Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Major statistics: EO 2015 recap and Scandinavian open 2015

A few days ago I started a blog in Finnish called Fribaa numeroina (Disc golf in numbers). The post was a statistical analysis based on hole-to-hole results from European Open 2015. A moment later it had 500 views and 50 likes and people were asking for more statistics from other competitions. Some were also asking a post in English. This blog entry will be a recap of EO2015 + similar statistics from Scandinavian Open 2015. If you have already read the first blog post, you can skip the first part.

Recap of the first blog post

Figure 1 Birdie-or-better percentage of players making the cut, and their final place in the EO 2015

According to Figure 1, players needed at least 45% of birdies in order to place on top. Paul McBeth won with a relatively low 46 %, Wysocki had a very high 54 % placing second  and third was Jeremy Koling with a respectable 49 % of birdies.  The players who are marked with red are far above the line, which means that they have relatively high numbers of birdies in relation to their placement. These players placements suffered from many bogies, and they can be seen as "risky players". Wysocki, who was second, had a huge birdie percentage but made a lot of bogies costing him first place. Devan Owens had also a lot of potential and is the second red dot in graph. Other risky players were Janne Hirsimäki, Leo Piironen, Miko Fyhr, Jukka Pyhältö and Pasi Koivu, who placed 50th despite of 31 % birdies. Gregory Barsby had even more disappointing tournament with a 35 % of birdies and finishing 52nd place! Marked in green are the opposite of these players. Avery Jenkins, Bobby Musick, Dick Lampinen, Philo Brathwaite, Jukka Leinonen, Antti Koivula, Steven Rico and Joonas Kuitunen did not have too many birdies but managed to place relatively high anyway.

Figure 2 Bogey or worse % of EO2015

Another way to analyse risky vs. safe players is to look at bogey-or-worse percentages. In Figure 2 and in first place is Paul McBeth, with the least amount of bogies (6%), but in relation to placement Steven Rico was the most extreme (37th, 11% of bogies). Marked in green are other "safe" players: Philo Brathwaite, Jukka Leinonen, Jasper Heino and Ville Piippo who also took low numbers of bogies in relation to their final placement. Above the red line are players who took a lot of bogies in relation to their placing. These "risky" players are David Feldberg, Devan Owens, Lassi Hakulinen, Arttu Sikanen, Teemu Malmelin, Janne Hirsimäki, Jani Ikonen and in the top most corner Gregory Barsby and Mikael Hyväri.

Figure 3 Players rating and their total score, EO2015

In my previous blog post I came to the conclusion that the PDGA rating system might be geographically unfair. Figure 3 shows that most of the red dots (players from the US) are above the line and most blue dots (players from Finland) are below it. It looks like Finns performed better in relation to their rating and many 1000+ rated Americans had a bad score. There are two explanations for this. The rating system may have a geographical error: it is easier to get good ratings in the US than in Finland. One reason for this might be that Finnish disc golfers as a group have developed faster than their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic, and ratings cannot react to this kind of a systematic change. Second explanation is that Finns had a home advantage in EO 2015 and the Americans weren't that familiar with the course. We should of course look into more competitions to find more evidence for these claims.

Scandinavian Open 2015

This chapter will go through similar statistics of Scandinavian Open 2015. Players included are men who made the final round cut. Due to clarity issues I had to remove FPO from the analysis, but I will write about them in a later blog entry.

Figure 4 Player ratings and their total score in Scandinavian Open 2015

We can again see from Figure 4 that Finns performed better than their ratings would forecast. The pattern is similar as in Figure 3: red dots are mostly above the line and big portion of blue dots are below it. The difference however is not as striking as in EO 2015. It is also interesting that Swedes are evenly above and below the line. It might be that the difficulty of getting good ratings in Sweden is between Finland and the US. Another remark is that Paul McBeth placed right on the line and had a 11 throw difference to Will Schusterick, who was second. It seems that at least the rating system can find the strongest player.

Figure 5 Birdie or better (0,30 = 30 %) and total throws of Scandinavian Open 2015

Right of the bat from Figure 5 you can see that Scandinavian Open 2015 was more even than EO 2015 (with the exception of Paul McBeth who had 64 % birdies or eagles). The group is bunched together more tightly and birdie percentages drop less rapidly than in Figure 1. The bogey percentages (Figure 6) are also lower than in EO 2015: every player in top 10 had less than 10 % of bogies. Overall players made more birdies and less bogies in SO 2015 than EO 2015. The course of Scandinavian Open was probably more forgiving than the course of EO 2015.

According to Figure 5, birdie-happy players marked in red and in order of placement were Paul McBeth, Simon Lizotte, Ricky Wysochi (2nd), Karl Johan Nybo, Nils Iso-Markku, Jasper Heino, Don Smith, Anton Kappling, Albin Lindberg, Simon Feasey, David Swärd and Lassi Hakulinen. Other side of the line were players finishing relatively high regardless of their low birdie percentage. They were Nikko Locastro (3rd), Henrik Johansen, Steven Rico, Bobby Musick, Brody Miller, Leo Piiroinen, Jonathan Baldwin, Avery Jenkins, Mats Strömberg, Tim Mirabal, Lasse Keränen, Jerry Goff and Niko Kempas. Many of these players had a low birdie percent also in EO 2015.

Figure 6 Bogey or worse and total throws of Scandinavian Open 2015

An interesting finding from Figure 6 is that Paul McBeth had relatively many bogeys (4 %) and that Nikko Locastro had only 1 bogie in the whole tournament. Players taking relatively many bogies were Paul McBeth, Richard Wysocki, Paul Ulibarri, Don Smith, Janne Hirsimäki, Devan Owens, Ralph Hupper, Linus Åström, Drew Gibson, Ville Koutonen, David Swärd, Kaj Larsson and Henrik Vännström. Players with relatively few bogies were Nikko Locastro, Steven Rico, Bobby Musick, Brody Miller, Matias Söderström, Jonathan Baldwin, Avery Jenkins, Mats Strömberg, Tim Mirabal and Jerry Goff.

In conclusion, Avery Jenkins, Bobby Musick and Steven Rico are the only players who were labeled "safe" both in EO 2015 and SO 2015. Paul McBeth won both tournaments, played conservatively in EO 2015 but really broke the bank in SO 2015 by making 64 % of birdies. Wysocki took a lot of bogies in both tournaments, as did Janne Hirsimäki. Seppo Paju placed well in both tournaments. Many Finns had also high birdie percentages (Teemu Nissinen, Pasi Koivu, Nils Iso-markku, Jasper Heino and Arttu Sikanen). Maybe next year we will have a Finn on the podium of a Major tournament.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for future blog posts!
Statistics visible to everyone here: Scandinavian Open 2015, European Open 2015

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