Sunday, 21 December 2014

Golf Predictor on Holidays!

Now that the last event this GP season (calendar year) is over and the season statistics have been generated, it's time for a well deserved break from Twitter, the blog and from the main site itself! Unless something extraordinary happens in the golf world over the holiday period, that is! I will, of course, be back in time for the first events of the 2015 GP Season.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, especially Golf Predictor subscribers!! Thanks to everyone for using the site in 2014 and looking forward to a great 2015 on Golf Predictor.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

2015 Tournaments Added to Golf Predictor

In preparation for the new year of golf, the 2015 European and US PGA Tour season events have been added to Golf Predictor. This covers US events up to the Tour Championship and the European events up until the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai*

There is very little change in the US schedule from last year, which makes my job of importing them somewhat easier! The European Tour, on the other hand, has its usual relatively large number of year to year changes. Next year there are six new/returning events and a number of new and unconfirmed courses.


*I have added the World Match Play Championship in the week after Dubai for the time being. When/if it gets finalised, it will be moved to its correct slot in the calendar.

Monday, 15 December 2014

2014 GP Season Stats Available

Following the conclusion of the last event of 2014 on both major tours in South Africa yesterday, the statistics for the 2014 GP season are now available on Golf Predictor (Other Stats menu, Season Stats options). The numbers have been crunched for all 498 golfers who played at least five tournaments (excluding non-finishes) on the European/US PGA Tour during the course of the GP season (2014 calendar year).

Unsurprisingly, Rory McIlroy is the top golfer when the average finishing position for the season is used as the primary ranking statistic. The Northern Irish world number one had a very impressive 4 wins and 16 top tens in 23 events in 2014. Surprisingly and somewhat disappointingly, McIlroy's worst performance was at his home open, where his missed cut really hurt his average finishing position. I hope I didn't put him off when I was on duty following his group that week in Cork! Despite not coming in first over the year, Adam Scott had a very similar average to McIlroy, albeit with just 1 win and 10 top tens from 18 starts. However, he didn't miss any cuts and that gave him an impressive level of consistency for the year.

Rory had the most wins and the most top tens of any golfer in 2014. His winning percentage was 17.4% and his top ten percentage was an impressive 69.8%. Other somewhat interesting statistics include Bill Haas' 29 events in 2014 without missing a single cut. An honourable mention to Jim Furyk, who played 21 events while always making the weekend. On the other extreme, John Parry had the unenviable record of 23 missed cuts in 29 events. Finally, Brendon de Jonge was once again the hardest working golfer, playing an impressive 33 weeks of the year. This was two less events than last year and this slacking off allowed Chris Doak and Nicholas Thompson to tie him for tournaments played in 2014!

See these and many more interesting 2014 GP season statistics on Golf Predictor!



Sunday, 14 December 2014

2014 - Week 48 Winner

Branden Grace (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) won the Alfred Dunhill Championship on the European PGA Tour. The 26 year old South African completed an easy wire to wire victory after an opening 62 (-10). He was almost caught by Bjerregaard after round three, but an horrific finish by the Dane (and my long shot betting tip!) meant that Grace could coast to victory. Our top ranked golfer, Charl Schwartzel, failed to make it three wins in a row at Leopard Creek and finished in tied 26th. In an event that is usually difficult to predict, we had only seven of the top sixteen plus ties (7/21) in total.

Monday, 8 December 2014

2014 - Week 48 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Alfred Dunhill Championship (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Like previous years, local hero Charl Schwartzel is leading a strong South African contingent and there isn't much by way of international competition. In fact, England's Ross Fisher is once again the only one of the five members of the world's top hundred in the field not from Southern Africa.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

2014 - Week 47 Winner

Danny Willett (ranked 22nd by Golf Predictor) won the Nedbank Golf Challenge on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old Englishman won his second tour title with an impressive weekend performance. After a steady opening couple of days, Willett shot -13 over the two closing rounds to win the first event of the 2015 European PGA Tour season by four shots. Our top ranked golfer, Jamie Donaldson, unfortunately had to withdraw due to a migraine and as the now annual joke goes, we had thirty of the top thirty plus ties (30/30) in total!!

Monday, 1 December 2014

2014 - Week 47 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Nedbank Golf Challenge (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Just the one tournament this week, as golf winds down for another calendar year. Although the Sun City event still has a large purse and it has expanded its field, no really big names have made the trek to South Africa for the 2015 European Tour season opener. Instead, the locals will have to make do with watching several members of the European Ryder Cup team in action.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

2014 - Week 46 Winner

Henrik Stenson (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai on the European PGA Tour. The 38 year old Swede retained his title in Dubai, despite a mid round wobble on Sunday. However, when then leader Cabrera-Bello found water twice in a row, Stenson held off big names Rose and McIlroy to win by two after a birdie on the last. Our top ranked player was the aforementioned McIlroy, who finished in tied 2nd. Overall, we had ten of the top sixteen plus ties (10/20)

Monday, 17 November 2014

2014 - Week 46 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/statistics for this week, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the last event of the 2014 season (but not the year!) on the European PGA Tour and although Rory McIlroy has the Race to Dubai sown up, there's still plenty of money up for grabs in the season finale. The US PGA Tour has no more regular events until January.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

2014 - Week 45 Winners

Brooks Koepka (ranked 21st by Golf Predictor) won the Turkish Airlines Open pres. by Ministry of Youth & Sport on the European PGA Tour. The 24 year old American won maiden title with a closing bogey free 65 (-7), which including some impressive putting. Koepka won by one over Ian Poulter, who will be kicking himself for throwing away a six shot halfway lead. Our top ranked player, Sergio Garcia, finished in tied 25th and we had ten of the top nineteen plus ties (10/24).

