Monday, 14 May 2018

2018 - Week 20 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week,  the Belgian Knockout (European PGA Tour) and the AT&T Byron Nelson (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There are several big names teeing it up in Texas this week, where Hideki Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia join local hero Jordan Spieth at the Byron Nelson. As to be expected, the field for the inaugural Belgian Knockout is not as stellar, with just three of the top one hundred in the world teeing it up in the new strokeplay/matchplay hybrid format. 

2018 - Week 19 Winners

Joakim Lagergren (ranked 20th by Golf Predictor) won the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open on the European PGA Tour. The 26 year old Swede won his maiden tour title in a play-off with Michael Lorenzo-Vera in Sicily. After getting off to a fast start on Sunday, the birdies dried up for Lagergren on the back nine. That allowed the overnight leader Lorenzo-Vera to catch him and force extra holes. However, Lagergren was not to be denied and won at the first play-off hole with a brilliant birdie. Our top ranked player, Andy Sullivan, finished in tied 3rd and we had seven of the top fourteen plus ties (7/19*) in the weak fielded event in mostly windy conditions.

Webb Simpson (ranked 22nd by Golf Predictor) won The Players Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 32 year old American won his first tour title in five years with an impressive performance at Sawgrass. After taking a five shot lead with a second round 63 (-9) and increasing his lead to seven shots after round three, Simpson eased to a four shot win and could even easily afford a closing double bogey! Despite a promising start, our top ranked player, Dustin Johnson, finished tamely for tied 17th. Overall, we only had eight of the top seventeen plus ties (8/22) in an event where several of the bigger names struggled on the tough layout.


*Kjeldsen withdrew, promoting Lagergren into the top nineteen of the rankings.

Monday, 7 May 2018

2018 - Week 19 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, The Players Championship (US PGA Tour) and the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. As usual, there's a very strong field for the so called "fifth major" in Florida, with all the top fifty in the world rankings teeing it up at Sawgrass. That doesn't leave much top talent for the European Tour, which has only one golfer is (barely!) inside the top one hundred in the world rankings playing in Sicily

Sunday, 6 May 2018

2018 - Week 18 Winner

Jason Day (ranked 6th by Golf Predictor) won the Wells Fargo Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 30 year old Australian captured his second title of the season with an impressive display of putting at Quail Hollow. Despite not having his best long game, Day saved himself on the greens, including on the last three holes, where he had two birdies and a clutch par putt. That meant a two shot victory over Nick Watney and Aaron Wise in the end. Our top ranked player, Justin Thomas, failed in his bid to become world number one and finished in tied 21st. Overall, we had twelve of the top twenty one plus ties (12/26) in total on the testing layout.
There was no individual stroke play event on the European PGA Tour this week.   

Monday, 30 April 2018

2018 - Week 18 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions for this week, the Wells Fargo Championship (US PGA Tour)  are now available on Golf Predictor. The event moves back to Quail Hollow this year after a break last year due to the hosting of the US PGA Championship. A strong field has signed up, with twelve of the top twenty in the world teeing it up in North Carolina, led by world number two, Justin Thomas. 

There is no individual stroke play event on the European PGA Tour this week.    

Sunday, 29 April 2018

2018 - Week 17 Winner

Alexander Bjork (ranked 6th by Golf Predictor) won the Volvo China Open on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old Swede won his first tour title with an impressive final day performance in Beijing. Bjork closed with a blemish free 65 (-7) to post a -18 target in the clubhouse. Adrian Otaegui had a chance to catch him, but a poor bogey on the penultimate hole meant both he and Matt Wallace needed an unlikely eagle on the par five closing hole to force a play-off. That proved to be too great a task for the duo and the Swede was duly crowned champion. Our top ranked player, defending champion Alexander Levy, finished in tied 14th, and we had six of the top fourteen plus ties (6/19).
 
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the US PGA Tour was not covered this year due to its transition to a team event. Unfortunately, this makes it unsuitable for Golf Predictor.

Monday, 23 April 2018

2018 - Week 17 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Volvo China Open (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. No big names are teeing it up in China this week and the tournament has only two years of course history. Neither of these facts make it very easy to call, but last week's winner Alexander Levy will be hoping to defend his title in Beijing. The Zurich Classic of New Orleans (US PGA Tour) will not covered as it now a team event. Unfortunately, this makes it incompatible with Golf Predictor.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

2018 - Week 16 Winners

Alexander Levy (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the Trophee Hassan II on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old Frenchman won his fifth tour title with a solid final day performance in Morocco. Levy started well on Sunday, overtaking overnight leader Alvaro Quiros. A string of pars followed on the back nine until a plugged lie in a bunker on the sixteenth cut his lead to a single shot. However, Levy bounced back with a great birdie on the penultimate hole to give himself a two shot lead up the last. That just about proved sufficient, as Quiros finished with two birdies to reduce the winning margin to a single shot. Despite his recent form, our top ranked player, Paul Dunne, missed the cut. Overall, we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/21) on the testing layout with new, tricky greens.

Andrew Landry (ranked 65th by Golf Predictor) won the Valero Texas Open on the US PGA Tour. The 30 year old American won his first tour title with an assured final day performance in San Antonio. Co-leading with Zach Johnson overnight, Landry pulled away on Sunday with only Trey Mullinax staying with him. However, Mullinax let him off the hook on the two final holes, allowing Landry to win by two strokes in the end. Our top ranked player, Sergio Garcia, disappointingly missed his second cut in a row. Overall, we had only five of the top twenty plus ties (5/25) in an event partially played in difficult conditions on a tough course.

