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61 views8 pagesA brief analysis of the Spieth and Kaymer final rounds is presented here. The gap between Spieth and Kaymer started increasing from 0 to 5 strokes between holes 8 and 14. Speith was able to reduce it to 3 strokes by hole 16, but the par on hole 17 made it difficult to close the gap. The best advice for Jordan Spieth is still the same. Give it your best. The wins will come. Do not be motivated by winning. Instead, be motivated by the desire to excel. That is what the Bhagavad Gita – the greatest self-help book of all times - teaches us.

May 12, 2014

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A brief analysis of the Spieth and Kaymer final rounds is presented here. The gap between Spieth and Kaymer started increasing from 0 to 5 strokes between holes 8 and 14. Speith was able to reduce it to 3 strokes by hole 16, but the par on hole 17 made it difficult to close the gap. The best advice for Jordan Spieth is still the same. Give it your best. The wins will come. Do not be motivated by winning. Instead, be motivated by the desire to excel. That is what the Bhagavad Gita – the greatest self-help book of all times - teaches us.

© All Rights Reserved

61 views

A brief analysis of the Spieth and Kaymer final rounds is presented here. The gap between Spieth and Kaymer started increasing from 0 to 5 strokes between holes 8 and 14. Speith was able to reduce it to 3 strokes by hole 16, but the par on hole 17 made it difficult to close the gap. The best advice for Jordan Spieth is still the same. Give it your best. The wins will come. Do not be motivated by winning. Instead, be motivated by the desire to excel. That is what the Bhagavad Gita – the greatest self-help book of all times - teaches us.

© All Rights Reserved

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You are on page 1of 8

JORDAN SPIETH VS MARTIN KAYMER BRIEF

ANALYSIS OF THEIR FINAL ROUNDS

By V. Laxmanan, Sc. D.

Table 1: Jordan Spieths rounds at the 2014 Players Championship

Hole No. Par Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4

1 4 3 4 4 4

2 5 4 4 5 4

3 3 3 3 3 3

4 4 4 3 4 3

5 4 4 4 4 5

6 4 3 4 4 4

7 4 3 3 4 4

8 3 3 3 3 4

9 5 5 5 5 5

10 4 4 4 4 5

11 5 4 4 4 5

12 4 4 4 4 4

13 3 3 2 3 3

14 4 4 3 4 5

15 4 4 4 4 5

16 5 5 5 5 4

17 3 3 3 3 3

18 4 4 4 4 4

Front nine 36 32 33 36 36

Back nine 36 35 33 35 38

Total for round 72 67 66 71 74

End of rounds 67 133 204 278

Data source: http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/10917261/jordan-spieth-gaining-

valuable-experience-players-championship-golf Spieth gaining valuable experience, by

Jordan Spieth, May 11, 2014. See also, The 2014 Players Championship leaderboard at

http://espn.go.com/golf/leaderboard?tournamentId=1316

The best advice for Jordan Spieth is still the same. Give it

your best. The wins will come. Do not be motivated by winning.

Instead, be motivated by the desire to excel. That is what the

Bhagavad Gita the greatest self-help book of all times - teaches us.

Page 2 of 8

Table 2: Spieth versus Kaymer at the 2014 Players Championship

Hole No.

Par

Spieth

round 4

Kaymer

round 4

Spieth total

Four rounds

Kaymer total

Four rounds

Difference

Spieth vs

Kaymer

204 204

1 4 4 4 208 208

2 5 4 4 212 212

3 3 3 3 215 215

4 4 3 4 218 219

5 4 5 4 223 223

6 4 4 4 227 227

7 4 4 4 231 231 0

8 3 4 3 235 234 1

9 5 5 4 240 238 2

10 4 5 4 245 242 3

11 5 5 4 250 246 4

12 4 4 4 254 250 4

13 3 3 3 257 253 4

14 4 5 4 262 257 5

15 4 5 6 267 263 4

16 5 4 5 271 268 3

17 3 3 3 274 271 3

18 4 4 4 278 275 3

Front Nine 36 36 34

Back Nine 36 38 37

Imagine birdie-eagle-birdie on holes 10 to 12 for Spieth instead of bogey-par-par!

The comparison of the Spieth and Kaymer rounds here shows that Speith, who was leading

Kaymer after hole 4 (birdie by Spieth, par by Kaymer), lost his momentary lead with the

bogey on hole 5 and then again with the bogy on hole 8. After hole 8, the tournament

turned in Kaymers favor as seen by the increasing difference in the strokes given in the last

column. Spieth was trailing Kaymer by 5 strokes at hole 14 and improved his chances by

hole 16 but the deficit of three strokes was too much to overcome, especially under the

high pressure conditions of a Sunday at any championship, and especially The Players; see

also the earlier analyses presented after the 2014 Masters.

[1] http://www.scribd.com/doc/218982700/The-2014-Masters-Golf-Tournament-Jordan-

Spieth-did-not-beat-Jordan-Spieth-in-the-final-round-and-so-lost-the-Masters

Published April 18, 2014.