Charley Hoffman (ranked 4th by Golf Predictor) won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on the US PGA Tour. The 37 year old American won his first tournament in over four years in Mexico. Hoffman won by a single shot, despite being completely stymied by a tree on the final hole. However, a bogey proved to be enough when his playing partner and nearest competitor, Shawn Stefani, chunked his third shot to also finish with a five. Our top ranked player, Ben Martin, missed the cut and in an event which is usually hard to predict, we only had five of the top sixteen plus ties (5/22).
 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Golf Predictor Temporary Outage (Fixed)

I just noticed that Golf Predictor was down for about eight hours overnight (Irish time). This was caused by an administration change I made late last night. An effort to make the system even more secure had unforeseen consequences, which unfortunately impacted on the general operation of the site.

I wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this issue, which has now been fixed. I would like to thank those who got in touch via the support line. I also pledge not to make any such changes late at night again!


Monday, 10 November 2014

2014 - Week 45 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/statistics for this week, the Turkish Airlines Open pres. by Ministry of Youth & Sport (European PGA Tour) and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. The European Tour heads back to Turkey for the next leg of the big money Final Series and several of the big European names are teeing it up on the Colin Montgomerie designed course. Meanwhile, it's the last event of the year (but not the season!) on the US Tour and there the usual second string line up for the Mexican tournament.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

2014 - Week 44 Winners

Bubba Watson (ranked 5th by Golf Predictor) won the WGC - HSBC Champions on the European/US PGA Tour. The big hitting American looked to have blown his chances with a bogey on sixteen and a double on seventeen, but made up for it in spectacular fashion on the par five final hole. Watson found a greenside bunker in two and holed out for eagle to force a play-off with Tim Clark. The American took the title with a birdie on the first extra hole, giving him an impressive -3 total for the eighteenth on Sunday! Our top ranked player, Adam Scott, finished in tied 12th place and we only had six of the top fourteen plus ties (6/19) in total.

Nick Taylor (ranked 102nd by Golf Predictor) won the Sanderson Farms Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 26 year old Canadian won his first tour title just two months after securing his PGA Tour card. Taylor showed admirable composure in just his seventh tour start as a pro to come from four shots back and secure the title. Our top ranked player, Ben Martin, finished in tied 29th and we had only five of the top fourteen plus ties (5/19). 

Monday, 3 November 2014

2014 - Week 44 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the WGC - HSBC Champions (European/US PGA Tour) and the Sanderson Farms Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Although some of the bigger stars aren't playing for various reasons (e.g. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Dustin Johnson), there is still a strong field for the last WGC of the season in China. Meanwhile, as usual a second string line up will be battling it out in Mississippi. Only three out of the world's top one hundred will be playing in the event, amongst them recent winner Robert Streb.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

2014 - Week 43 Winners

Marcel Siem (ranked 29th by Golf Predictor) won the BMW Masters on the European PGA Tour. The 34 year old German won his fourth tour event in a play-off on a windy final day in Shanghai. Siem chipped in for birdie at the first extra hole to defeat Alexander Levy and Ross Fisher, who both missed makable putts to prolong the fight. Levy in particular will be disappointed having let a four shot overnight lead slip and slumping to a final day 78. Our top ranked player, Justin Rose, overcame a poor start to finish in tied 4th and we had seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/20) in total. 

Ryan Moore (ranked 16th by Golf Predictor) won the CIMB Classic on the US PGA Tour. The 31 year old American successfully defended his title, winning by three shots from Kevin Na, Sergio Garcia and last year's runner up Gary Woodland. Moore was helped in no small measure by Na (my betting tip!), who lost a ball on the penultimate hole to drop two shots. Our top ranked player, Sergio Garcia, finished in tied second and we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/19). 

Monday, 27 October 2014

2014 - Week 43 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the BMW Masters (European PGA Tour) and the CIMB Classic (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Both major tours are in Asia this week and like last year, the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, the home of the Maybank Malaysian Open on the European Tour for the past few years, is hosting the US Tour. As most of the field is from the US Tour, course history from the European Tour events is not much of a factor. Although there is no Rory McIlroy in China this week due to his impending legal difficulties, there are several other European big names teeing it up.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

2014 - Week 42 Winners

Thorbjorn Olesen (ranked 10th by Golf Predictor) won the ISPS HANDA Perth International on the European PGA Tour. The 24 year old Dane won his second tour title with a comfortable win in Australia. On a day where European Tour cards were up for grabs, Olesen held his nerve after a mid round wobble to win by three shots. Our top ranked player, Victor D|ubuisson, finished in second place and we had six of the top fifteen plus ties (6/18) overall. 

Robert Streb (ranked 36th by Golf Predictor) won The McGladrey Classic on the US PGA Tour. The 27 year old American came from behind to win his first PGA Tour title in a three man play-off  with Will MacKenzie and Brendan de Jonge. After Streb stormed home with 63 to set the clubhouse target, he played solid golf to pip de Jonge with a short range birdie at the second extra hole. After tipping him and backing him at 66/1 each way (thanks to the new Performance Likelihood metric), it was a good week for me too! Our top ranked player, Matt Kuchar, finished in tied 22nd and we had only five of the top seventeen plus ties (5/21) overall.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

'Performance Likelihood' Metric added to Golf Predictor

Prediction Rankings page with new colour coded Performance Likelihood column & chart

GP video tutorial on this functionality
I am pleased to announce the addition of an experimental new "Performance Likelihood" metric to Golf Predictor. This new empirical metric is based on an examination of the useful Tournament Winners Form page (Other Stats menu) on Golf Predictor. On analysing the tournament winners from the European and US PGA Tours over the past couple of seasons, I noticed that about 90% of them had recorded at least one top twenty finish in their previous six tournaments that season and/or their last six tournaments on the same course and/or the previous six similar tournaments played*. Of the roughly 10% of winners who hadn't registered such a decent recent finish, most of these were in tournaments with traditionally poor fields that are very difficult to call.