Monday, 16 April 2018

2018 - Week 16 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Trophee Hassan II (European PGA Tour) (European PGA Tour) and the Valero Texas Open (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Not a great field in either event this week, but at least there are five of the top thirty in the world teeing it up in Texas. Meanwhile, in Morocco, Ireland's Paul Dunne will be hoping to go one better than last week and secure his second tour title.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

2018 - Week 15 Winners

Jon Rahm (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the Real Club Valderrama Open de Espana on the European PGA Tour. The 23 year old Spaniard delighted the large home following by winning his national open at the first time of asking. Rahm saw off his compatriot Nacho Elvira and Irishman Paul Dunne down the stretch to win his third tour title by two strokes. Rahm was our top ranked player (by some margin!) and we had eight of the top twelve plus ties (8/20).

Satoshi Kodaira (ranked 45th by Golf Predictor) won the RBC Heritage on the US PGA Tour. The 28 year old Japanese player won his first tour title in a play-off with Si-woo Kim. The South Korean led for most of the final day, but a succession of missed short putts meant he needed to par the last in worsening conditions to force a play-off. As it happened, Kim missed another short putt for birdie and the duo went to extra holes. They traded pars on the first two holes, before Kodaira took the title with a birdie on the next green. Our top ranked player, Dustin Johnson, finished in tied 16th and we only had seven of the top sixteen plus ties (7/22) in total.

Personal Information Changes on Golf Predictor

Registration page now with "Year of Birth" field (highlighted)

I have made changes to the personal information stored about members on Golf Predictor. The date of birth fields (day/month/year) on the Golf Predictor Registration page have been replaced with a single, much less specific year of birth. This can be seen in the screenshot of the updated Registration page above. The Profile page for each member has also been updated just to show this year of birth. These changes were implemented mainly due to the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), set to be introduced next month (May 25th, 2018) by the European Union.

As I don't need to know the exact date of birth of a user, I thought it best to stop storing it altogether. This will obviously prevent any chance of this sensitive information getting into the wrong hands in the worst care scenario of a data breach. I would still like to know the approximate age of Golf Predictor users, hence the retention of the year of birth.

Some notes on this change:
  1. All new users will be given a default day and month of birth of the first of January in the background as the system still expects a date, not just a year. 
  2. I have updated the date of birth of all existing members to be the first of January of whatever year they said they were born. Existing members will also now only see their year of birth on their Profile page.
  3. I have taken further steps to secure the personal information on database backups. I have deleted all server based backups and all other ones have always been encrypted for maximum security on a password protected hard drive.

I trust you will find this change to your satisfaction. I want to assure all Golf Predictor users that I take user privacy very seriously and I will continue to do my utmost to keep the limited personal information supplied as secure as I can.

Monday, 9 April 2018

2018 - Week 15 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Open de Espana (European PGA Tour) and the RBC Heritage (US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. After the excitement of The Masters, it's back to the grind this week! While most of the big names are resting after the exertions of Augusta, there are several big names playing in South Carolina. Not least among them is world number one Dustin Johnson and fellow strong performers in Augusta Marc Leishman and Paul Casey. Meanwhile in Europe, the rank and file will be chomping at the bit in Spain after a three week hiatus from normal tournament play. This year's tournament is back after a one year break and is being held back in Madrid this year. Local heroes John Rahm and Rafa Cabrera Bello are headlining the field after their exertions in the first major of the year.

2018 - Week 14 Winner

Patrick Reed (ranked 19th by Golf Predictor) won the first major of the year, The Masters (European/US PGA Tour). The 27 year old American won his first major after a topsy turvy final round at Augusta. Starting out with a three shot lead over Rory McIlroy, Reed began nervously, but managed to hit back with birdie after every setback. He was helped by a very poor day on the greens by McIlroy who faded mid round. Jordan Spieth raced through the field, but bogeyed the last to spoil a fantastic final round somewhat and finish two back in third place. Reed had a great two putt par on the final two holes to win by a single shot from a fast finishing Rickie Fowler and make his team and me (who tipped/backed him at 40/1) very happy! Our top ranked player, Dustin Johnson, never really contended, but still finished in tied 10th. Overall, we had fourteen of the top nineteen in a tournament where most of the top names performed well!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

"Tournament Winners - Form by Tournament" Page Added To Golf Predictor


The course/tournament form of all winners of the Masters since 2003 (see note 1)
I am delighted to announce the addition of a new "Tournament Winners - Form by Tournament" page to Golf Predictor. This page is available on the "Other Stats" menu and  is similar to the existing "Tournament Winners - Form" page. However, instead of listing the form for all the winners in a particular GP Season, it lists the form of all winners of the selected tournament since 2003 (see note one below).

Like the "Tournament Winners - Form" page, you can now see the form for all winners of a tournament in their previous ten events in three selectable categories (All Tournaments, Tournament/Course and Similar Events) on the same page. This is shown in the screenshot above for the 2018 Masters, where the form of all recent winners in their ten appearances at Augusta prior to their win is displayed. As you can see, this new page makes it very easy to spot trends. For example, on selecting the Similar Events option, this new page clearly shows that ALL winners since 2004 had at least one top twenty in their previous five majors prior to the win. This ability to spot trends so easily makes this page invaluable for anyone interested in forecasting the outcome of tournaments.

