Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Buick Open - Memorable Moments

Here are the memorable moments for this week's Buick Open (covered by Golf Predictor). These moments include the first televised hole in one (a barely visible 2 iron ace by Jerry Barber in 1962), a terrific duel between Vijay Singh and John Daly in 2004 and a 'besmigged' Tiger Woods racking up his 50th PGA Tour title in 2006.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

2009 - Week 35 Predictions

The predictions for week 35, the Buick Open (US PGA Tour) and the Moravia Silesia Open presented by ALO Diamonds (European PGA Tour), are now available. In addition to the weak field, Miguel Angel Jimenez should have another advantage in the new event in the Czech Republic as he designed the course! In the US, unfortunately Kenny Perry won't be defending his Buick title due to his mother's grave condition. However, Tiger will be there to pick up the pieces from his dismal showing at the British Open.

The list of pre-2004 champions in the Buick Open (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Fim Furyk (2003), Tiger Woods (2002), Rocco Mediate (2000), Tom Pernice Jr (1998), Billy Mayfair (1997), Justin Leonard (1996), Woody Austin (1995), Brad Faxon (1991) and Scott Verplank (1988). There is no corresponding list for the Moravia Silesia Open as it is the inaugural tournament.

Monday, 27 July 2009

2009 - Week 34 Winners

Chopping trees at home last week proved to be ideal preparation for Ricardo Gonzales (ranked 103rd by Golf Predictor), who won the SAS Masters on the European PGA Tour by two strokes. The 39 year old Argentinian sealed his fourth tour win with a fantastic finish on the Barsebäck course, at 7,665 yards the longest course ever used on the European PGA Tour. The "Axe Man" grabbed five birdies in the final six holes, including a holed bunker shot on 17 and an escape from the trees to five feet on the last. Our top ranked player, Henrik Stenson, was never in contention and finished poorly over the weekend for tied 73rd position. Despite poor performances by a lot of the bigger names, we had seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/23)*.

On the US PGA Tour, Nathan Green (ranked 89th by Golf Predictor) grabbed his first title at the rain delayed RBS Canadian Open. The Aussie beat Retief Goosen (ranked 2nd) at the second play-off hole after Goosen came up very quickly after his final missed putt. After a great opening round, our top pick Camilo Villegas finished in tied 24th place and we had four of the top eight plus ties (4/15).

*There were 5 late withdrawals in the top 23 predicted places (S Hansen, Broadhurst, Drysdale, Cevaer and Foster) and therefore not counted in the analysis of performance.

RBC Canadian Open Delayed

The final round of the RBC Canadian Open has been put off until today (Monday), due to the heavy rain and thunder storms in Ontario. This caused play to be postponed several times over the weekend, leaving even the third round far from complete. The US PGA Tour will be trying their hardest to get the final two rounds played today, with play resuming at 7.30AM local time. If the weather holds, it will be a long day for the field.

We will of course enter the results into Golf Predictor as soon as they are available. This will also delay the publishing of our predictions for this week as the new world rankings will not be available at the usual time. We will endeavour to produce the predictions as soon as possible under the circumstances.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

RBC Canadian Open - Memorable Moments

Here are the memorable moments for this week's RBC Canadian Open (covered by Golf Predictor), one of the oldest events on the US PGA Tour. These moments include an almost bitter Jack Nicklaus (after Greg Norman catches a lucky break during a "Seve" moment!), one of best long bunker shots of all time from Tiger Woods and an ace from Jim Furyk on the way to defending his title. It also features Vijay Singh overcoming home favourite Mike Weir and a partisan crowd to win in 2004.

Monday, 20 July 2009

2009 - Week 34 Predictions

The predictions for week 34, the RBC Canadian Open (US PGA Tour) and the SAS Masters (European PGA Tour), are now available. Most all of the big stars are taking the week off after the hardships at Turnberry last week!

The list of pre-2004 champions in the RBC Canadian Open (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes Bob Tway (2003), Scott Verplank (2001) and Billy Andrade (1998). The corresponding list for the SAS Masters comprises of Jesper Parnevik (1998, 1995) and Joakim Haeggman (1997).