I decided to create an algorithm based on this interesting observation to try and predict the likelihood of any participating golfer winning or performing well in an upcoming tournament. For the lack of a better name, I have called this the "Performance Likelihood" and like the GP Rank, it is designed to produce a percentage value. Unlike the GP Rank, it only considers top twenty finishes in the previous six events in each of the following: the current season, on the same course and in similar events. Therefore, it excludes all other results and all the other metrics used to calculate the GP Rank, e.g. world ranking. Some notes on this new metric:

  1. Any golfer who has won all eighteen tournaments analysed (see above) will have a value of approximately 100% for this metric. This is very unlikely to happen, although Tiger in his pomp would have gotten fairly close at some events!
  2. Golfers with no top twenty finishes in all eighteen tournaments analysed will have a value of 0% for this metric. This does not mean they have no chance, only that they are not good picks!
  3. Golfers get awarded increasingly more percentage points for top twenty, top fifteen, top ten, top five and wins in all eighteen tournaments analysed.
  4. Any golfer with a value greater than zero is a possible decent pick. Anyone with a value over about 20% might be a good pick, over approximately 40% a great pick and you could almost put your house on anyone with a value greater than about 60%! This assumes there is full course history and sufficient season history for the golfer in question.
  5. Golfers up near the top of the GP rankings will obviously tend to have higher values, but less consistent golfers further down the list can still have relatively large values (as bad results are ignored). These golfers may make good long shot punts.
  6. Like all golf predictions, this metric is more accurate for tournaments with good fields and that are played on the same course every year. Of course, there will probably be golfers at any given tournament with no official course history. The algorithm takes whether there is any course history for a golfer or not into account.
  7. If there is no course history for a golfer/tournament, the value will be less accurate, as there is only recent season and similar tournament history to go on.
  8. Similarly, the algorithm will not be as accurate in early season events as it will be once each golfer has played six events in the current GP season (calendar year).
  9. For many regular events later in the GP season, the previous six events in the same season and the six previous similar events could be very similar. This could lead to artificially high values if someone has a good recent season record ahead of such a tournament. This has been accounted for in the algorithm.
  10. The algorithm may need further tweaking, but it looks OK after the first few weeks of testing!

This metric has been added to the General panel on the 'Prediction Data' page for each golfer. It has also been added to the main Prediction Rankings page as a sortable column, with the header text PL(%). This column has been colour coded with deeper shades of green representing higher values, as shown in the screenshot above for the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Incidentally, the value for Rory McIlroy is the largest calculated so far and he came tied second in that event (and possibly would have won it if he hadn't putted into the road hole bunker on the 71st hole!). The less useful similar weather column has had to be removed from the Prediction Rankings page to make room, but it is still available on the Odds version of the page (Predictions menu). There is also a new "Most Likely to Perform" chart on the Prediction Rankings page, which shows the golfers with the highest value in this new metric graphically.

I have also added this new metric to the Field Rankings page and the two Compare Field Rankings pages on the Prediction Menu and added it to the associated charts on those pages. Note that this new metric (and associated chart) is not available prior to week 39, 2014 (the week of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship/week before the start of the 2014/15 US PGA Tour season). You may have to refresh an updated page to see the changes.

I trust you will find this new premium feature useful. Any feedback (via comments on this article or email) on the value itself or the colour coding would be most welcome. Like other premium features, non-subscribers can only see this new metric for golfers ranked 11-25 in the prediction rankings and will not be able to see the new chart. Therefore, sign up today and reap the full benefits of Golf Predictor, the premium professional golf statistics site.


*Only the course and similar tournament history in the current and previous five seasons is used in the algorithm.



Monday, 20 October 2014

2014 - Week 42 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the ISPS HANDA Perth International (European PGA Tour) and The McGladrey Classic (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Several big name players are making the long trek to Perth to join the other (mostly local) competitors. Along with the journeymen desperate to retain their playing rights for next year, Victor Dubuisson, Jason Dufner and Charl Schwartzel are also competing in Perth. There is also a fairly decent field in Georgia, where Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson are among the bigger names teeing it up.

2014 - Week 41 Winners

Scott Hend (ranked 21st by Golf Predictor) won the Hong Kong Open on the European PGA Tour. The 41 year old Australian won his first tour title on the first hole of a play-off with the colourful Angelo Que. Having had to conjure up a sand save on the final regulation hole from a plugged lie, Hend took the title after Que failed to get up and down for par from just off the green on the first play-off hole. Our top ranked player, Miguel Angel Jimenez, was ill apparently and missed the cut, and we had only five of the top fifteen plus ties (5/20) in total. 

Mikko Ilonen (ranked 12th by Golf Predictor) won the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the European PGA Tour. The 34 year old Finn won his second title of the season with a 3&1 victory over the more fancied Henrik Stenson. Golf Predictor isn't designed for match play events, but as the annual joke goes, we had sixteen of the top sixteen!!

Ben Martin (ranked 75th by Golf Predictor) won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the US PGA Tour. The 27 year old American won his first tour title with a late flourish of an eagle on sixteen and a closing birdie. Our top ranked player, Billy Horschel, saw his recent hot streak come to an abrupt end as he missed the cut. Overall, we had thirteen of the top eighteen plus ties (13/27)*.

*With withdrawals and no shows, Bohn makes top 27 in GP rankings. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

2014 - Week 41 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Volvo World Match Play Championship (European PGA Tour), the Hong Kong Open (European PGA Tour) and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There are three events on the two major tours this week. Even though Golf Predictor is designed for stroke play events, the Volvo World Match Play Championship has also been put through the wringer as usual!

There are several European Ryder Cup stars competing and one American, Patrick Reed. With his rookie performance at Gleneagles, it was a good decision to cross the pond again! That doesn't leave much star power for the more modest Hong Kong Open. Miguel Angel Jimenez will be defending his title and hoping to raise his own record of oldest winner on the European PGA Tour yet again. This must be the first time that a senior has led the rankings/betting in a European Tour event! Meanwhile, the Las Vegas event on the US PGA Tour has a few biggish names competing this year. Chief among them is Billy Horschel, who must be hoping that his hot streak hasn't come to an end after a few weeks off!