Some notes on this new page:
  1. GP records go back to 2003. Therefore, form for winners of older tournaments around that time will be incomplete, as there are no relevant results in the database before then. That shouldn't be too much of a handicap as there is at least ten years of newer, more relevant tournaments with complete form history to analyse.
  2. All tournaments in the system will be listed for the selected GP Season. This means that in the current season with events that haven't taken place yet, the first winner displayed will be from the previous running of the event (usually the previous season). For events in the current season that have finished, you will see the latest winner first in the list.
  3. Further to the above point, the first tournament displayed in the tournaments dropdown will be the last event for the selected season/tour. This means when you load the page initially, you will see this tournament and you must pick the current week's event from the dropdown, should you wish to see it. However, changing season should automatically bring you to the same tournament as currently selected in the new season selected (if it exists and GP is set up properly for that tournament!).
  4. I fixed a bug with the existing "Tournament Winners - Form" page for Tournament/Course form for tournaments co-sanctioned by both the US and European tours.
  5. The main data table has a year (GP Season) and a week column to allow you to distinguish easily between the different runnings of the tournament. Note that some tournaments have been held more than once in certain GP Seasons.
  6. If you hover over the first or third columns in the table above, you will see more information. This is shown in the screenshot above for the year column for the 2013 Masters. This shows the tournament name, course name and dates for the event. Hovering over the winner's first name shows the tournament won, his world ranking and prediction ranking ahead of the event (for tournaments since Golf Predictor started in 2008) and a summary of the form being displayed.
  7. You may have to reload any pages you have viewed recently to see the new menu option for this page.

This new page should be very useful for judging what type of form will be most suitable for a particular tournament. This is especially true for big tournaments like the Masters, which starts this Thursday. Like the original "Tournament Winners - Form" page,  only subscribers can access the premium form stats on this new page. So, sign up today and reap the full benefits of Golf Predictor, the premium professional golf statistics site.

The Masters - DraftKings DFS Analysis

The Course/Tournament

It's the big one! The Masters is probably the most anticipated tournament of the year among golf fans, being the first major of the year and coming eight long months after the US PGA Championship. This major is uniquely played at the same venue every year, the hallowed turf of the par 72 Augusta National, 7435 perfectly manicured yards of Georgia countryside. Expect the usual firm, fast undulating greens, closely mown grass and fairways cut from the green back to the tees. As to be expected, winners since its inception in 1934 include practically every modern legend of the game, including Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Phil Mickelson and of course, Tiger Woods.

As usual, the Masters field is the smallest field of all the majors, and indeed is small this year even by its own standards. There are just 87 golfers teeing it up this week, the lowest in over twenty years. Of those, you can probably immediately discount sixteen or seventeen of the older former champions, invited amateurs and Danny Willett (sorry, Danny!!). Of the remainder, you have all the top players in the world, so there are many golfers with great stats in the field.
The weather isn't expected to be much of a factor, although along with the lowish winds, there may be cool temperatures and some rain, particularly on Saturday. In addition, similar to last week in Houston, there is a possibility of rain on Wednesday, which would soften the course up and lead to easier putting and consequently lower scores for the first day or two also.

Recent Winners

The Masters usually produces a big name winner and of course Sergio finally fulfilled a lifetime of promise by securing his first major title here last year. However, there is always the possibility of a lesser light surging through the field on the back nine Sunday, like Danny Willett or Charl Schwartzel.

2017     Sergio Garcia
2016     Danny Willett
2015     Jordan Spieth  
2014     Bubba Watson
2013     Adam Scott
2012     Bubba Watson  
2011     Charl Schwartzel
2010     Phil Mickelson
2009     Angel Cabrera

Horses for Courses

As the only one played on the same track every year, course form at the Masters is obviously more important than at the other majors. Experience at Augusta is said to be crucial, with Fuzzy Zoeller (1979) famously being the only winner of the event on his first try since the second staging in 1935. Knowing where to put your ball and more importantly, where not to put it are key. The following golfers have good records at Augusta in recent years:

Dustin Johnson
Rory McIlroy
Rickie Fowler
Justin Rose
Hideki Matsuyama
Phil Mickelson (mostly before 2013)
Jordan Spieth
Matt Kuchar
Sergio Garcia
Tiger Woods (before 2016)
Paul Casey
Adam Scott
Ian Poulter

Region Specialists

Some golfers play well in certain regions, perhaps because of the climate, affinity with the local area, grasses used on the golf courses or time of year the tournaments are played there. The following golfers have good records playing in that part of the South-Eastern US in recent years:

Dustin Johnson
Justin Thomas
Rory McIlroy
Jon Rahm
Rickie Fowler
Justin Rose
Hideki Matsuyama
Jordan Spieth
Matt Kuchar
Sergio Garcia
Jason Day
Henrik Stenson
Xander Schauffele
Tiger Woods (before 2016)
Paul Casey
Russell Henley
Ryan Moore
Kevin Kisner
Charl Schwartzel
Brian Harman

Form Golfers

When a golfer is playing well, you have to make hay in your DraftKings contests! Not so easy to isolate for the Masters, where the field is full of quality players peaking for the event. Even though it's a major with an aura, in-form golfers should bring more confidence with them up Magnolia Lane! The following golfers have been playing well lately:

Dustin Johnson (except for the Match Play!)
Justin Thomas
Bubba Watson
Jordan Spieth
Sergio Garcia
Jason Day
Phil Mickelson
Justin Rose
Paul Casey
Tommy Fleetwood
Henrik Stenson
Matt Kuchar
Alex Noren
Patrick Reed
Ian Poulter
Adam Hadwin
Brian Harman
Tiger Woods
Tyrell Hatton
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Xander Schauffele

Coming Into Form Golfers

Identifying golfers who are starting to play well and jumping on them before everyone else can you an edge in your DraftKings DFS contests. Not so easy to spot for the Masters, where the field is full of quality players peaking for the event. The following golfers are showing signs of coming into form just in time to tackle Amen Corner:

