Monthly Archives: September 2009

THE ALEX NOREN LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP

I may have said this before, but I still think Alex Noren will have value at events with bigger names in the field.

He is still under-performing from this year, is young enough where he should improve and hits a ton of greens in regulation. Worldwide, he is still my favorite golfing investment at the moment.

In related news, Alex Noren has a blog! I recommend scrolling down and finding some of the YouTube videos. The idea of Alex teaching anyone about the short game is preposterous, even without gay Euro trash sounding music in the background and random air shows.

In other news, I couldn’t hold of Luke Donald this week. I’m sure the fact that he played the whole FedEx Cup and is now going 6(or 5) times zones east in one week probably doesn’t help. But, Oh well.

Alex the Great to win +8000(.12)
Alex The Great top-5 +1000(.9)
Luke Donald to win +4000(.25)
Luke Donald top-5 +600(1.42)

Full Tourneys:
Charl Schwartzel over Nick Dougherty -110(1)
*Adding a second unit on: Sim -110 v. Moore(1)

Round 1:
Louis “Uzi” Oosthuizen over Trevor Immelman -110(1)

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THE MICHAEL SIM CHAMPIONSHIP

Okay, I may be the only person excited about Michael Sim’s PGA Tour debut(with a card), but here’s why:

-Michael Sim was listed as the third favorite at 35-1(with Senden, Rose & Haas(WTF?)) to win the Turning Stone Championship. Here is a list of players you might have heard of before who he is ahead of:
Rory Sabbatini
Davis Love III
Charles Howell III
Adam Scott
Charley Hoffman
Ben Curtis
Jeev Milkha Singh
K.J Choi
Stuart Appleby
Andres Romero
Aaron Baddeley

-If you go just by my rankings for this year, Michael Sim is THE best player in the field(~20-1).

-You’re probably thinking that my Nationwide conversions are wrong, and that may be a fair argument, but the Nationwide Tour is pretty good and Sim finished in the Top-10 8 out of 12 times, as well as an 18th on the poor side of the draw(3 strokes disadvantage) at the rainy US Open and a made cut at the PGA. Sim is pretty good.

Let’s just say the field is approximately 1.5 strokes worse at a NW Tour event than at a strong fielded PGA Tour event. That’s 6 strokes worse over 4 rounds. So, subtract six shots from his 8 top-10s, and you probably have 8 top-25s on the PGA Tour. How many players on the PGA Tour finished top-25 in 75% of their starts. Not many.

The bottom line is, I could make a strong case for Sim at 45-1 being worth it given that that is clearly a pretty preposterous line for a minor-leaguer, Sim has clearly has a ton of talent, people probably under value performance on other tours, and Sim, at his age, should probably have his performance weighted a little more towards this year because of his upside.

35-1, though, is just too tight. I’d love it if he won, but I’d rather root for a mediocre finish than pick better spots later in the AAAA series.

The rest of my leans looked like this:
Robert Allenby
Mathew Goggin
D.J Trahan

Allenby was fairly easy to cross of the list, with his second place finish last year and small price. I still think the books are not giving Allenby credit for his good play so maybe that is an option if Allenby is lurking in contention later in the week.

Goggin would have to be my strongest lean until you factor in that he has a strong history at this course. My numbers still show value at 45-1, but it’s not much and I’d rather stay away from this one.

That leaves Trahan. Ehh. Not thrilled about that, though I don’t have a good reason. I think the best option is just to lay off for now and see if one of these guys jumps into contention.

Tourney Match-ups:
Michael Sim -110 v. Ryan Moore(1)
Mathew Goggin -110 v. Marc Leishman(1)

Couldn’t help myself on Sim, especially when he is matched up against a winner from a few weeks ago. Moore had a strong amateur career and is young, but I can’t see him having more potential than Sim at this point, and I would argue Sim has been a better player over the past 2 years.

Lost on Leishman against Mahan last week for one round, but got an absurd line, so not really worried about that. Again, Leishman made a nice little name for himself during the FedEx cup, but Goggin overall is better, and was at home resting for a few weeks.

I’ll take those for Rd 1 as well:
Goggin -110(.5)
Sim -110(1)

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PRESIDENT’S CUP EARLY LOOK

The odds are already out there, so why not.

