Monthly Archives: August 2009

DAMNIT STEVE

I hate to throw around the word “choke,” but that’s just what Steve Marino did. Marino needed only to shoot an even par 71 to get into a playoff, which was actually slightly above the average round today(70.87).

Marino was about .3 strokes better than the average player in the field today so a 70 or 71 should have been within reason. Of course he lipped out on every putt, rolled into every bunker, and found every hazard possible so he fell way down the leaderboard.

On the bright side, Marino was ridiculed by the CBS announcers for all kinds of mechanical flaws, despite the fact that this is probably the first(maybe second if you count Zurich) that CBS has actually put Marino on TV.

Ready to pounce
Tiger Woods is absolutely ready to dominate in the next few tournaments, or at least he is giving off that vibe. Ball-striking wise Tiger played better than anyone this week including Heath Slocum. There were two main differences with Tiger and Slocum this week. One, Slocum had some highlight 20-25 foot putts that fell and Tiger didn’t. Over four rounds of Golf, that is mostly luck.

The second is, Tiger is MUCH MUCH more capable of replicating a great ball-striking week than anyone else on tour. I think his ball-striking has returned to a level where it was last year, his putting has just been abnormally weak the last few weeks. Similar to how he made everything at Buick and Bridgestone, where he has played many times, Tiger really made nothing at courses he had played far less frequently at Hazeltine and Liberty National.

Tiger is coming back to courses he has played before and I would bet there will be a lot less of those misread gestures* that he keeps making. If that is the case expect him to make everything one of these next three weeks and run away with a tournament.

*The idiots on TV keep claiming that Tiger is both the greatest green reader on tour and has the best stroke on tour. One of these is clearly wrong right now. He is either not reading greens right, or not hitting the putts how he wants to. This is impossible to tell, but it looks to me like Tiger is misreading a ton of putts based on his reactions.

The bottom line here is that Tiger is the only golfer in the world that doesn’t need to have the insane putting week(like the one referenced here in the “putt for dough” stat section*) like all other tour pros do to contend.

*This title is another example of people not understanding what shooting a low score in golf is all about. If you ask me would I rather lead the tournament in greens or putts every week and I could only do one, THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS GREENS. You will make a lot more money that way, ask Brad Faxon. I may have to say this every week until people listen, but the THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND T-5 IS OFTEN PUTTING, BUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSISTENTLY PLAYING WELL AND ADAM SCOTT IS BALL-STRIKING AND HITTING GREENS. Simple as that.

The Amazing Steve Stricker
No one will talk about this, because Steve Stricker has a pretty boring game, but so far in 2009 he has been better than anyone in the past two years except Tiger. That means Phil, that means Sergio, that means Padraig, That means Retief, that means ANYONE else.

Here are the top 20 seasons in the past two years.
bestyears
Obviously 2009 isn’t over yet, but what Stricker is doing at 42 is pretty impressive. Even over all the tournaments I have since the beginning of 2008 only Phil Mickelson has been a legitimate challenge to Stricker as the second best player in the world.

The Makings of a comeback:
When Ernie Els had tied for the lead after 15 holes, I was wondering why exactly he was ~160-1 by my 2 year numbers. The I realized exactly why.

Els needed to
a) Shoot a great round. Check.
b) have the leaders shoot poor rounds. Check. Sounds crazy but Goydos was only slightly below field average and Marino was above it, so when the course average 70.8 today, odds are one of them would have shot at least EVEN par.
c) make up a lot of ground on a lot of people. Coming from so far behind there is really a lot of strokes to make up on a lot of people. Tiger excluded, there just isn’t that great of a difference between the other big names and the more anonymous but still above average tour pros. Put it this way, Even someone like Heath Slocum would be a favorite over Ernie Els for one round if given 2 strokes.

Why I’m glad Steve Marino didn’t win
Aside from embarrassing himself on Sunday,

From July 29th.

Number one on my list is Steve Marino, although after a successful Open Championship he is not as surprising anymore. Marino, I think is tailormade for Liberty National and TPC Boston and that’s where I think he will do some damage.

From August 18th.