Kyle Stanley
Russell Henley
Ryan Moore
Louis Oosthuizen
Bryson Dechambeau
Cameron Smith
Si-woo Kim

Similar Events

Majors are the four biggest events on the golf calendar and present a bigger challenge to every golfer in the field. Certain golfers thrive in the cauldron of major tournament play, while others wilt under the added pressure. The following golfers have played well at the most recent majors:

Justin Thomas
Hideki Matsuyama
Paul Casey
Rickie Fowler
Henrik Stenson
Matt Kuchar
Jordan Spieth
Jason Day
Rory McIlroy
Marc Leishman
Patrick Reed

Long Cut Streaks

It's vital to get as many of your line-up into the weekend if you want to succeed in your DraftKings DFS contests. The following golfers with the longest cut streaks in the field may be solid choices to maximise your points scored this week:
Paul Casey (27)
Matt Kuchar (25)
Patrick Cantlay (20)
Pat Perez (15)
Justin Rose (14)
Dustin Johnson (14)
Justin Thomas (14)
Branden Grace (14)
Tommy Fleetwood (13)
Thomas Pieters (13)
Adam Hadwin (13)
Jason Day (12)
Alex Noren (10)
Zach Johnson (10)
Brendan Steele (10)

Least Cuts Missed (Majors)

As stated above, majors are a different kettle of fish and its important to pick golfers who have proven to be consistent performers in them over recent years. The following participating golfers have missed the fewest cuts in majors in their past twelve majors (minimum 5 events played) and may be solid choices to maximise your points scored this week:
Jordan Spieth (0/12)
Jason Day (1/12)
Matt Kuchar (1/12)
Jon Rahm (1/6)
Fred Couples (1/5) - all Masters!
Dustin Johnson (2/12)
Justin Thomas (2/12)
Hideki Matsuyama (2/12)
Sergio Garcia (2/12)
Paul Casey (2/12)
Henrik Stenson (2/12)
Louis Oosthuizen (2/12)
Adam Scott (2/12)
Francesco Molinari (2/12)
Jason Dufner (2/12)
Charl Schwartzel (2/12)
Web Simpson (2/12)

Least Cuts Missed (Masters)

As stated above, Augusta knowledge is vital and its important to pick golfers who have proven to be consistent performers there in recent years. The following participating golfers have missed no cuts (minimum 3 events played) in the Masters in the past five seasons and may be solid choices to maximise your points scored this week:

Jason Day (0/5)
Adam Scott (0/5)
Matt Kuchar (0/5)
Rory McIlroy (0/5)
Justin Rose (0/5)
Jordan Spieth (0/4)
Jimmy Walker (0/4)
Paul Casey (0/3)
Bernd Wiesberger (0/3)
Charley Hoffman (0/3) 

Note that Tiger has never missed the cut at Augusta, but he hasn't played since 2015.

Most Strokes Gained Tee to Green

Although putting is said to be important at Augusta, many recent winners have not been great with the flat stick. Instead, the premium is on approach shots to leave you close to the hole or in the right part of the lightening fast, undulating greens. Of course, to hit good approach shots, you must be in a good position off the tee (unless you're Phil Mickelson!). The following golfers have the best strokes gained tee to green (per round) in the field on the US Tour:

Sergio Garcia (2.034)
Paul Casey (1.840)
Jordan Spieth (1.829)
Dustin Johnson (1.828)
Tommy Fleetwood(1.680)
Justin Thomas (1.667)
Adam Scott (1.633)
Kevin Chappell (1.593)
Tony Finau (1.451)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.303)
Bryson Dechambeau (1.278)
Brendan Steele (1.254)

Most DraftKings Average Points Per Game

This important metric shows the average points scored by each player in DraftKings contests this season. High values indicate golfers who have consistently delivered in contests and therefore could be good choices. The following golfers have the best DraftKings average points per game in the field:

Dustin Johnson (101.286)
Justin Thomas (97.333)
Justin Rose (93.864)
Phil Mickelson (92.167)
Tyrrell Hatton (92.045)
Jon Rahm (90.400)
Tommy Fleetwood (89.321)
Jason Day (89.200)
Pat Perez (87.667)
Sergio Garcia (85.556)
Brendan Steele (84.875)
Paul Casey (83.375)
Branden Grace (82.808)

High Salary DraftKings Picks ($7.6k and Up)

Normally, the golfers in this category are in the top echelon and therefore have the best stats. For the Masters, you could make a good case for most of the golfers in this category! Based on the above lists and/or their average points per game, the following players stand out:

Dustin Johnson
Jason Day
Matt Kuchar
Jordan Spieth
Justin Rose
Paul Casey
Justin Tomas
Rory McIlroy

Mid Salary DraftKings Picks ($6.9k-$7.5k)

It is usually possible to find some good mid-range picks for a tournament, as some golfers tend to be undervalued relative to their stats (of course, the opposite is also true!). Based on the above lists and /or their average points per game, the following players stand out in this category:

Xander Schauffele
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Kevin Chappell
Adam Hadwin
Branden Grace
Brian Harman

Low Salary DraftKings Picks ($6.8k and Below)

It's tougher to find picks in this category, as it usually contains the lowest tier golfers with the worst stats. It is especially hard this week with almost all of the older former champions in this category. Based on the above lists and /or their average points per game, the following players are worth considering in this category:

Austin Cook
Si-woo Kim
Bernd Wiesberger
Kyle Stanley
Jimmy Walker
Fred Couples

Summary

Hopefully this analysis will help you identify some good picks for your Masters DraftKings contest. Check out Golf Predictor for more great data and analytical tools for the Masters. In addition to many useful stats and charts, you can filter the field by over fifty metrics, including DraftKings salary and average points scored, and create your dream DraftKings line-up!