2014 - Week 40 Winners

Alexander Levy (ranked 21st by Golf Predictor) won the Portugal Masters on the European PGA Tour. The 24 year old Frenchman won his second title of the season and his career in soggy Vilamoura. After storming to a record equalling -18 after two rounds, Levy only hit four shots over the weekend before the event was finally cut to 54 holes and he was deemed the winner. Our top ranked player, Francesco Molinari, was deemed to have missed the cut and we had seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/20*) in total in the rain affected event. 

Sang-Moon Bae (ranked 80th by Golf Predictor) won the Frys.com Open on the US PGA Tour. The 28 year old South Korean won his second tour title, despite a nervy final day performance. However, the lead Bae had built up over the first three rounds proved to be sufficient in the end as no one made a real run at him. Our top ranked player, Matt Kuchar, finished poorly on Sunday for tied 21st and in a tournament traditionally hard to predict (usually due to the relatively poor field and this year with a new course), we had only four of the top twelve plus ties (4/16). 


*Ramsay withdrew, thus promoting Levy into the top twenty of the GP rankings.

Monday, 6 October 2014

2014 - Week 40 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Frys.com Open (US PGA Tour) and the Portugal Masters (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the first event of the new 2014/15 US PGA Tour season, and unlike last season, a few big guns will be trying to get their new campaigns off to a flying start. While several Ryder Cup stars are teeing it up in California, the field in Portugal is more modest, where Ireland's in-form Shane Lowry will be one of the leading contenders.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

2014 - Week 39 Winner

Oliver Wilson (ranked 23rd by Golf Predictor) won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the European PGA Tour. The 34 year old Englishman finally won his first tour title with a one shot victory in Scotland. After nine runners up finishes and a career slump over the past few seasons, it was an emotional victory for Wilson. Our top ranked player, Rory McIlroy, finished in tied 2nd and we had nine of the top eighteen plus ties (9/24)* in the weather affected event.

There was no event on the US PGA Tour this week as it is the short close season.


*Dredge didn't play so Uihlein is promoted to the top 24 of the GP rankings.

Monday, 29 September 2014

2014 - Week 39 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There is no event on the US PGA Tour this week as it is the short close season. After the excitement of the Ryder Cup, the European PGA Tour rolls on with several of the European heroes staying to compete in Scotland for another week. Chief among them is world number one Rory McIlroy, who will be hoping to keep his form going from his Sunday demolition of Rickie Fowler. Let's hope he and his team mates haven't been celebrating too much!

Golf Predictor Terms & Conditions Updated

The terms and conditions for Golf Predictor have been slightly updated to cover a previously unforeseen situation. This situation is one which I never thought would be an issue, but I have been proven wrong!

A Golf Predictor subscription runs contiguously from the signing up date to the renewal date. You can not suspend your subscription for a period and re-activate it at a future date. I would have thought that was obvious, but it is now stated explicitly in the terms and conditions.                    

Monday, 22 September 2014

No Predictions/Stats This Week

There will be no predictions this week as the only event is the Ryder Cup. Golf Predictor is designed for individual stroke play events, which covers almost all the tournaments on the European and US PGA Tours. The exceptions, the WGC - Accenture Match Play,  the Volvo World Match Play Championship and the Barracuda Championship (Stableford), are also covered  for completeness. However, these formats are very different from stroke play and thus our system is of limited use for these particular events. Golf Predictor is of practically no use for team match play events, so we do not cover the Ryder Cup or any other such battles. Good luck to the European team though!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

2014 - Week 38 Winner

Joost Luiten (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the ISPS Handa Wales Open on the European PGA Tour. The 28 year old Dutchman won his fourth European PGA Tour event by a single shot over Shane Lowry and the fast finishing Tommy Fleetwood. Luiten didn't make it easy on himself on the final day, but he just about managed to get the job done with a scrambled par at the last. Our top ranked player, Jamie Donaldson, finished in tied 4th and we had eight of the top twelve plus ties in total (8/16).

There was no event on the US PGA Tour this week.

Monday, 15 September 2014

2014 - Week 38 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the ISPS Handa Wales Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Following the season ending Tour Championship and ahead of the Ryder Cup, there is no tournament on the US PGA Tour this week. However, a few of the European Ryder Cup team are are teeing it up in Wales to hone their game for Gleneagles next week.


Sunday, 14 September 2014

2014 - Week 37 Winners

Paul Casey (ranked 8th by Golf Predictor) won the KLM Open on the European PGA Tour. The 37 year old Englishman won his thirteenth tour title with a superb weekend performance. Having made the cut by just two shots, Casey tied the course record with 62 on Saturday and followed that up with a 66 on Sunday to prevail by a shot over Symon Dyson. Our top ranked player, Thomas Bjorn, finished in tied 26th and we had seven of the top eleven plus ties (7/18)*.
 

Billy Horschel (ranked 17th by Golf Predictor) won The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola on the US PGA Tour. The 27 year old American capped a great few weeks by banking the FedEx Cup jackpot with his second US PGA Tour/Fedex Cup victory in a row. Following those two wins and the second place that preceding them, Horschel deserved the overall title. Our top ranked player, Rory McIlroy, fought back from a final round wobble to finish tied 2nd. Overall, we had eleven of the top sixteen in the restricted field event.  

*Due to the/non-finishers arising from the unfortunate Zanotti incident (hit on the head with a ball),, Ramsay gets promoted to the top 18 in the GP rankings.

Monday, 8 September 2014

2014 - Week 37 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions for this week, The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola (US PGA Tour) and the KLM Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Only the top twenty nine* in the FedEx Cup rankings are playing in the US season finale this week, while the other big US and European names rest in advance of the Ryder Cup! Not many big names at the KLM Open this year, where local favourite Joost Luiten will be hoping for a successful title defence on home soil.