2009 - Week 33 Winners

The fairytale just failed to come true at the British Open Championship (European/US PGA Tours). Stewart Cink (ranked 44th by Golf Predictor) won his maiden major title in an anticlimactic four hole play-off with legendary veteran Tom Watson (ranked 140). Needing a par up the last for the title, Watson over clubbed and his 8-iron went though the green. Despite the crowd willing him to succeed, he couldn't get up and down from just off the fringe and fell into the play-off with Cink. Despite having played superbly all week, this proved a bridge too far for the 59 year old Watson and Cink easily beat him by six shots with an impressive score of -2. This included him birdieing the 18th for the second time that day. England's Lee Westwood and Chris Woods were left kicking themselves after bogeying the last and finishing a single shot out of the play-off. Our top ranked player, Tiger Woods was out of sorts and missed his first cut in three years. In an event where many of the top players struggled in the in the windy conditions, we had six of the top thirteen plus ties (6/23).

On the US PGA Tour, Bo Van Pelt (ranked 21st by Golf Predictor) finally won a tournament after 229 starts. Van Pelt secured the second string US Bank Championship in Milwaukee at the second play-off hole after he finished tied with John Mallinger (ranked 5th). Our top pick Jerry Kelly finished in third place and we had three of the top seven plus ties (3/14).

Saturday, 18 July 2009

2009 British Open - Round 3

Only seven players remain under par after the third round of the British Open Championship. After another strong finish, the old master Tom Watson still leads the young guns. The five time former champion is one shot clear of the field at four under par after again finishing with two birdies in his last three holes. On another breezy day in western Scotland, some notable players became croppers. Chief among them were the two time defending champion Padraig Harrington whose recent woes continued. Harrington birdied the first but it was all downhill from there and he ended up with a 76 for a +9 total. Joint second round leader Steve Marino also struggled to a 76 after a topsy turvy round. The field remains bunched with 26 players within six shots of the lead. It should make for an interesting final day's play!

2009 British Open - Round 2

It was a day of contrasting and unexpected fortunes at the 139th British Open for TW initialled legendary golfers! Tom Watson continued to defy Father Time at the top of the leaderboard while Tiger Woods missed his first cut since the 2006 US Open. In much more challenging conditions, Watson struggled on the more difficult front nine, dropping five shots to par. However, the wise old head and one of the finest links golfers of all time kept his composure to recover his round on the easier downwind inward nine. Two sixty foot bombs on 16 and 18 for birdie didn't hurt Watson's cause as he joined Steve Marino in the lead on -5. Marino hit a fantastic 68 in the worst of the conditions to deservedly lead in his maiden classic links tournament.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods was again out of sorts and struggled to a 74 for a +5 total. Unfortunately, this was one shot too many as he missed the cut for the first time in 39 events. The world number one simply did not play well enough. A poor stretch of bogey, bogey, double bogey around the turn derailed his round and despite a valiant effort at the finish, Woods missed only his second ever cut in a major tournament.

Defending champion Padraig Harrington posted a 74 for +3 total to make the cut and keep his slim hopes for a hat trick of titles alive. The Irish man is eight shots behind and probably needs help from mother nature as well as a miraculous return to form to pull it off!

Friday, 17 July 2009

2009 British Open - Round 1

Five time former champion Tom Watson turned back the clock in the first round of the British Open Championship at Turnberry. Back at the scene of his 1977 classic "duel in the sun" success against Jack Nicklaus, Watson hit a flawless 65 (-5) for joint second place. The 59 year old golfing legend was prevented from coming the oldest man ever to lead a major by a 60 foot bomb from Miguel Angel Jimenez at the 18th. That unlikely birdie gave the affable Spaniard a record equalling low first round of 64. Kenichi Kuboya from Japan had an incredible finish of birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie (-5 for last 4 holes) to come home in 30 and match Watson and 2003 champion Ben Curtis on 65.