Monday, 2 April 2018

2018 - Week 14 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, The Masters (European/US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Only one tournament this week, but it's the big one! It's that time of the year again and excitement is mounting among golf fans ahead of the first major of the season at Augusta. It's wide open again this year with many top players, including Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, showing good form ahead of the tournament. It promises to be an exciting week's golf and I, for one, will be glued to the TV!

If you want to try a DFS contest for this week's events, check out DraftKings or the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the European Tour, PlayON.
 

2018 - Week 13 Winner

Ian Poulter (ranked 29th by Golf Predictor) won the Shell Houston Open on the US PGA Tour. The 42 year old Englishman showed great fortitude to win his first stroke play tour title on American soil. After being told erroneously last week that he was in the Masters, Poulter needed to win in Houston to actually make that happen. After being 123rd after the first round, it didn't look likely, but he fought back brilliantly to get into contention on Sunday. Trailing Beau Hossler by one on the extremely challenging final hole, he pulled it out of the fire with a tremendous birdie putt from twenty feet to tie the young American. Hossler got into all sorts of trouble on the same hole in the play-off, going from sand to sand to water to hand Poulter his first title in over five years. Our top ranked player, Justin Rose, threaded water over the weekend and finished in tied 52nd. Overall, in an event where several of the bigger names faded, we only had eight of the top eighteen plus ties (8/23).

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

2018 - Week 13 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Houston Open (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the final tune-up for The Masters and there's a fairly strong field in Houston, where the course is set up like Augusta as usual. Six of the top twenty in the world are teeing it up, including Jordan Spieth, who will hope for a better week in his home state than last week!

There is no event on the European PGA Tour this week. 

If you want to try a DFS contest for this week's events, check out DraftKings or the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the European Tour, PlayON.

Apologies - forgot to publish this last Monday!
 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Houston Open - DraftKings DFS Analysis

The Course/Tournament

In an effort to attract stars the week before the Masters, the 7,441-yard, par-72 Golf Club of Houston is set up like Augusta as much as possible with firm, fast greens, closely mown grass and fairways cut from the green back to the tees. Winners since its inception in 1946 is a veritable who's who of post-war golfing greats, including Byron Nelson, Bobby Locke, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Phil Mickelson. One noticeable absentee from that list is Tiger Woods, who has never played the event, even before it was final tune-up event before the Masters.

The weather isn't expected to be much of a factor, with warm temperatures, lowish winds and no rain forecast during the four days of competition. However there is a possibility of rain on Wednesday, which would soften the course up and lead to easier putting and consequently lower scores for the first day or two.

Recent Winners

Despite its heritage of legendary winners, the Houston Open hasn't produced many big name winners in recent times. This is no doubt to the preference of the bigger names to not play the week before The Masters. The notable exception to this trend is Phil Mickelson, a recent winner in Mexico and a winner here in 2011.

2017     Russell Henley
2016     Jim Herman   
2015     J.B. Holmes   
2014     Matt Jones 
2013     D.A. Points
2012     Hunter Mahan  
2011     Phil Mickelson
2010     Anthony Kim 
2009     Paul Casey 

Horses for Courses

Many golfers like playing certain tracks and this is reflected in their usually good performances at the venue. The following golfers have good records at the Golf Club of Houston in recent years:

Russell Henley
Rickie Fowler
Phil Mickelson
Jordan Spieth
Matt Kuchar
Charles Howell III
Keegan Bradley
J.B. Holmes
Scott Piercy
Cameron Tringale

Region Specialists

Some golfers play well in certain regions, perhaps because of the climate, affinity with the local area, grasses used on the golf courses or time of year the tournaments are played there. The following golfers have good records playing in Texas in recent years:

Russell Henley
Rickie Fowler
Phil Mickelson
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Jordan Spieth
Matt Kuchar
Daniel Berger
Sean O'Hair
Charles Howell III
Bill Haas
J.B. Holmes
Scott Piercy
Sung-Hoon Kang
Bud Cauley
Danny Lee
Kevin Tway

Form Golfers

When a golfer is playing well, you have to make hay in your DraftKings contests! The following golfers have been playing well lately:

Justin Rose
Phil Mickelson
Henrik Stenson
Luke List
Seung-su Han
Shubhanker Sharma
Kelly Kraft

Coming Into Form Golfers

Identifying golfers who are starting to play well and jumping on them before everyone else can you an edge in your DraftKings DFS contests. The following golfers are showing signs of coming into form:

Rickie Fowler
Matt Kuchar
Charles Howell III
Harris English
Paul Dunne
Ian Poulter
Abraham Ancer
Corey Conners

Similar Strength Events

Certain golfers only play well in events with weaker fields, while others shine when the opposition is more severe. The following golfers have played well at events with similar strength fields to the Houston Open in recent years:

Justin Rose
Brandon Harkins
Matt Kuchar
Jordan Spieth
Phil Mickelson
Rickie Fowler
Jason Dufner
Shane Lowry
Bill Haas
Henrik Stenson

Long Cut Streaks

It's vital to get as many of your line-up into the weekend if you want to succeed in your DraftKings DFS contests. The following golfers with the longest cut streaks in the field may be solid choices to maximise your points scored this week:

Matt Kuchar (24)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (14)
Emiliano Grillo (14)
Justin Rose (13)
Dylan Frittelli (12)
Thomas Pieters (12)
James Hahn (12)
Rory Sabbatini (8)
Martin Kaymer (7) 
Luke List (6)  
Seung-Su Han (6)
Patrick Rodgers (6)
Tyrone Van Aswegen (6)
Nick Watney (6)

