If you watched any of the coverage today, the weather was undoubtedly a big factor. Or, was it?
To find out I grouped the players by tee times and scores and did a little scatter plot. The time starts at 0 hour, which is cool because that’s exactly when Steve Marino teed off. After that I added 11/60th all the way through the field, except for the mid-day break when there was 31 minutes between two groups. Basically, First group starts at 0 hours and it progresses from there:
Now, obviously this could be because better players teed off earlier and worse players teed off later. So, the next step I took was to compare the players z-score today to their 2 year average z-score. The results were similar:
Now, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean the weather made it harder as the day got on. There could be other factors like golfers are more suited to teeing of at 8 a.m. local time then 1 p.m(This at least looks like part of the case in the morning among extremely early tee times). Granted, given how the weather played out today, I think it’s safe to assume that the weather in the afternoon is to blame
So, what kind of impact did this have on the tournament?
Well, Let’s take Phil Mickelson who teed off about 7 2/3 hours after hour 0. Plugging that into the equation for the scores, Phil was approximately playing a course with an average of 73. The average for the day was 71.7, so Phil played a course that was 1.2 strokes harder than average. Tiger, on the other hand, teed off at one of the best times. At 2.5 hours after the first tee times the course average played to a near minimum of 70.3, picking up a whopping 1.4 strokes on the field. To be sure, Tiger played well and Phil played poorly, but their respective conditions made it more dramatic.
Finally, here’s a look at what the leaderboard would be like if everyone teed off in a massive 156 man group.
|Fredrik Andersson Hed||68.15||18|
Over a long period of time, this stuff is just random and will even out. Over four rounds of golf, some players got a huge advantage. This is the same thing that happened at Bethpage last year, but guys like Westwood(four back) really should be 2 back all else equal and Kaymer(7 back) should be about 4 back.
|Bo Van Pelt||0.88%||11328|
|Fredrik Andersson Hed||0.79%||12496|
This assumes everyone will have equal weather for four days, but we’ll see.