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
Tyrrell 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!