*Dustin Johnson managed to stay (barely!) in the top 30, but he of course is on a leave of absence.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

2014 - Week 36 Winners

David Lipsky (ranked 17th by Golf Predictor) won the Omega European Masters on the European PGA Tour. The 26 year old American won his first tour title with a play-off victory over Graeme Storm in the scenic Swiss mountains. The Asian Tour regular Lipsky didn't quite win in style, laying up with his second from the fairway bunker after Storm got in a spot of bother off the tee. Still, his ultra-conservative play worked and he took the title in the end. Our top ranked player, Victor Dubuisson, finished in tied 29th and we had eight of the top thirteen plus ties (8/20) in total.

Billy Horschel (ranked 12th by Golf Predictor) won the third event of the FedEx Cup play-offs, the BMW Championship. The 27 year old American wasn't put under much pressure on Sunday and won his second tour title by two shots from Bubba Watson. Our top ranked player, Rory McIlroy, finished in tied 8th, despite two horrendous four putts on the twelfth over the weekend. Overall, we had thirteen of the top twenty plus ties (13/22)*.


*Due to withdrawals, Kaymer and Els make the top 22 in the GP rankings.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

2014 - Week 36 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/stats for this week, the BMW Championship (US PGA Tour) and the Omega European Masters (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the third leg of the FedEx Cup play-offs in the US this week and the pressure will be on to qualify for the lucrative Tour Championship next week. Some of the bigger names will be refreshed after skipping last week's event in Boston, but for the others, the grind continues! As usual, the bigger names are still in FedEx Cup contention in America, but there still are a few Ryder Cup players teeing it up in Switzerland this week.

Monday, 1 September 2014

2014 - Week 35 Winners

Hennie Otto (ranked 10th by Golf Predictor) won the 71° Open D'Italia pres. by Damiani on the European PGA Tour. The 38 year old South African won his third tour title with a masterful display of scrambling on the weekend. Despite not having his A game, Otto managed to do enough to secure what was an emotional victory after his recent travails, which included serious back problems. It was somewhat emotional for me too, as I had tipped and backed him each way at 80/1! Scotland's Stephen Gallacher came up agonisingly short in his heroic last gasp attempt to force his way onto the European Ryder Cup team. Needing to finish at least tied second with one other golfer, his good friend David Howell denied him with a final round 63 (-9) to finish second and beat him into solo third place. Our top ranked player, local favourite Francesco Molinari, finished in tied 18th and we had eleven of the top eighteen plus ties in total (11/23).

Chris Kirk (ranked 32nd by Golf Predictor) won the Deutsche Bank Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 29 year old American won his third tour title by two shots with an assured final round of 66 (-5). Kirk jumps to the top of the FedEx Cup ranking with the biggest win of his career and will be waiting anxiously by the phone for a possible call from Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson! Our top ranked player, Rory McIlroy, finished in tied 6th and we had eight of the top sixteen plus ties (8/22).

2014 - Week 36 Predictions/Statistics Delay

As usual for the Labor Day holiday in the US, the Deutsche Bank Championship is not finishing until today (Monday). Because of this, the predictions/stats for the BMW Championship and the Omega European Masters this week will not be available until tomorrow, when the final result of the second FedEx Cup event is known and the latest world rankings are available.

I will of course update
Golf Predictor and generate the predictions/statistics as soon as possible.

Monday, 25 August 2014

2014 - Week 35 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the 71° Open D'Italia pres. by Damiani (European PGA Tour) and the Deutsche Bank Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Despite the difficult schedule of this year's FedEx Cup followed by the Ryder Cup, there is a strong field in Boston for the second play-off event, even if there is no Tiger Woods again this year. It's the final qualifying event for the European Ryder Cup team in Italy this week, where Stephen Gallacher is in last chance saloon to make the team as an automatic selection!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

2014 - Week 34 Winners

Jamie Donaldson (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the inaugural D+D REAL Czech Masters on the European PGA Tour. The 38 year old Welshman cemented his place on the European Ryder Cup team by winning his third tour title. Donaldson started quickly with three birdies to overtake overnight leader Bradley Dredge and beat his countryman by two shots in the end. Including the winner, we had eight of the top nineteen plus ties (8/22) in total. 

Hunter Mahan (ranked 25th by Golf Predictor) won The Barclays on the US PGA Tour. The 32 year old American won his first FedEx Cup play-off event with an impressive final day of iron play and putting. Finishing with a 65 (-6), Mahan won his sixth tour title by two shots from a trio of players. Our top ranked player, Rory McIlroy, rallied somewhat after a poor opening round to finish in tied 22nd place. Overall, a lot of the bigger names did not perform and we had a disappointing six of the top nineteen plus ties (6/21) in total.

2014 - Week 34 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the D+D REAL Czech Masters (European PGA Tour) and The Barclays (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the first week of the lucrative FedEx Cup play-offs on the US PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy will be looking to keeping his incredible winning run going. Meanwhile, the rank and file pros in Europe are heading back to the Czech Republic for the first time in three years for what appears to be a new event (as opposed to a reinstatement of the Czech Open). It is being treated as such by Golf Predictor, but if this proves to be incorrect, I will update the tournament history stats.

Apologies for the late post - I forgot to put it live on Monday!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

2014 - Week 33 Winners

Marc Warren (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the Made in Denmark on the European PGA Tour. The 33 year old Scot won his third tour title with an impressive weekend performance. Warren built on a remarkable 66 (-5) in strong winds on Saturday with a closing 68 to win by two shots over Bradley Dredge.  Our top ranked player, Thomas Bjorn, couldn't give the impressive home crowd the victory they sought and finished tied 4th. Overall, we had only five of the top fifteen plus ties (5/21) in the wind affected event. 

Camilo Villegas (ranked 40th by Golf Predictor) won the Wyndham Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 32 year old Colombian won his first PGA Tour title in over four years with an impressive final day performance. Villegas stormed through the field with a closing 63 (-7) and had to wait while his nearest challengers fell away at the finish. Our top ranked player, Hideki Matsuyama, missed the cut and finished in tied 78th place. Overall, we had eight of the top eighteen plus ties (8/23).