[2] http://www.scribd.com/doc/219648338/Jordan-Spieth-Looking-Beyond-the-2014-

Masters , Published April 22, 2014.

Page 3 of 8

WHY DID JORDAN SPIETH FALL SHORT AGAIN?

Jordan Spieth has a lot of fans now, has been called the next Tiger, and any

attempts to say anything remotely negative about him riles up his of fans. I

have accused of trolling by one of the posters in the golf forums. He is only

20-year-old is the mantra of his fans. True. Too many golf writers have

anointed him as the next Tiger and keep talking about his age. I call this

egging him along. Such uncritical praise does NOT help Spieth. For Spieth to

succeed and have a non-Garcia-like golfing career, it is important that he

realizes what his weaknesses are even more than what his strengths are.

Courtesy: Property of the bell curve from Math is Fun,

http://www.mathsisfun.com/data/standard-normal-distribution.html

Why did he fall short when he has shown an amazing consistency thus far and

has been in contention at the BIG EVENTS, especially the 2014 Masters and

now the 2014 Players?

The reason quite simply, without getting into emotionally charged arguments,

is what statisticians call the normal distribution, or the bell-curve, see Math is

Fun http://www.mathsisfun.com/data/standard-normal-distribution.html

and Figure 1 here.

Page 4 of 8

The normal distribution seems to provide a good description of many natural

phenomena, https://www3.nd.edu/~rwilliam/stats1/x21.pdf . For example,

the height of a person, or the intelligence (as measured in the IQ tests), are

normally distributed; see also https://www.usablestats.com/lessons/normal

and http://statweb.stanford.edu/~naras/jsm/NormalDensity/NormalDensity.html for

examples discussing heights of adult men and women.

Figure 1: Gaussian probability density distribution (y or p) with a mean or

average value a = 70.81 and a standard deviation = 4.578. The (a, ) values

are those observed for Spieths rounds in the current 2014 season (through the

RBC Heritage). The average a = 70.71 after the Players Championship, Figure 2.

The mathematical equation of the Gaussian (also called the normal) probability density

distribution curve is y = k exp [ -(x a)

2

/2

2

] where k = 1/(2

2

)

1/2

. The probability density,

y, can be calculated for each value of x (which is taken here as the score S per round, varying

from 63 to 79). The same equation can also be written as y = k exp(-z

2

/2) where z = (x a)/.

The numerator (x a) is the deviation of the individual x value from the average a while the

denominator is the standard deviation making z a dimensionless quantity (see below for more

discussion of standard deviation). The area under the curve, covered by the small (grey) strip

centered between any two values of x gives the probability of occurrence of that event - in this

case the probability of observing a certain score in a round of golf. For example, if we take the

0.000

0.010

0.020

0.030

0.040

0.050

0.060

0.070

0.080

0.090

0.100

55 60 65 70 75 80 85

Score for round, S

P

r

o

b

a

b

i

l

i

t

y

d

e

n

s

i

t

y

,

p

Page 5 of 8

strip centered between 67.5 and 68.5, we get the probability of observing a score of 68 for the

round and so on. (Here the rectangle extends slightly above the curve due to the limitations of

graphics program I am using.) The curve is normalized so that the total area equals 1

(hence the 2 in the factor k, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian_function ), the

probability of all events taken together. If the number of events is large, the Gaussian

distribution becomes a good description of the actual observations (see

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/math/gaufcn.html ).

Note that (x- a), deviation of an individual score (the x value), from the average a will be

either positive or negative. The sum of all such deviations is ALWAYS equal to zero. For

example, in the first three rounds of the Players, 67, 66, 71, the average a = 68 and the

deviations from the mean are -1, -2, and +3. The sum of all the deviations is zero. However, the

square of the deviation (x a)

2

is always positive. The average of all these squares of the

deviations equals

2

. Hence, we can calculate the standard deviation which is related to the

spread in the values of x. Hence, dividing (x a) by makes z a dimensionless number, i.e., a

quantity lacking physical units, or a pure number. For example is x is height in inches, the

average a and the deviation x-a also have units of inches. The standard deviation also has

units of inches but z = (x a)/ is a pure number.

It is of interest to review Why heights are normally distributed? by John

Cook, http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2008/07/20/why-heights-are-

normally-distributed/ . Cook notes that many complex genetic factors

contribute to the height of a person. The height of an individual is NOT a

random occurrence, like the number appearing when a cube-shaped dice with

six faces is rolled. Any number from 1 to 6 can appear, with equal probability.

(This is called uniform probability density distribution.) Now, think about golf

scores instead of heights in the same way. There are many complex factors in

play that determine the final score for a round of golf.

It appears that golf scores are also normally distributed (I have studied other

golfers as well), as discussed in the first two articles, Refs. 1 and 2, on this

topic. Two properties that characterize the normal distribution, the mean, or

average, value (symbol or a) and the standard deviation (symbol ). The

mean a is simply the average value of the scores from many golf rounds. In

the Players, for example, the average for the first three rounds (67, 66, 71)

was 68, see Table 1. But, this average is much less than the average that

has been observed over 48 rounds that Spieth had played through RBC

Page 6 of 8

Heritage (WGC-Accenture, was match play). That average was 70.81, a total of

3399 strokes over 48 rounds. So, the situation we observed at the Players was

unsustainable, unless Spieth had fundamentally improved his golf game.