Steve Marino: My original logic was wait for next week when Marino will compete against a stronger field at a course that suits his game more. Actually that applies to Boston, too. Now that I think about it, I’ll probably be on Marino for the next three weeks assuming he doesn’t catch fire. The “Marino will have more value next week” line of thinking wasn’t enough for me to risk a breakthrough win here or pass a good bet, so:

Top-50:
Tour adjusted over two years.
wgr083009

Boston:
bostonguesses
Obviously, I like our old friend Steve, but no way 160-1 is going to be out there.

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SUNDAY IN DIRTY JERZ

Steve Marino to win +290(1)
Woods/Goydos/Stricker/Marino to win -226(1)
Matt Kuchar +161 v. Padraig Harrington(1)
Scott Verplank +115 v. Y.E. Yang(1)
Bo Van Pelt +132 v. Ian Poulter(1)
Bill Lunde +170 v. Justin Rose(1)

This may seem a little loose, but whatever I can justify all the plays and there is nothing like a Sunday spent following Bill Lunde, Bo Van Pelt, Scott Verplank and Matt Kuchar on shot tracker.

I think if you want to back Marino it has to be because you think it is a good move TODAY, and are not angry that you missed him earlier in the week. I do. He is a lot better than Goydos and is two shots clear of two players he is better than and 3 shots clear of Stricker, and 5 more on Woods, the two most dangerous players in contention. That combined with my +260 fair line is good enough for me.

The other one I have at -290 as the fair line. I may have not been thinking clearly when I put that in because it seems way too easy. I get the two leaders, two shots clear of the field, and then the two best players.

Good luck.

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BARCLAYS 4TH ROUND ODDS

barclays4
I’ll wait until the morning for any decision on Marino, because the fact that he has never won a tournament is probably worth a little and +270 is not a huge edge on +260.

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STEVE MARINO IS GOING TO WIN

I thought with Sergio and Steve Marino at the top of the leaderboard that Tiger might not be the favorite. I thought wrong:
barclays1

EDIT: Did not feel like making a new post for this:
Camilo +120 v. Cink(1)
I still hate you Aaron Baddeley.

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SftC: AUG 27

Somehow, I miraculously ended up at 4 after yesterday, although apparently I didn’t put in the early tennis match with Meltzer(which won).

I’m going to play a little looser until I get into the 6-7 range so it may be busier than you think. First, Where have the LLWS options gone?

The first golf match, I have Na as a 51/49 favorite based on the last two holes. I might be taking more risks, but I’m not crazy. I’ll pass that. Another small edge in the soccer game so I’ll pass that.

I think the first good option is J.B. Holmes paring the 16th hole. I’d guess, and set that at 65/35 for Par. So J.B. PAR it is.

Olumac W/D is the best option in the second soccer offering, but I’m not risking it overlapping the Glover/Mickleson 1:11 Tee Time. Over two years, I have Phil as a 63/37 favorite. If I lose the J.B. PAR, then I’ll take Tiger any score not birdie, which I think is somewhere at 55-60% favorite.

For the rest of the day, K.J. Choi par is probably 62/38(assuming Holmes is 65/35) because Choi is worse than the average player in the field, but par is still the likely option.

If I’m lucky, I’ll be at 7 and need to reevaluate. So it’s hard to say now, but I wrote down the Shock at -4 -108 favorites last night and the Sparks are in that neighborhood too, so those seems like a decent options if I am playing a little looser.

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THE BARCLAYS AND JOHNNIE WALK

What the Hell is going on?
I love when organizations like the PGA Tour come up with their own gimmick competitions, don’t define clearly what their purpose is, then change the scoring system every year. As a result, I literally have no idea what the FedEx Cup is supposed to reward.

I know the first two years, people complained that it was over before the Tour Championship, but if it is a measure of a whole season of play then Tiger should run away with it every year he is healthy. If it is a measure of 4 tournaments, then a player with 2 wins should run away with it as well. I think the PGA Tour should define what they want this exactly to achieve, before I start looking at is more than just 4 good fields in a row.