Monday, 11 August 2014

2014 - Week 33 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Wyndham Championship (US PGA Tour) and the Made in Denmark (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There are not many big names competing in America this week, with the Wyndham Championship coming between the last major of the season and the first FedEx Cup play-off event next week. However, a few fairly big guns are turning up, along with a host of middle tier guys trying to improve/maintain their place in the FedEx Cup standings. Meanwhile, there is a new tournament in Europe, where the tour returns to Denmark for the first time in over a decade. Unsurprisingly, the home players are out in force, with local favourite Thomas Bjorn headlining the field.

2014 - Week 32 Winner

Rory McIlroy (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the US PGA Championship on the European/US PGA Tour. The 25 year old Northern Irishman won his second successful major title with a gutsy final day performance, coming back from losing the lead on the front nine to win by a shot over Phil Mickelson. It wasn't vintage McIlroy over the weekend, but he still drove the ball exceedingly well and showed heart after falling three strokes behind at the turn. However, a brilliant eagle on the tenth put him right back in the frame and he kicked on from there to secure his fourth major. It was another disappointing major for a clearly unfit Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. Our top ranked player, Adam Scott, finished in tied 15th and we had nine of the top fifteen plus ties (9/23) in total.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Upgrade to Golf Predictor Pages

Many pages on Golf Predictor have been updated. This under the hood update pertains to the data pages (golfer, tournament, course, prediction, result, round performance analysis and season stats pages), the compare pages (predictions, form and field rankings) and the numerous the chart pages. While the pages look the same as before, the code that generates them has been significantly updated to improve maintainability and performance. In addition, the new code will make it easier to implement new features in the future. All the new code has been tested, but if you spot any errors, please contact me immediately. Just another way to make Golf Predictor better!

Monday, 4 August 2014

2014 - Week 32 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, US PGA Championship (European/US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Just the one tournament to cover this week, but it's a big one! It's the final major of the season and the PGA Championship heads to Valhalla for the first time since 2000. It's the last chance for eight months for a golfer to land one of those prestigious titles, so the pressure will be on for everyone to perform.


Apologies - forgot to publish this back in August!

2014 - Week 31 Winners

Rory McIlroy (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational on the European/US PGA Tour. The 25 year old Northern Irishman continued his recent great form by coming from three shots back to win his first WGC title. In his first event since winning the Open Championship, McIlroy put on a driving exhibition, using his long and straight tee shots as a platform to overtake Sergio Garcia. Tiger Woods once again withdrew from a tournament with an injury, having hurt his back early in the final round. Our top ranked player, Adam Scott, finished in tied 8th and we had twelve of the top fifteen plus ties (12/17)* in total.

Geoff Ogilvy (ranked 25th by Golf Predictor) won the Barracuda Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 37 year old Australian secured his first tour win in four years with a five point win over Justin Hicks in the modified Stableford event. Our top ranked player, George Coetzee, finished in tied 17th and we had only five of the top seventeen plus ties (5/20) in the second tier event. 


*The withdrawals of Tiger Woods and Jason Day promote Matsuyama and Moore into the top 18 of the GP rankings.

Monday, 28 July 2014

2014 - Week 31 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational (European/US PGA Tour) and the Barracuda Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the first of two weeks of big tournaments in the US this week with the WGC event as usual serving as a final tune-up for the last major of the season, the US PGA Championship next week. The second string event this week in Reno has undergone a name change and no doubt the US PGA Tour will be hoping the new sponsors bring some bite to the tournament!!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

2014 - Week 30 Winners

David Horsey (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) won the M2M Russian Open on the European PGA Tour. The 29 year old Englishman came from three back with two to play to win his third tour title. After he chipped in for eagle on the 17th and then leader Damien McGrane bogeyed the last, Horsey won with a par on the first extra hole. Our top ranked player, Rikard Karlberg, finished in tied 38th and we had eight of the top eighteen plus ties (8/23) in total. 

Tim Clark (ranked 56th by Golf Predictor) won the RBC Canadian Open on the US PGA Tour. The 38 year old South African won his second tour title with a brilliant back nine of 30 (-5) to pip long time leader Jim Furyk by a shot. Our top ranked player, Matt Kuchar, finished in tied 4th and in an event where many of the bigger names failed to perform, we had just seven of the top twenty plus ties (7/24). 





Monday, 21 July 2014

2014 - Week 30 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the M2M Russian Open (European PGA Tour) and the RBC Canadian Open (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Like last year, there are no big golf names in action in the Russian event this week. However former tennis grand slam winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov is teeing it up again! Indeed, with not one of the top 150 in the world is taking part and currently only 114 golfers in the entry list, the field strength.for this event is extremely low. However, there is a pretty strong line up in Ontario, where a lot of combatants from Hoylake are jetted over from England to tee it up.

Hosting Issue - Predictions/Stats Delayed

Unfortunately, there is a database connection issue with Golf Predictor at the moment. While you can see the site homepage and log into the member area, you can not access any page that displays information from the stats database. This is a problem with the hosting service, not Golf Predictor itself. I have raised the issue with my provider and have been told that it is now a known one and they are working to fix it. The system may be down for a while, so I won't be able to generate the predictions/stats for this week's events in Canada and Russia until it is back up and running again.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused by this issue, which is beyond my control and I ask for your patience at this time.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

2014 - Week 29 Winner

Rory McIlroy (ranked 9th by Golf Predictor) won The Open Championship on the European/US PGA Tour. The 25 year old Northern Irishman emulated last year's winner Phil Mickelson by completing the third leg of a career grand slam. However, McIlroy has achieved the feat at a much younger age and joins the illustrious company of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to have won three majors by the age of twenty five. On a day of low scoring, McIlroy held off the charging field with a relatively modest closing round of 71 (-1). Our top ranked player, Adam Scott, finished in tied 5th place and we had six of the top twelve plus ties (6/14).