Thanks to XLSsports, I was able to run a simulation(100,000 trials) for the President’s cup. Here is what that produced:
prezzycup

To come up with this, I averaged out all the players scores from my rankings and combined them to form a score for the International Team and a score for the US Team. Then I went back and found out the tie % historically for each of the different formats and adjusted that in. It turned out like this:

Foursomes: US 51% Tie 10%
Fourball: US 48% Tie 13%
Singles: US 54%

Apparently you can’t tie in singles anymore unless the cup has already been decided, so for the sake of this, I just used the Tie % of zero. I think that is the best way to determine who actually wins.

And finally, here is the % that the US ends up with each score:
prezzycup2
This isn’t perfect because as I said once one of the teams gets 17.5 players can actually halve. It’s doubtful that in the slight chance the US dominates they would actually get to 29 because there is probably a 10-12% chance the matches end in a tie after they get to 17.5

The most likely score for the match is somewhere between US 18-16 and US 19-15. If you were setting a spread US -3.5 -110 would probably be a pretty fair line.

Another problem is just throwing Tiger in with the US Average might skew it to the US a little bit. That probably puts the US win % down a few points in the 5 matches that don’t involve Tiger and up a little in the one’s that do. Not sure How that would actually affect the odds of the US winning, but I’ll take a look at that, along with more specific situations once the pairings are out next week.

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LESSONS FROM A SEASON IN GOLF

I’ve held off on doing this for awhile, at first because my process was changing and I wanted more results, then because I’m not sure how much good can come from it.

The first lesson, is I did a lot of really stupid things. Put it this way, it took me until the PGA Championship to realize how much more accurate my two year rankings were. It took me a long time to realize the differences between the European Tour and PGA Tour in terms of field depth. Looking back, it sucks to lose money on stuff like that, but I doubt my rankings would be as accurate or I would have done as well since mid season as I have without it.

The second lesson, is I think Golf is beatable. The more I look at the odds, the more I see there are edges out there. I may have misapplied how to go after them in the past, but I think I have a much better idea how to go after it now. That remains to be seen.

Third lesson, I’m toning down the units on round plays. I feel fairly confident that 80-90% of my decisions have been right, but the variance over 18 holes has been killing me. Take for example, Phil v. Retief last week. Of course the only round I was on that last week, was the first, which was also the only round Retief beat Phil, and it was the equivalent of out-gaining a team by 200 yards and losing outright. Phil basically lost because of one bad hole. I can’t tell you how much stuff like that has happened to me and I can only remember once(Snedeker 4-putt) where I was the beneficiary of it.

Fourth lesson, this stuff matters: Overall skill, age, GIR.

Fifth lesson, this stuff doesn’t: Last 3 weeks, Last week’s champion, Last year’s defending champion, week to week putting.

Finally here is my record since the BMW EPGA Championship, when I really started to revise the process:
Tourney Match-ups: 25-24, +1.05
Round Match-ups: 33-51, -14.02
Outrights: 4-39, +21.96
In-running: 5-22, -2.57
Shenanigans(Top ROW, Top Vivendi pts scorer, etc): 2-7, -.50
Overall: 69-143, +5.92

I’m not sure this is any more meaningful than the past full years results, but I have significantly revised the process and my numbers since the BMW EPGA Championship, so that’s why I went with this.

President’s Cup:
Thanks to XLS Sports, there will be a pretty cool President’s cup simulation next week, but from early estimations I’ve ranged from US -245 to US -221 depending on how I conservative/aggressive my estimation is. That basically splits Vegas right down the middle. When I get a better idea of match-ups and I’ll post the sim results in full next week.

That brings up another point about the President’s cup. Based on my rankings from the last 2 years, The US team has 10 of their best potential 12. And the two outside(Glover, O’Hair) you could make a strong case are stronger options going forward than David Toms(although probably not Marino) who are in my top-12 US Players. All in all, the difference between those two and the 11th and 12th in my rankings is worth only about .12 strokes a round.