World number one Tiger Woods was out of sorts and struggled to a 71. Considering his recent form, defending champion Padraig Harrington positively sparkled on his way to a 69! On a perfect day for golf, it was amazing to see the number of golfers hitting into the wee burn guarding the 16th green. That bit of terrible course management usually meant double bogey. The weather won't be as benevolent for the rest of the week, so it will be interesting to see who copes best.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

US Bank Championship in Milwaukee - Memorable Moments

Here are the memorable moments for this week's US Bank Championship in Milwaukee (covered by Golf Predictor). These moments include players declaring undying love for the event, an ace from Tiger as he embarked on his pro career, an impressive chip in from Scott Hoch and a record setting front nine from Corey Pavin on his way to victory in 2006.

Blog Back Up!

The Golf Predictor blog was inexplicably down for a while this week. This was due to the DNS settings spontaneously combusting! The situation was rectified as soon as possible, but unfortunately these settings can take up to a day to take effect.

The blog seems to be back up running again now. I suspect the site hosts caused this issue, which hopefully won't be repeated. I apologise for any inconvenience caused during the week of the British Open Championship.

Monday, 13 July 2009

2009 - Week 33 Predictions

The predictions for week 33, the British Open Championship (European/US PGA Tour) and the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee (US PGA Tour), are now available. The British Open is the big one as far as everyone on this side of the pond is concerned and we all look forward to an exciting week's play. However, the weather forecast is bad again this year, which should sort the men from the boys! Our system doesn't rate defending champion Padraig Harrington's chances of a hat trick of titles, but we hope we're proven wrong!

Competitors who were winners of the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee before 2004 ((Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) include Jeff Sluman (2002, 1998), Loren Roberts (2000, 1996), Carlos Franco (1999), Scott Hoch (1997), Mark Brooks (1991) and Corey Pavin (1986). The corresponding list for the British Open is too long to list with practically every champion since the 1970s in the field for another go!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

2009 - Week 32 Winners

Martin Kaymer (ranked 12th by Golf Predictor) won his second European PGA Tour title in a row (and fourth overall) at The Barclays Scottish Open. Playing steadily on the final day, the German secured the title as his nearest competitors crumbled all around him. Our top ranked player, Geoff Ogilvy, finished in tied thirteenth place and we had eight of the top thirteen plus ties (8/16).

On the US PGA Tour, Steve Stricker (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) easily won the rain affected John Deere Classic. After a sparkling 61 on Saturday, Stricker followed up with 68 and 64 in the two rounds on Sunday to win by 3 shots. We came very close to predicting the winner for the third straight week, but since our top pick Kenny Perry (finished in tied 59th) has a difficult personal situation to deal with, we couldn't really expect him to focus on golf. In a tournament where most of the more fancied golfers did not produce the goods, we had six of the top fifteen plus ties (5/21).

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

John Deere Classic - 'Memorable' Moments

Here are the 'memorable' moments for this week's John Deere Classic (covered by Golf Predictor). Aside from a quip from last year's winner Kenny Perry and a youthful Tiger Woods looking decidedly unhappy after tasting defeat to a paunchy Ed Fiori, the moments aren't terribly memorable this week!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Missed Cuts Stats Amended

We have had to update the missed cuts statistics on the prediction pages ('Stats Analysis' menu) on Golf Predictor. This was because MDFs (Made cut, Did not Finish) on the US PGA Tour were being erroneously counted as having missing the cut. This has now been rectified and the number of missed cuts by golfers in the current season, in the past five events, at the same tournament, on the same course and in the last twelve similar events are all now correct.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Note that you may have to refresh/reload some pages to see the updated information.

Monday, 6 July 2009

2009 - Week 32 Predictions

The predictions for week 32, the John Deere Classic (US PGA Tour) and The Barclays Scottish Open (European PGA Tour), are now available. This is the last chance for a final tune up before the British Open next week and a number of US based stars have entered the Scottish event. This is despite the fact that, beautiful enough as it may be, the course is nothing like the links challenge they will get at Turnberry!