Most Strokes Gained Putting

As the greens will be set up like those at Augusta, putting prowess will be very important this week (assuming the course isn't softened up by pre-tournament rain). The following golfers  have the best strokes gained putting (per round) in the field on the US Tour:

Phil Mickelson (1.082)
Greg Chalmers (1.034)
Justin Rose (1.022)
Meen-Whee Kim (0.825)
Chris Stroud (0.794)
Nicholas Lindheim (0.742)
Ben Crane (0.664)
Brandt Snedeker (0.655)
Peter Malnati (0.652)
Patrick Rodgers  (0.586)
Seamus Power (0.572)
Daniel Berger (0.531)
Emiliano Grillo (0.498)
Matt Kuchar (0.474)
Johnson Wagner (0.470)

Most DraftKings Average Points Per Game

This important metric shows the average points scored by each player in DraftKings contests this season. High values indicate golfers who have consistently delivered in contests and therefore could be good choices. The following golfers have the best DraftKings average points per game in the field:

Justin Rose (96.250)
Phil Mickelson(91.875)
Seung-Su Han (87.375)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (82.875
Dylan Frittelli(82.750)
Shubhankar Sharma(81.150)
Rickie Fowler (79.750)
Henrik Stenson (77.188)
Chez Reavie (75.042)
James Hahn (73.950)

High Salary DraftKings Picks (above $7.7k)

Normally, the golfers in this category are in the top echelon and therefore have the best stats. Based on the above lists and/or their average points per game, the following players stand out:

Justin Rose
Phil Mickelson
Rickie Fowler
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Shubhankar Sharma
Matt Kuchar
Russell Henley

Mid Salary DraftKings Picks ($7k-$7.7k)

It is usually possible to find some good mid-range picks for a tournament, as some golfers tend to be undervalued relative to their stats (of course, the opposite is also true!). Based on the above lists and /or their average points per game, the following players stand out in this category:

Scott Piercy
Seung-su Han
Kelly Kraft
Harris English
Chez Reavie
Corey Conners
Brandon Harkins
James Hahn

Low Salary DraftKings Picks (Under $7k)

It's tougher to find picks in this category, as it usually contains the lowest tier golfers with the worst stats. Based on the above lists and /or their average points per game, the following players are worth considering in this category:

Tyrone van Aswegen
Nick Watney
Cameron Tringale
Seamus Power
Lanto Griffin
Nate Lashley
Johnson Wagner

Summary

Hopefully, you can identify some good picks for your DraftKings contest using this post. Check out Golf Predictor for more great data and analytical tools for the Houston Open. In addition to many useful stats and charts, you can filter the field by over fifty metrics, including Draftkings salary and average points scored, and create your dream DraftKings line-up!












Monday, 26 March 2018

2018 - Week 12 Winners

Bubba Watson (ranked 19th by Golf Predictor) won the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play on the European/US PGA Tour. The 39 year old American left hander won his second WGC title with an easy win over Kevin Kisner in the final. After both players played well to get to the decider, Kisner seemed to run out of the steam and was lucky to be only six down after seven holes! It was plain sailing after that for Watson, who won 7&6 in the end. Like previous years, a surprising number of the bigger names exited after the round robin stage, including defending champion Dustin Johnson. The world number who unexpectedly had a shocker and finished tied last (T59th). That gave Justin Thomas a chance to overtake him in the world rankings, but he came up just short, losing in the semi-final.

Brice Garnett (ranked 21st by Golf Predictor) won the inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 35 year old Australian won his first tour title with a wire to wire victory in the Dominican Republic. Garnett opened up with 63 (-9) and held the field off quite comfortably, winning by four shots in the end. Our top ranked player, Emiliano Grillo, finished in tied 50th and in this new second string event, we had only six of the top nineteen plus ties (6/21).

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Cosmetic changes to Data Panels on Golf Predictor

Old look for data panels

New look for data panels

Most of the data panels have been updated on Golf Predictor. Twitter Bootstrap labels have replaced bare numbers in the data panels where there is a text label and value. This is shown above for the strokes gained panel for Dustin Johnson ahead of the WGC - Dell Technologies Matchplay. The first screenshot shows a segment of the Other Tab on his Prediction Data page as it was before this update and the second screenshot shows the new look. Panels with round scores (i.e. best/worst/average rounds) have been left unchanged,as they didn't look as drab as the aforementioned data panels!

As you can also see above, the data values in the Performance panel have also been updated with labels. The contents of each cell have also been centred to further improve the aesthetics slightly. Some notes on this cosmetic update:
  1. Any data values in these updated panels that have pop up text (e.g. average dollars/point for the field in DFS panels on the Prediction Data page) have been updated to be a label with underlined text.
  2. After much experimentation, the label colour was chosen to fit best into the current colour scheme. The exact colour will depend on your monitor/screen, but I eventually settled on a lighter shade of green than the panel headers.
  3. For the most part, to maximise the aesthetics, the labels are the same width. The exceptions are predominately labels containing a number in brackets after the main value, e.g. round averages with the number of rounds in brackets after them.
  4. Numbers with a percentage after them in brackets only have the number itself in the new label. This is because the labels tended to be a little too wide. This can be seen in the Performance panel above and also on panels which contains the number and percentage of wins/missed cuts/top tens etc. for a golfer. However, on most devices, they appear to the right of the label on panels other than the Performance panel
  5. Some text labels describing these updated data values have been shortened for optimum display on smaller devices. For example, "Ave Position" is now "Ave Pos". The key on the bottom of the relevant pages have been updated correspondingly.
  6. You may have to reload the page and its associated files (Ctrl + F5 on Windows) to see these new labels correctly.