The International team on the other hand, was not quite so well picked. Stephen Ames, Jeev Milkha Singh and John Senden are all significantly better than members Angel Cabrera, Adam Scott, Y.E. Yang and Ryo Ishikawa. You can probably throw Michael Sim in as someone who should replace, YE, Scott or Ryo. Taking the International’s best 12 vs. there current 12 makes them almost .5 strokes per round worse per player among those 4 mentioned. In a format where you can’t hide poor players as well as in the Ryder Cup, that could be a huge difference for the International team.

This week:
Should be fun in a tournament with some good players, where Dustin Johnson is the defending champion. Europe has a pretty good tournament lined up as well, so expect some action on that. Haven’t seen any lines yet, so coming up with leans is tough.

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FOOTBALL RECAP

South Carolina came through, Nevada is retarded and I played a lot of games that I shouldn’t have, just because they were more obscure games. Then, the NFL is terrible. I think that sums it up.

In honor of Nevada, I decided to come up with some running awards races:

JaMarcus Russell Award-to the nation’s least outstanding QB.
Favorite: Joe Kemp, Colin Kaepernick
This one is literally too close to call in the early season. Kemp is terrible, but Kaepernick’s refusal to hit a reciever in stride last Friday night garnered some serious sway with the voters.
Also in contention: Juice Williams, Ryan Colburn, Byron Leftwich

Chris Ault Award- for excellence in incompetent coaching
Favorite: Chris Ault
It’s going to be tough to beat Chris Ault’s performance from Friday night, although with a whole season and I wouldn’t put it past some coaches. The best part about Ault’s performance is that the true genius of his ineptness was somewhat hidden because Gary Pinkel tried to match him.
Also in contention: Tom Cable, Gary Pinkel, Dabo Swinney

Detroit Lions award-Overall failure and disappointment
Favorite: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I have watched most of all three Bucs games and can literally count on one hand the number of good things they have done this season. Coincidentally, I can count on one hand the number of first downs they had yesterday against the Giants. This category is by no means a run away just yet. Nevada is close on the college front, and St. Louis, the Browns and Seattle will all feel a little hurt not to be included.
Also in contention: Browns, Seahawks, Rams, Nevada,

Miami Dolphins 17-minute Drill Award: For failure captured in one play or sequence.
Favorite: Miami’s two minute drill.
I’m putting that slightly ahead of Nevada and Mizzou’s two point conversion calculators, Nevada ending the game with an offsides for now.

As I rushed through this, feel free to add in any suggestions. I’ll try to keep this a running feature(READ: Will last two weeks).

CFB LEANS
Colorado +17.5 @ WVU
Utah St +24 @ BYU
Syracuse +7 v. South Florida
UGA -2.5 v. LSU
Mississippi St +4 v. GaTech
Wazzou +31 @ Oregon
Cal +5.5 v. USC
UTEP +16.5 v. Houston

Other thoughts:
-Vegas has Alabama as only about 3pts worse than Florida, judging by the lines. I think it might be closer.
-Not exactly a ton of ringing endorsements from Vegas from LSU.
-Chris Ault favored? something is wrong with that.
-Little concerned that the Cal line is that high, I thought they would be small dogs. Personally, I don’t think USC is very good, I would have rather seen Vegas take a stand.

I’ll do NFL leans tomorrow.

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GROSS

Jags +4 -104(1)
Bucs +6 -104(1)
Rams +6.5 -110(1)
Seahawks +2.5 -102(1)
Bills +6 -110(1)

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BOMBS AWAY ON KP

I’m not really sure about this right now so It’s only going to be a double, but I’m pretty sure with two more years experience(on my part) this KP situation would be a personal max. HE HAS A TWO SHOT LEAD. Even matched up with Tiger that is a lot on the PGA Tour. After Tiger, no one is within four shots of Kenny. I’m not sure how +265 makes sense at all.

Kenny Perry to win +265(2)
Steve Marino +140 v. Paddy(1)

Marino on principle.

Nothing on the Vivendi trophy is worth playing. Stenson +110 would be okay if he didn’t win the players and isn’t giving up the upside factor to McIlroy. MAJ is in a similar boat against Fisher. Karlsson +140 is tempting, but I’d like to have a better idea about how his injury affects his ability before taking that. LETS GO MOLINARI

TC ODDS:
tc3

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