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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