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

2014 - Week 29 (Open Championship) Predictions/Statistics Updated

I have had to update all the predictions for the Open Championship on Golf Predictor as I noticed that the world rankings were incorrect. This happened due to a processing error on my part. It only slipped through the net because I had run some prediction stats a week or so ago for the event. This unprecedented occurrence resulted in me not catching this error (not copying the latest WR file to the server) when I ran the engine with the most up-to-date stats yesterday. Instead of using the latest world rankings, the pre-existing file from that previous run was used.

Since the top world rankings are an important metric, I have rerun the prediction engine with the correct world rankings for this week. There are no dramatic changes, except for those who did well in the past week or two (e.g. Justin Rose). I apologise for this mistake and will take steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Note that you may have to reload/refresh the page to see the new rankings.

Monday, 14 July 2014

2014 - Week 29 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, The Open Championship (European/US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. The excitement is mounting this side of the pond for the most venerable major of them all, which returns to Hoylake for the first time since 2006. Tiger Woods is back in major action again after missing the last two through injury and will no doubt be looking to repeat his winning performance from that last staging at the Liverpool links. I'll be there on Thursday to see if he gets off to a good start, so I'm really looking forward to that!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

2014 - Week 28 Winners

Justin Rose (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on the European PGA Tour. The 33 year old Englishman won his second tournament in a row with an impressive bogey free final day performance in Aberdeen. That transatlantic double gives Rose the perfect boost for the Open Championship this week, where he will hope to emulate Phil Mickelson and go on win there after victory in Scotland. Including the winner, we had eight of the top sixteen plus ties (8/20).  

Brian Harman (ranked 50th by Golf Predictor) won the John Deere Classic on the US PGA Tour. The 27 year old American won his first tour title by a single shot from event specialist Zach Johnson. Harman qualified for the Open Championship with the win, so that doesn't leave much time for celebrating his maiden victory! Our top ranked player, Jordan Spieth, finished in tied 7th and we had six of the top thirteen plus ties (6/19).

Monday, 7 July 2014

2014 - Week 28 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the John Deere Classic (US PGA Tour) and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the final week before the Open Championship and it's the last chance for a competitive tune up. There are a few more bigger names playing in Scotland this year, all hoping to do a Mickelson no doubt! Still, most of the big golfers are taking the week off, although Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson join three time winner Steve Stricker in Illinois.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

2014 - Week 27 Winners

Graeme McDowell (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the Alstom Open de France on the European PGA Tour. The 34 year old Northern Irish man won his tenth tour title from eight shots behind in difficult conditions on the tough Le Golf National layout. In doing so, McDowell defended a European title for the first time and gave his Ryder Cup hopes a huge boost. He can thank Kevin Stadler though, as the American squandered a four shot overnight lead with a wretched front nine of 41 (+5). Even though he fought back gamely on the back nine, Stadler missed a tiddler on the last to hand GMac the victory. Our top ranked player, Martin Kaymer, finished in tied 12th place and we had ten of the top eighteen plus ties (10/25) in total.

Angel Cabrera (ranked 29th by Golf Predictor) won the Greenbrier Classic on the US PGA Tour. The big hitting 44 year old Argentinian secured his first tour title since the 2009 Masters with an assured final day display. Cabrera could even afford two late bogeys in his final round 64 (-6) and still win his first non-major title in the US by two shots. Our top ranked player, Bubba Watson, finished in tied 16th place and in an event that tends to be hard to predict, we had a disappointing five of the top sixteen plus ties (5/22) in total.

Monday, 30 June 2014

2014 - Week 27 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Alstom Open de France (European PGA Tour) and the Greenbrier Classic (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There aren't many big names playing on either side of the pond this week. Unlike the last few years, no big name American* is making the trip to Paris and there aren't that many teeing it up in West Virginia either! With most of the big guns taking the week off in the run off to the Open Championship, it offers a great chance for a lesser light to land a confidence boosting title ahead of the next major.


*There is a big American playing though - Kevin Stadler!!!

2014 - Week 26 Winners

Fabrizio Zanotti (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the BMW International Open on the European PGA Tour. The 31 year old Paraguayan won his his first tour title in a four man play-off. After seeing off Rafa Cabrera Bello and Gregory Havret, Zanotti prevailed on the fifth extra hole when Henrik Stenson went into the water. In doing so, he became the first Paraguayan to win on the European tour. Local hero Kaymer disappointed on his triumphant return to home soil by missing the cut. Stenson was our top ranked player and we had ten of the top twelve plus ties (10/21) in total

Justin Rose (ranked 4th by Golf Predictor) won the Quicken Loans National on the US PGA Tour. The 33 year old Englishman overcame going into the water on the last to win on the first play-off hole when Shawn Stefani did likewise. Our top ranked player, Jason Day, disappointingly missed the cut and finished in tied 76th. Likewise, a rusty Tiger Woods also failed to make the weekend on his sooner than anticipated return to action at the event that benefits his foundation. Overall, we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/20) in total.  

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Adventures at the 2014 Irish Open

I managed to wrangle a volunteering gig at the recent Irish Open golf championship at Fota Island in County Cork. Even as I arrived at the appointed (early!) hour at the southern venue on Thursday, I still did not know what exactly I would be doing. I had a vague idea that I would be ferrying TV crew around the course in a buggy. The fact that I had never seen the course or driven a golf buggy before made me more than slightly apprehensive as we (my friend and I!) waited anxiously for our assignments.