The list of pre-2004 champions in the John Deere Classic (Golf Predictor uses the results from the previous 5 years) includes J.P. Hayes (2002), J.L. Lewis (1999) and David Toms (1997). The corresponding list for The Barclays Scottish Open comprises of Ernie Els (2003, 2000), Retief Goosen (2001), Colin Montgomerie (1999), Lee Westwood (1998), Thomas Bjorn (1996), Peter O'Malley (1992)* and Barry Lane (1988)*.

*Held at Gleneagles.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

2009 - Week 31 Winners

Martin Kaymer (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) won his third European PGA Tour title at the Open de France Alstom a in play-off with Lee Westwood (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor). Playing the 18th again in sudden death, Kaymer barely made it over water with his approach while Westwood wasn't quite so lucky! That wet ball took the pressure off the German and he duly wrapped up the title he was contention for since his course equalling 62 in the opening round. Our top ranked player, Ian Poulter, finished very strongly over the weekend (66, 67) to end up in third place and we had four of the top six plus ties (4/9).

On the US PGA Tour, Tiger Woods (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) played the ungracious host by winning the AT&T National! A fantastic record equalling 62 from Hunter Mahan couldn't stop Woods doing what he does best - winning from the front for PGA title number 68. In a good tournament for Golf Predictor, including forecasting the winner for the second week running, we had six of the top seven plus ties (6/10).

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Season Stats Updated with Non-finishing Players Round Data

Famous last words at the end of the post about the prediction updates! A (hopefully!) final ramification of the recent changes in policy for handling scores for non-finishers was that some completed season statistics were also rendered incorrect. Originally Golf Predictor did not include the round scores for players who had withdrew or been disqualified from a tournament. However, since we included such scores, scoring averages, round counts and round averages became slightly incorrect for golfers who had not finished tournaments (but had recorded round scores) in the same season.

Therefore, we have updated all season statistics records for the completed seasons 2003-2008 (Golf Predictor has records for the 2003 season on) to correct these slight issues. These should definitely be the final tweaks because of the policy change and ensures that Golf Predictor is even more accurate than ever before!

Rounds Played Charts Added to Golf Predictor

We have added four new charts to Golf Predictor to show which golfers have played the most rounds in a season. These are similar to (but not the same as, as outlined below) the charts for most tournaments played. This charts are available from the "Season History" and "Season Stats" pages on the "Stats Analysis" menu in the member section. The chart on the former page shows the golfers who have played the most rounds in the current season up to the selected event. The three new charts on the "Season Stats" page show the golfers who have played the most rounds with at least event on the US PGA Tour, the European PGA Tour or any tour in any completed season since 2003.

The screenshot above shows the chart for the competitors who played the most rounds in the 2009 season leading up to the AT&T National. Of all the players, Michael Letzig has played the most golf, although he has not played the most tournaments (thanks to fewer missed cuts). As usual, hovering over a bar gives more information, as shown above for Rjuji Imada. This brings the total number of charts on the site up to 229. These 4 new charts are only available to subscribers so sign up today to get the most out of Golf Predictor, the premier US & European PGA Tour statistics site.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Cut Streak Stats Amended

We have updated the cut streak information on Golf Predictor. One of the reasons was due to a slight inaccuracy in the processing of one stroke play event with no cut (the 2009 WGC CA Championship). A small number of players whose cut streak encompassed this event (e.g. Tiger Woods) were not getting the credit for this tournament*. This has now been addressed.

As a consequence of fixing this small discrepancy, we have been able to make the cut streak chart and information available for every tournament that we have predicted (since March 2008). Previously, this was only available on the "Tourn Predictions" page ('Stats Analysis' menu) for all tournaments from the 2009 Masters on.

Finally, we have added the name, year, week and date of the last tournament where the golfer missed a cut on his 'Prediction Data' page. Note that you may have to refresh/reload some pages to see the new/updated information. All of these changes ensure that Golf Predictor is even better than ever before!

*Nowadays, players are deemed to have made the cut if they get paid. Therefore, stroke play tournaments that have no cut are counted in cut streaks. We do not count match play events.