Note for the non-golfer: A professional golfer is expected to get the ball into

the hole in a certain number of strokes. This varies from hole to hole and is

called the par. This is given in Table 1. If the player takes one extra stroke, it

is called a bogey. Jordan Spieth did NOT make a single bogey in the first

three rounds. The opposite, taking one stroke less than the par for a hole, is

good and is called a birdie. Spieth made a bride on hole 11 in the first three

rounds but made bogey on the same hole in the final round.

What golf fans (or rather the HYPERSENSITIVE Spieth fans, like the old Phil

Mickelson and Tiger fans), have to realize that this bogey-free condition is

NOT sustainable, according to the laws of statistics, especially under the high

pressure conditions on a Sunday at an elite tournament like The Players. So, I

fully expected Spieth to be making a bunch of bogeys on Sunday, not because

of any distaste for this young man but because that is what the laws of

statistics teach us.

Why must Spieth make bogeys in round 4 when he was bogey-free for three

rounds? The laws of statistics say that the average will converge to the higher

value that has been observed over many more rounds. Hence bogeys were

bound to appear in the final round of the Players. And, sadly, they did.

As someone interested in these mathematical/scientific aspects of the game of

golf, I did not find it surprising at all that Spieths final round had several

bogeys. The two birdies on the front nine (the first nine holes) were

neutralized by two bogeys and he finished the front nine with 36 holes or

the par value. On the back nine he made three more bogeys with one bride.

As mentioned in the earlier article, where I had analyzed all the rounds in the

2014 season, through the Masters, Spieth must IMPROVE his game to reduce

his overall average to 68 or 69 (from the current 70.71 through 52

Page 7 of 8

rounds, including the Players) and also reduce the standard deviation.

Reducing the average will produce more WINS.

So, the hyperfans of Jordan Spieth must back off and accept such discussions

about why Spieth has been falling short. It has happened twice at the biggest

golf events and on both occasions over the last ten holes. Hence, there must be

a reason and statistical theory seems to offer some insights. The hyperfans do

not do Spieth any service. I wish Jordan Spieth all the best and lots of success

in future tournaments. However, he must understand the weaknesses noted

here. Some comments have started appearing about his not-so-pleasant

demeanor when the tournament is slipping away. This is natural but it also

affects the mental or emotional aspect of the game that this young man must

learn to overcome in order to have a more Tiger-like and not a Garcia-like

golfing career.

WITH ALL MY BEST WISHES and I hope the hyperfans pay attention and learn

some basic statistics instead of just mouthing off and calling names. When I

post, it is always after studying the scores carefully, not as an emotional

reaction to what is happening on the golf course.

Finally, the untold story is Jim Furyks runner-up finish with a bogey-free 66

in the final round of the Players Championship. However, in the first three

rounds the scores were 70, 68 and 72 for an average of 70, instead of 68 for

Spieth (67, 66, 71) and Kaymer (63, 69, 72). Furyk needed two strokes to win

The Players Championship; exactly the difference between his average and the

average of the winner, for the first three rounds.

In general, it is the lowering of the average score (shifting of the peak of the

normal distribution curve to lower values) that will produce a victory.

Lowering the standard deviation (reducing the spread in the scores, making

the curve less spread out) will ensure sustained victories over many events

and hence a great golfing career. The interested reader should also note the

difference between accuracy and precision as discussed in the earlier articles.

Page 8 of 8

Frequency Diagram for Jordan Spieths Scores in 2014

Season through the 2014 Players Championship

Figure 2: The frequency diagram for Jordan Spieths scores (for each golf round) in the 2014

season, through the 2014 TPC (Players Championship). The frequency of appearance of

various scores is given in the table below. The average score a = 70.71 and the standard

deviation = 3.27. The total golf rounds, the sum of all the F values in the table, equals 52.

(The WGC-Accenture tournament is not included since it was a match play event.)

x 63 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 77 78 79

F 1 3 6 2 5 9 10 4 2 2 4 2 1 1

The data was obtained by clicking on Jordan Spieth from the TPC leaderboard (see link with

Table 1) and then on full player profile which gives the scores for all the events.

Also, superimposed on to the frequency diagram is the mathematical Gaussian distribution

curve with (a, ) having the values observed for Jordan Spieth. The Gaussian probability

density y = k exp [-(x a)

2

/2

2

] is computed for each x and the value of y for the score x = 71 is

taken as being equal to a frequency F = 10. The other values of y are thus converted to F

values to plot the Gaussian curve in Figure 2 which envelops the observed values quite well.

Thus, golf scores seem to show a normal distribution. (The same applies for many other

golfers as well. Other statistical tests can be conducted but I leave that out of this discussion.)

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

55 60 65 70 75 80 85

Score for the round, x

F

r

e

q

u

e

n

c

y

o

f

s

c

o

r

e

,

F

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