The TV Compound bear the 10th where we waited for our assignment
After a longish wait, during which time we interrogated the regulars for information, I was eventually assigned to RF2, the designation for the second mobile camera crew. My camera man and his antenna guy picked me up in the buggy and along with the sound guy, all four of us made our way down the steep dusty track from the TV compound to the course. Much to my surprise, about two minutes later, I found myself sharing a fairway with Ross Fisher, Matteo Manassero and Darren Clarke, right in the thick of the action! I couldn't believe it at first, but my disbelief soon turned to anxiousness as I had visions of mowing them down in a runaway buggy! Luckily, it was easy to drive and I got the hang of it straight away. Knowing where to park the buggy and when to move it wasn't as easy, but fortunately my Aussie camera man Mark was very nice and patient while showing me the ropes!

My trusty steed with tripod on the front
All four of us on the buggy and distinct jobs: Mark got the shot and the antenna guy was tethered to him holding the rather heavy device for transmitting the pictures back to mission control. The sound guy's job was to stand in the correct place to capture the sound of the strike, the player/caddy chat and crowd reaction. My main job was to drive the buggy after the camera man jumps out for the shot. He drove the buggy most of the time (to my relief at the start!), but I took over when he was at work on the fairway and around the green. Once finished and when the fixed camera were no longer on the golfer, I picked up the crew and the camera man again took over driving duties. Once we reached the green, I generally moved the buggy to the side of the next tee before the huge crowd that moved with the groups I covered got in position around that tee.

I would then do another big part of my job - looking after the fairly heavy tripod which was generally used for tee shots and around the green. Before leaving the previous green for the next tee, I would usually drop off the tripod and then run back to collect it once I had parked the buggy and the golfers had finished the hole. Sometimes this involved a long run in hot humid conditions (unusually for Ireland!) through a large crowd and the return journey to the next tee carrying the aforementioned tripod. The last part of my job was to look after the batteries for the camera and the antenna. Both used the same large lithium ion batteries which lasted for about an hour and there was a stash of them in the buggy. When given the nod by the camera man or the antenna guy, I'd have to supply them with fresh batteries and  keep the spent ones separate.

Generally, we followed the same group until they finished, but there was a fair bit of jumping around the course on Thursday and Friday to wherever a golfer was doing well. We did this in two sessions that roughly matched the Sky coverage (9.40am-1pm, 2.20pm-6pm). In between, we got a free packed lunch, which we consumed by the par five tenth fairway while watching the action. After the cut on Friday, the task was easier, where we just followed the same two ball from the first hole to the last in one roughly four an a half hour session. After filming Fisher & co. for a hole, we moved on to Paul Lawrie, Matthew Fitzpatrick (on his pro début) and Tommy Fleetwood. After a while with that group, we also covered Romain Wattel, Edoardo Molinari and Gaganjeet Bhullar in the morning. On Thursday afternoon, we covered Paul McGinley, Branden Grace and Pablo Larrazabal before moving on to Robert Karlsson, Mikael Lundberg and Peter Lawrie.

On Friday, I got the marque groups (especially for an Irishman!): GMac, Shane Lowry and Paul Casey in the morning and Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington and Stephen Gallacher in the afternoon. We also spent some time with Simon Khan, Stephen Dodd and Jbe Krugar. Over the weekend, I got GMac both days with the associated huge home support. He was partnered with Wattel on Saturday and Fabrizio Zanotti on Sunday. This made my job pretty difficult while my jammy friend was on RF1, which was on the leading group with a much smaller following! However, I must have done something right because the camera man complimented me on my work on Saturday evening, which led me to assume I was crap on Thursday and Friday! Some observations from the four days:

  1.  Most of the golfers are smaller in real life than they appear to be on TV! Even Robert Karlsson isn't 6'5" as advertised (unless I have grown a few inches recently, unknown to myself!).
  2. They all hit the ball a prodigious distance off the tee and their ball flight with irons also has to be seen to be believed.
  3. They all can putt pretty well also. Once on the dance floor, I rarely saw a three putt. Mind you, I was so busy moving the buggy, I missed a lot of the putting, especially over the weekend!
  4. The area of the game where a lot of them need work is chipping and pitching. I saw a fair few of these that I wouldn't be happy with myself!
  5. Most of the golfers are good with the crowd, kids, marshals, volunteers, TV crew etc. Some however, are not. McIlroy is very standoffish and Casey is renowned for being a jerk on the course (I can personally vouch for that, having seen/heard him in action!). I heard Anders Hansen was very nice and shook hands with everyone working on his group. I saw GMac giving a ball to a kid and high fiving loads of people on the way to the next tee.
  6. I experienced a lot of "third party adoration"! Walking from green to tee either directly in front or behind McIlroy, GMac and Harrington and coming down the eighteenth on Sunday with GMac in particular was amazing. It has to turn their head in some way! Some people were so obsessed with celebrity, they even wanted to high five me!
  7. I witnessed a "full and frank" discussion between GMac and a rules official coming down the last on Sunday. Apparently, his group were put on the clock and suffice it to say that GMac wasn't happy about it!
  8. The marshals varied from completely useless to fanatical about the modicum of power that they had finally managed to acquire! At one stage, I was almost manhandled off the course by some over zealous marshals (despite wearing pretty obvious credentials, as shown below)!
Over the course of the tournament (pun intended!), I managed to get some Golf Predictor advertising in by wearing my branded cap for four days and my branded polo shirts on the first and last days! I also got a close look at what I assume was a replica of the famous claret jug on the first tee on Sunday!
A GP branded me by the claret jug (or replica of same)!
It was great to see the mixture of recent and more distant winners inscribed on the famous trophy, e.g. Walter Hagen and Tiger Woods. Overall, it was a brilliant four days. I never expected to be so close to the action, yet there I was sharing tee boxes, fairways and the odd green with Irish (and international!) golfing stars. While the first couple of days were long and somewhat stressful, once I learned the ropes, the weekend was very enjoyable. I even managed a chat with the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) on Sunday by the final green!

The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) watches the finish of the tournament right beside me!
Luckily, there was no play-off on Sunday, so I was able to leave quickly! Shortly after Ilonen completed his wire to wire victory, I blasted out of there and got back home at a relatively respectable hour, after a long but enjoyable four days.