Friday, April 8, 2011

Sports Psychology, Quant Facts & the Masters

Jay Granat, a sports psychologist, wrote an article for the Masters based on our book's "quant facts" research for golf.  Several of the key stats for professional golf include:

  • putting, 
  • greens in regulation, and 
  • birdies.   

From the article:

Some time ago, my colleague and friend, Carlton Chin and I wrote a book about the mathematical and psychological factors which allow teams, players and coaches to excel. This year, we decided to analyze some of the major golfing events. The factors that we considered are recent wins, money leaders, number of par three birdies, number of par five birdies, number of top ten finishes and driving distances. We are trying to identify golfers who are consistent and who may be peaking at the right time to win this prestigious event.

Interestingly, we do not think that Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods will do very well. Tiger has not looked very good lately and neither has Phil Mickelson. They are both great players and stars of the game, but they lack the stats to get our nod this year. Here is a list of some of the players who may be ready to wear the green jacket this year. Bubba Watson has been playing great lately and he has a very versatile game. Matt Kuchar has been sharp and consistent. These golfers are our top two picks. Nick Watney, Luke Donald, Rory Sabbitini, Zach Johnson, Aaron Baddeley, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Vijay Singh, Johnattan Vegas, K.J. Choi, Martin Laird, D.A Points and Brandt Snedeker are also on our radar.

The entire article is here.