Commits to Playing Doral

It has been confirmed that Tiger Woods will play in the WGC-CA Championship at Doral next week. In a welcome boost for golf fans and TV networks, Tiger's first stroke play event after coming back from injury doesn't have a cut. Therefore, four rounds are guaranteed for all, assuming his knee proves up to it.

We here at Golf Predictor are not surprised that Tiger has an impressive record at the Blue Monster course (after all, at what course has he not an impressive record?!). He has finished in the top ten in all six of this appearances at Doral, including three victories in a row (2005-2007). He's also quite fond of winning WGC events, but there's no surprise there either! It all points to another victory for Mr Woods. We'll find out next week whether it's too soon into the comeback for a win or not.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Good News Confirmed for Irish Open

A welcome shot in the arm for the European PGA Tour was announced yesterday with the confirmation of new sponsorship for the Irish Open. With the future of many events in doubt in these turbulent financial times, the only Irish tour event is bucking the trend with a 20% increase in its prize fund this year. That will please all the golfers heading to the County Louth Golf Club in Baltray in the middle of May!

Mobile phone company 3 has stepped in as title sponsor for the next three years. It is no surprise to Golf Predictor that an Irish mobile phone company still has cash to splurge with the prices charged in this mobile crazy country!!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Honda Classic - Memorable Moments

Just to whet your appetite for this week's Honda Classic (covered by Golf Predictor), here are some memorable moments from previous years. These moments include an amazing hole out by Corey Pavin, Padraig Harrington's maiden US PGA Tour win (courtesy of a shocking miss by Vijay Singh), last week's winner Mark Wilson also winning for the first time and Nick Price worrying about the seat of his pants!!

2009 - Week 14 Prediction Update

We have re-run the prediction engine for this week's tournament (The Honda Classic) as there was an error in the generation of the historical statistics (same tournament in previous years). This error was due to a slight discrepancy in the naming of the 2009 tournament in the system. This has now been rectified and the slightly modified rankings have been published.

Note that you may have to refresh the prediction pages to see the updated rankings. Golf Predictor apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Prediction Data Page Enhanced

We have enhanced the 'Prediction Data' page for each golfer participating in a tournament. This page is available from any of the prediction options on the "Stats Analysis" menu in the member section of Golf Predictor. To make the extra statistics that we have added more legible, the format of the page has been altered. As shown on the image above*, the general/season and historical statistics are now in their own panels.

We have added the golfer's best and worst result in the selected season to the 'General/Season Statistics' panel. We have also added a new column to the 'Other Season Stats' table. You can now see the cumulative totals for tournaments played, tournaments won, top ten finishes, cuts missed and withdrawals for the golfer since the beginning of the 2003 season.

Finally, like the new Compare page, you can hover over the tournament names in the three results tables (season, historical and similar tournaments) to view other relevant data not displayed in the table. This is shown for the US PGA Championship in the 'Season Results' table above.

Golf Predictor keeps getting better and better!

*This image does not show all the statistics available on the page. Some unchanged statistics have been omitted for the sake of clarity (and quicker image download).

Monday, 2 March 2009

2009 - Week 14 Prediction Online

We have published the prediction for week 14 of the 2009 season. There is no European PGA Tour event this week, so just the Honda Classic on the US PGA Tour to cover. Defending champion Ernie Els will be hoping to build on his promising display at the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship last week. This is a landmark for Golf Predictor as it marks the first anniversary of the very first running of our prediction engine! The Honda Classic was the guinea pig for our exciting maiden run ahead of our launch some weeks later. We've come a long way since those early days!

The list of pre-2004 champions in the Honda Classic (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Justin Leonard (2003), Matt Kuchar (2002), Dudley Hart (2001), Mark Calcavecchia (1998 & 1987), Stuart Appleby (1997), Tim Herron (1996) and John Huston (1990).

Sunday, 1 March 2009

2009 - Week 13 Winners

Australian Geoff Ogilvy (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) improved his splendid record in the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship by defeating England's Paul Casey (ranked 9th) 4&3 in the 36 hole final. Casey, who had brought the impressive record of never trailing in this year's event into the final, found Ogilvy too hot to handle as the Aussie chalked up his second win of the young US PGA Tour season. Stewart Cink completed a bad day for the English by beating Ross Fisher 1 up in the third place play-off.

Elsewhere, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (ranked 2nd* by Golf Predictor) ended his four year European PGA Tour drought by winning the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open. We had three out of the top four and four out of the top seven and ties. The minor event on the US PGA Tour was won by Mark Wilson (ranked 32nd by Golf Predictor). Despite a late wobble, Wilson secured his second US PGA Tour title the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, where we had two out of the top six and ties.

*Our top ranked player, Anthony Wall, did not play, so we bump everyone else up one place.

Casey Still on Track

Paul Casey has maintained his challenge for victory in the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship by defeating compatriot Ross Fisher 2&1 to reach the final. Casey, who amazingly has led for 89 out of the 90 holes he has played, will face Australian Geoff Ogilvy in the 36 hole final later today. It should be an intriguing final as Ogilvy is also playing well, having finished Stewart Cink off impressively in the semi-final with an eagle and three birdies for a 4&2 win. This extends his impressive record in the event, having now made three of the last four finals.

Earlier in the day, Ogilvy had ended young Rory McIlroy's dream of becoming the youngest ever winner on the US PGA Tour with a 2&1 victory in the quarter-finals. Casey comfortably saw off Sean O'Hair at the same stage, Fisher edged out Justin Leonard 2& 1 while Cink put an end to Ernie Els' resurgence by the same margin.