THE WEATHER STORY: 2011 BRITISH OPEN

For all rounds, the BLUE line equals is the trendline for actual score compared to tee time. The RED line is a players 2-year average compared to tee time. The GREEN-DOTTED line is just one random simulation for comparison sake.

First Round:

You can see the weather basically shut off in the afternoon. Morning players came in about 1.5 strokes over the average, while the best of the afternoon conditions played a little over 2 strokes easier than what it should have.

Second Round:

The Late group on Thursday got another great break on Friday. The conditions were easy in the morning before a breeze blew across the course for the afternoon. The biggest difference was the first couple groups with the players who teed off after 5 hours after them. There was about a three stroke difference between those groups but for most of the field weather actually wasn’t as big a difference in the second round.

Third Round:

Then we get to Saturday. The PGA Tour has a nice solution for playing conditions like this: Suspending play.

It was pretty horrendous this morning at Royal St. George’s. The scores started high, with the early groups literally having no chance. They were slightly worse than the late tee times but not really that much. As the weather turned around, the course got easier, pretty much linearly. The course average for the final couple of groups was around 72.2 about where it was in easy conditions on Thursday. That’s just south of a 6 shot difference between the first and last tee times today.

I think it’s pretty safe to say the R&A should not have been playing. There was a 1% chance all things equal that someone at the cut number would come back and win this week. Playing a course six shots harder, that went to zero in a hurry.

Rickie Fowler teed off when the course average was about 74.5, so his 68 was 6.5 strokes better than the conditions. Dustin Johnson tied that 68, but that was only roughly four shots better than the conditions.

The Top Ten rounds of the day using this method are here:

Rank

Player

Score

RTCC (strokes)

1

Rickie FOWLER

68

-4.270

2

Tom WATSON

72

-3.235

3

Trevor IMMELMAN

72

-2.740

4

Gary WOODLAND

74

-2.630

5

Bo VAN PELT

73

-2.480

6

Dustin JOHNSON

68

-2.433

7

K.J. CHOI

75

-1.842

8

Raphael JACQUELIN

71

-1.745

9

Anthony KIM

70

-1.172

10

Louis OOSTHUIZEN

74

-0.990

It’s also important to note while there was a strong correlation between tee time and score (r-squared = .4) it may not be all weather, no matter how much it looked. There could be a lot of straight giving up going out there amongst the guys who were playing in a hurricane and already 7 – over and 15 shots off the lead at that point. As always, Randomness is probably the biggest factor in one round of golf from one player, too.

As for who has made out the best on the week, It’s hard to say exactly because there is some estimating with complex equations that Excel doesn’t handle too well. Just looking at it, some big winners looke to Darren Clarke, Lucas Glover, Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker.

In Clarke’s case, he probably picked up about .5 strokes in round 1, 1 stroke in round 2 and then about 2.5 or so shots today. That makes about 4 strokes on the week. Lucas Glover is in a similar position.

Dustin Johnson was the opposite case. He played a course that was about +2.5 strokes harder with his Thursday-Friday draw, but probably made up for it today.

As for the worst of it overall, probably Paul Casey, who with better luck might have won last year’s British Open. He’s probably played conditions about 6 strokes worse than average. Paul Lawrie is right around there, too, although a lot of guys that played early late ended up missing the cut.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “THE WEATHER STORY: 2011 BRITISH OPEN

  1. Jake

    Your last paragraph makes me feel better about being balls deep on Casey again this week.

  2. Pingback: First Round Review – 2014 Open Championship | Golf Analytics

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