I trust you will agree that these new look panels are an improvement over the existing panels and will make reading many of the great stats on the site easier. Just another way to make Golf Predictor a little better! 

Monday, 19 March 2018

2018 - Week 12 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the WGC - Dell Technologies Matchplay (European/US PGA Tour) and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There's an impressive forty six of top fifty in the world rankings playing in the WGC in Austin this week. Although Golf Predictor is not designed for matchplay events, as usual the WGC has been put through the ringer! Meanwhile, the US PGA Tour also heads to the Dominican Republic for a new tournament. With so many big names playing in Texas, the field is decidedly second tier in the Caribbean. There are only four members of the top one hundred in the world teeing it up in the Dominican Republic.

If you want to try a DFS contest for this week's events, check out DraftKings or the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the European Tour, PlayON.
 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

2018 - Week 11 Winners

Rory McIlroy (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) won the Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard on the US PGA Tour. The 28 year old Northern Irishman won his fourteenth tour title with an incredible finish at Bay Hill. Despite a slow start Sunday, McIlroy finished the front nine well with three birdies in the four holes just before the turn. However, he outdid himself on the back nine with five birdies in his last six holes to beat Justin Rose and long time front runners Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau in impressive fashion. Rose was our top ranked player and he finished third in the end. Overall, we had eight of the top fourteen plus ties (8/21) on the testing layout. 

There was no tournament on the European PGA Tour this week.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

New Popover Style on Certain Golf Predictor Pages

New popover for DFS field average dollars per point

I have replaced some of the many popovers on Golf Predictor. The ones updated are those on the Subscribe page and those in the DFS panels on the Prediction Data page for each golfer. These new popovers are now created using Twitter Bootstrap, replacing those created using older AJAX technology. This new popover style is shown in the screenshot above, for Justin Rose's DraftKings DFS panel for the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. As you can see, these new popovers can also have a title row and look better than the old style popovers. Note that you may have to reload the page and its associated files (Ctrl + F5 on Windows) to see these new popovers correctly.

I will probably look to replace all of the other popovers on the site in due course, should that prove feasible. Just another way to make Golf Predictor a little better!

Monday, 12 March 2018

2018 - Week 11 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There's a strong at Arnie's event again this year, with ten of the top twenty in the world teeing it up in Orlando. Of course, eight time former champion, the resurgent Tiger Woods is also back at Bay Hill and is sure to generate massive interest again this week.

There is no tournament on the European PGA Tour this week.

If you want to try a DFS contest for this week's events, check out DraftKings or the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the European Tour, PlayON.
 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

2018 - Week 10 Winners

Matt Wallace (ranked 18th by Golf Predictor) won the Hero Indian Open on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old Englishman won his second tour title with a play-off victory over his compatriot Andrew "Beef" Johnson in New Delhi. After both golfers finished on -11 on the very tough layout, Wallace hit a brilliant second shot on the par five eighteenth hole in the first play-off hole to set up a winning birdie. Our top ranked player, Joost Luiten, finished in tied 9th and we had eight of the top sixteen plus ties (8/21*) in an event with a poor field on a difficult course.

Paul Casey (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) won the Valspar Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 40 year old Englishman finally won his second PGA Tour event in an exciting final day. Casey ended his long nine year wait by posting early and watching all the leaders fail to catch him. All eyes were on a resurgent Tiger Woods, who didn't hole anything Sunday until a monster putt on seventeen. However, Woods fail to reproduce the magic on the last and finished one back with Patrick Reed, who made a mess of the last to fall out of a possible play-off. Our top ranked player, Jordan Spieth, surprisingly missed the cut and in an event where many of the bigger names failed to perform, we only had nine of the top sixteen plus ties (9/27).


*Shaun Norris was one of the many withdrawals, promoting Green into the top twenty one of the GP rankings.

PlayON Analysis Added to Golf Predictor

Other panel on the Prediction Data page for DJ at the 2018 WGC - Mexico Championship, showing new PlayON DFS panel and renamed original DFS panel

New DFS sub-menu
PlayON Field Dollars per Point chart for the 2018 WGC - Mexico Championship

