Fooled By Randomness: post-US Open
In his new regular column Matt Cooper takes a look at the numbers, trends and oddities around the world of golf.
Keep this one in the notebook
Here’s the earliest tip for the 2018 Open Championship for you: back an Oakmont US Open winner.
Because between them they have seven top five finishes, including two wins, from just nine starts at that year’s venue Carnoustie.
If you want a reason behind the stats it might be that both layouts are known as the toughest on each tournament’s rota, although many might counter-argue that the two challenges are rather different. I’m just throwing it out there.
Or maybe just wait three weeks
Of Oakmont’s eight US Open winners prior to Dustin Johnson five went on to win The Open.
Sam Parks Jr never even tried and Larry Nelson was distinctly half-baked about crossing the Atlantic, so it’s five out of six who gave a damn.
The player yet to complete the double? Angel Cabrera, now joined by Johnson.
“June suns, you cannot store them”
So wrote the poet A.E. Housman, who died long before Pablo Larrazabal started swinging a club.
The Spaniard has quite a record in June, which has witnessed three of his career wins, as opposed to one in the other 11.
Since wins are rare it’s not the best guide, but other stats do suggests he blooms at this time of year:
Top five finishes:
Other months – 15 in 217 starts (7%)
June – 6 in 25 (24%)
Top 30 finishes:
Other months – 66 in 217 (30%)
June – 14 in 25 (56%)
Other months – 75 in 217 (35%)
June – 5 in 20 (20%)
The big counter to all of this is that Larrazabal has a superb record at Eichenried (two wins and a third) which, when used, always host the BMW International Open in June and rather skews the stats.
But a counter to that might be this slightly nutty observation: he’s played the Open de France at Le Golf National six times. When the tournament has ended in July (five times) he’s missed three cuts and has a best finish of T31.
But the first time he played it, in 2008? The entire tournament took place in June – and he won it.
It gets even more bizarre. When the Wales Open, at Celtic Manor, was held in June between 2008 and 2012 Larrazabal played it five times, never missed the cut and had four top 30 finishes, including a top five.
But when it was transferred to September in 2013-14? He missed the cut both times.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Lucas Glover edges past Patrick Cantlay to claim back-to-back Tour wins
Glover, 43, ultimately claimed victory with a par on the 18th hole playoff after Cantlay found water off the tee.
Lilia Vu wins second major as Charley Hull comes up short despite stunning eagle
American Vu added the Women’s Open title to her Chevron Championship.
Lucas Glover holds onto lead in Memphis with Tommy Fleetwood two strokes behind
Glover said it was a scrappy day but he got ‘a lot out of’ what he had.
Charley Hull shares lead with Lilia Vu heading into final day of Women’s Open
The pair are nine under for the tournament.
On This Day in 2007 – Tiger Woods claims 13th major with victory in Oklahoma
The world number one successfully defended his US PGA Championship title.
Ally Ewing out to emulate Brian Harman with Open win
The pair share their southern roots, passion for hunting and college teams named the Bulldogs.
Ally Ewing storms clear during second round of AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath
At 10 under par Ewing enjoyed a five-shot lead over compatriot Andrea Lee and Japan’s Minami Katsu.
Jordan Spieth leads by one after first round of FedEx St Jude Championship
England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai are the best of the British contingent, closing out Thursday on four under par.
Rory McIlroy delighted with Tiger Woods’ role on PGA Tour’s policy board
Woods, 47, has not played since withdrawing from April’s Masters and concedes his playing opportunities will be extremely limited going forward.