Occasionally, someone like Rory McIlroy will win a big tournament, then miss the cut in another big cut the following week. You’ll hear the big media raise there hands up in the air proclaiming they have no idea what is going on anymore in the world of golf(like they ever did). The real question is, does how someone played last week really matter in the first place?

To take a preliminary look at this I looked back at 2009. I compared a players performance from last week, with his overall ranking and one random tournament, to see how much of an influence last week’s tournament had on this week.

The answer, in short, not that much.

As you can see, the r-squared and correlation values are slightly higher, but given the standard deviations from tournament to tournament there’s a decent chance that any correlation could have been random.

Obviously, there are some problems with this. Namely that I only looked at the 30-some-odd tournaments from 2009, and I only used last week and not last tournament played in to make it easier for me. It also doesn’t address the issue that the last month of play might be more meaningful than just one tournament with varying participation.

Still, I think it’s pretty safe to say that last week’s tournament is not all together a great predictor of success in the present week.* As a point of reference, I picked out Tim Clark as the winner of the PLAYERS.

*Although, to be fair, 4 rounds of golf is such a small sample with high variance that 1 year rankings were not a great predictor, either. My one year rankings have had a r-sq of between .8-.85 with something like the moneylist, so they do well overall, but one tournament is an incredibly random event

Overall, Tim Clark is about .44 standard deviations(1.28 strokes) better than the average PGA Tour player. That would make him among the best players in the field this week with an approximately 18-1 chance to win if you weigh in all rounds over the past two years equally.

While, I struggled with a way to weight last week’s tournament, I eventually settled on multiplying last weeks results time 1.58(last weeks correlation and r-squared, divided by random tournament. I have no idea if this is a good way to do it.)

When you do that Clark becomes about .46 standard deviations(1.32 strokes) better than the field, all other things equal. That improves his chances to a whopping 16-1 to win against this week’s field.

This was a far from deep study of meaningful past performance, but it’s safe to say that any meaning last week had is almost certainly overrated by the general public.



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16 responses to “DID LAST WEEK MATTER?

  1. Nice Blog.. Also Nice Value on and injured Sim

    One day you’ll learn my friend.

  2. You’re right. One round of golf definitely means Stroud is better.

  3. Didn’t say he was a better golfer man. Just said it was a better play. Research is key..

  4. Again, You’re right. You were clearly the only person in the world who knew Sim was coming off an injury. I am interested in what kind of research leads you to think laying -165+ on a guy that isn’t the better golfer is a good idea.

  5. when you read an article and the guys agent says he is day to day and unsure he can play.

  6. Right, because everything you read in the paper is true.

  7. Like I said Keep on betting on guys who have been out with injuries.. let me know how that strategy goes.

  8. I’m not betting on guys coming off injuries. I’m betting where there is value. I never expected Sim to be 100%, but when the lines opened with Sim as a+105 dog(the books knew he was injured!), it slides up to +155 AND you factor in that he has been a MUCH better golfer than Stroud over the past 3 years, that is almost certainly value.

    There’s two things you need to learn here(and probably won’t):
    -Sim could have had a 45% chance to win that match-up, I would have been right AND still had a 55% chance(most of the time) of losing.

    -As far as I can tell, you randomly google people find out who has a few injuries and bet them at any price. Congrats on the nice run, but that seems far less likely of being a long term winning strategy than anything I’m doing.

  9. I’ve been doing this for 3 years. And i will take my winning % over anyones on the net. I dont solely bet on injuries nor would i bet when the line got to -160.
    Research is key in my opinion i.e. when i read Parneviks press conference that he had a bad back.. next round he goes out plays and shoots like 82 and almost has to retire from golf. Its easy $. The books dont have time to search the net for articles on every player. Thats all im saying

    And quit saying Sim has had a better 3 years than Stroud, he was on the damn nationwide tour. Get over it.

  10. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of the SSS issues here, but here are the career totals:

    23/35 cuts made(65.7%)
    3 top 10s (8.5%)
    9 top-25s(one at a major) (25.7%)

    45/95 cuts made(45.7%)
    7 top-10s (7.3%)
    16 top-25s (16.8%)

    That’s only PGA tour events.

  11. Im guessing Jimmy Walker being from San Antonio means nothing to you also.

  12. Brian

    Ok my last comment on this..

    Hope you enjoyed the value on Jeev and Sim. Keep on betting on guys who have been out for months.. The books need people like you..

  13. “Im guessing Jimmy Walker being from San Antonio means nothing to you also.”


    “Hope you enjoyed the value on Jeev and Sim. Keep on betting on guys who have been out for months.. The books need people like you..”

    Right, Stroud won by 2 shots(guess which day was a better reflection of his overall skill. Hint: Not Thursday) and Jeev lost by one. I’m pretty sure based on those stroke margins, whatever price they were as underdogs was worth it, although judging by two rounds is almost as stupid as judging by one.

  14. Brian

    Well keep on being satisfied with 1 shot losses buddy.

    BTW both fades panned out since both guys missed the cut. You seriously don’t have a clue, based on your record. Its a shame since you seem like a knowledgeable guy.

  15. Again, 2 rounds of golf is not anywhere near a meaningful sample size so saying “my guys missed the cut” so I’m wrong is meaningless.

    Also, let’s assume Stroud is one shot better per round on average than Sim, which based on the career numbers listed above is an absurd assumption, and use the average standard deviation for PGA Tour rounds of around 2.9. In that case, Sim is about 43% to beat Stroud in one round, or +130ish, which means that even though it lost, it was still a good decision. You cannot use the result to justify your decision.

  16. “I’ve been doing this for 3 years. And i will take my winning % over anyones on the net.”

    And yet you’re still only betting McNugget money.:

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