I digress,

The leans this week were Steve “Undeniably Awesome” Marino and Sergio Garcia. Vegas however caught up to their good play and put out some ridiculous prices on them, so they were no-gos. That turned out to be okay because one of my Top-10 to watch turned out to have a very generous price. So, I went with Anthony Kim. Noren has a pretty tight price, but my numbers show +EV and I obviously think there is a ton of potential going forward there.

Anthony Kim to win +8500(.23)
Alex Noren to win +3500(.28)
Alex Noren top-5 +600(.7)

My numbers say still value on Noren at 6-1 top-5, but not on the Kim top-5. That guarantees a 3rd place finish from AK.

Match-ups:
Aaron Baddeley +110 v. Chris Riley(1)
Aaron Baddeley +150 v. Chris Riley(1)
Sean O’Hair +110 v. Dustin Johnson(1)
Charlie Wi +100 v. Chris Riley (1)
Tiger Woods to win +205(1)

It just so happened that Aaron Baddeley was on one of my ten players to watch list as I was working it up over the weekend. Then 5dimes matched him up against Chris Riley who is riding a nice purple patch if you will. 4 straight finishes in the top-20 are good for the player who might have the worst swing on the PGA Tour, but lets not forget, they all came against relatively weak fields, except maybe Canada. Anyway, this is usually the line that moves towards my numbers(-114/114 to Badds) so I put the first half in early. Then, they dared me by jumping the line up to +150. Sold. Pretty much the same logic on Wi as Badds.

Dustin Johnson and Sean O’Hair seem to be pretty similar, as they have both made similar improvements in their play this year over last year. The problem is, O’Hair has been better overall in both years and in the total average. The past month or so is the only justification I can see for this line, so O’Hair it is.

Finally, +205 was enough to tempt me into Tiger. I think he has definitely underperformed this season, he should improve and people are being a little too unfair for the loss at the PGA. This doesn’t mean anything at all, but since Tiger said he was finally starting to getting around to feeling good enough to put in enough practice time at Jack’s Tournament he has played at -1.25 standard deviations better than the field, which would be a way better price than +205.

Round 1:
Aaron Baddeley +105 v. Riley(1)
Aaron Baddeley +145 v. Riley(1)
Sean O’Hair +105 v. Dustin Johnson(1)
Jason Day/Bob Estes -122 v. Padraig Harrington(1)
Alex Noren -110 v. Danny Lee(2)

Rare is it that I go to a European Tour event for a round play, but I feel quite strongly about Noren over Lee. Sure Lee has upside, but so does Noren and as an Amateur Champ, Euro Champ Lee gets WAY more attention than Noren. If you ask me, there is no way Lee is even close to Noren as an overall player right now.

I had to fade Padraig in some way, as I think he is the most overrated player in the field. Even going back to last year his two major championships were only good enough to be about the 8th best player in the world. Obviously, he has been much worse this season. The other options I saw were with Tiger and Mickelson, no thanks.

Contest Picks:
Team Name: Rexfordbuzzsaw

Played in: David Mathis
On the Bubble: Aaron Baddeley
2-11: Sean O’Hair

Kim(2)
Watney
Trahan
O’Hern

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ONE YEAR, TWO YEARS AND VEGAS

I’m not quite sure why it took me so long to compare this other than me being lazy, but I finally took a look at my 1-yr, (almost) 2yrs and Vegas lines taken from 5dimes.

What I found out was not really all that surprising. My rolling 1-year estimates were pretty close, but not quite as good as the almost 2-year numbers. Overall, when taking out the juice from the 5dimes lines, which was pretty low, here is how they fared:
averagemisses
Not surprisingly, both of these were really close to the Vegas line, but the 2-yr numbers were a bit closer and a lower standard deviation of misses. I think the obvious answer is that 2 years is a better time to determine the overall quality of golfer and eliminate fluky occurances like Vijay winning two playoff events in a row.

Here are my 10 biggest 2-year under-estimations:
2yrvalue

10 biggest 2yr over-estimations:
2yrnotvalue

10 biggest 1yr under-estimations:
1yrvalue

10 biggest 1yr over-estimations:
1yrnotvalue

Picks coming later…

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