Further to this post from a few weeks ago, I am pleased to announce that PlayON DFS analysis has been added to Golf Predictor. The analysis is similar to the existing DraftKings features on the site and is comprised of the following:
  1. A new Predictions (PlayOn) page with seven new charts, similar to those on the existing Predictions (DFS) page. The latter page has been renamed - see note one below. These new charts include a great zoomable chart showing the value picks at a glance.
  2. A new PlayOn panel added to the Other tab on the Prediction Data page for each golfer (see first screenshot above). There are 4 new charts on this panel, again similar to those on the DFS panel (now renamed to DraftKings panel).
  3. A new PlayON DFS Builder page, where you can filter the field by over fifty metrics and build your PlayON line-up.
  4. PlayON Salary and points per game have been added to the Field rankings page with a new chart for each (same as two charts on the new Predictions (PlayOn) page).
  5. Two new PlayOn filters are now on the Filter Predictions page (bringing the total number of filters to 59), but not on the DraftKings DFS Builder page, where they are not relevant. Similarly, the DraftKings filters are not on the new PlayON DFS Builder page.  
Of course, this means that there will be even more data that I will have to import into the system on a weekly basis, but it should be of great benefit to PlayON DFS golf players. Some notes on this new PlayON functionality:
  1. I have renamed some existing pages now that there are two DFS companies catered for on the site. The existing DFS pages have been renamed to DraftKings, rather than the more generic DFS.
  2. You can not export your line-up on the PlayON DFS Builder page, as PlayOn doesn't have a line-up import feature.
  3. I've noticed that the salaries in PO contests sometimes are different to that in the exported CSV. I can only go by what PlayOn supply in their downloadable CSV file on a Monday.
  4. I've displayed the PlayON salaries in thousands, rather than millions for two reasons: it makes them less unwieldy to deal with and it makes them the same as DraftKings (and hence easier for me!). I tried using "21.3" and "21300000" for 21.3 million, but both caused problems either with salary and/or average dollar per point. This means that 21.3 million is shown as 21300 on the site, i.e. whatever the PlayOn value is in millions, it is in thousands on GP. It doesn't affect the functionality as all money values (dollars per point and salary cap) are scaled down by the same factor (1000).
  5. I have added a new "DFS Options" sub-menu to the Predictions menu with all the renamed DFS pages for DraftKings and the new PlayON pages. This can be seen in the second screenshot above. I decided to use sub menus due to the number of options now on the Predictions menu. I will probably add at least one to the longer Form menu also to allow for future additions.
  6. This new "DFS Options" sub-menu gave me (many) more problems than the new PlayOn functionality! After a long battle, I was finally able to get it to work on all types of device. On PC, phones and tablets where you can see the normal menu, you have to click on this option to expand it to the right. On small mobile devices with a collapsed menu, the "DFS Options" sub-menu will be permanently expanded. Originally, I had the new DFS sub-menu appearing on hover, which worked great on mouse based devices (i.e. non touchscreen PCs). However, this caused the menu to malfunction (in different ways!) on various touch devices and on PCs with a touchscreen and a mouse (these hybrid devices were the worst!). Note that the sub-menu will remain open (when the Predictions menu is open) with the "DFS Options" highlighted when clicked until you click it again, even if you navigate to a different menu and back again. Of course, navigating to a different page will also close the sub-menu.
  7. Further to the above point, I have tested the new sub-menu on a non touchscreen PC, a touchscreen PC, an Android phone, an iPad and an iPhone. It appears to work on all these devices.
  8. Judging by the zoomable field dollars per point charts (see third screenshot above, for the 2018 WGC - Mexico Championship), PlayON seems to overvalue the high salary golfers considerably and undervalue the low salary golfers to a lesser degree. This is reflected in very red colour coding for the dollars per point column for the top players and green colour coding for lower ranked golfers. I have noticed this for all tournaments in the system so far and leads to the steep average line in the charts. DraftKings tends to have more balanced salaries for the field. 
  9. You may have to refresh any page (Ctrl + F5 on Windows) you have viewed recently to see the new sub menu and PlayON DFS options.

The new charts added as part of this new PlayON functionality brings total number of charts on the site crashing through the 500 barrier to 510! I trust you will find these new features useful for your PlayON DFS endeavours. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even better!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

2018 - Week 9 Winners

Phil Mickelson (ranked 12th by Golf Predictor) won the WGC - Mexico Championship on the European/US PGA Tour. The 47 year old American won his forty third tour title after an almost five year gap since his last. In doing so, Mickelson became the oldest ever WGC winner by some seven years in an exciting day's golf in Mexico. After the fast finishing Justin Thomas holed out for eagle on the last to set a challenging target, Mickelson rose to the occasion to catch him with two late birdies. On the first extra hole, Mickelson secured the title after Thomas hit a weak chip and missed his par putt. Defending champion, Dustin Johnson, was our top ranked player and he finished in tied 7th. Overall, we had eleven of the top eighteen plus ties (11/19).

George Coetzee (ranked 3rd by Golf Predictor) won the Tshwane Open on the European PGA Tour. The 31 year old local delighted the home support by winning the title for the second time. Coetzee overcame some Sunday weather delays and an early bogey-bogey wobble to beat Sam Horsfield by two strokes. Coetzee single putted many greens around the middle of his round to pull away from the field. Our top ranked player, Julian Suri, finished in tied 48th and we had eleven of the top twenty one plus ties (11/28).



Monday, 26 February 2018

2018 - Week 9 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the WGC - Mexico Championship (European/US PGA Tour) and the Tshwane Open (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. All eyes will be on Mexico, where a quality field has again assembled for the first WGC event of the year. There's forty five of top fifty in the world rankings where world number one Dustin Johnson will be defending his title. Meanwhile, the European PGA Tour heads back to South Africa, where once again there is a poor field this year.

If you want to try a DFS contest for this week's events, check out DraftKings or the Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the European Tour, PlayON.
 

Sunday, 25 February 2018

2018 - Week 8 Winners

Eddie Pepperell (ranked 32nd by Golf Predictor) won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old Englishman won his first tour title with a one shot victory over Oliver Fisher in Qatar. Despite having built up a three shot lead on the back nine, Pepperell was made to sweat by Fisher, who overcame a poor front nine to finish strongly and narrowly miss forcing a play-off. In a hard to call event, our top ranked player, Thorbjorn Olesen, missed the cut and we had nine of the top nineteen plus ties (9/27).

Justin Thomas (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the Honda Classic on the US PGA Tour. The 24 year old American won his eighth tour title after a play-off victory over Luke List. In a tight contest all day, both Thomas and List birdied the last to finish tied at the top after seventy two holes. List found trouble off the tee on the first extra hole, but still had a chance on the green to extend the play-off. However, he missed his birdie putt and Thomas two putted for his win after finding the green in two. Our top ranked player, Rickie Fowler, disappointingly missed the cut in his title defence and we had seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/23) in the tough conditions.