Analytics Recommended Moliwood Pairing, Sticking To The Plan As Europe Fell Behind Early

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 8.27.32 PM.png

The Guardian’s Sean Ingle considers analytics in sports and, in particular, the role played in Europe’s victorious 2018 Ryder Cup.

Of particular note was this from the analytics team relied upon by Captain Thomas Bjorn

15th Club’s influence continued in Versailles, with analysts suggesting the ideal fourballs and foursomes pairings for every player based on the format, their strengths, and the course layout – which included the strong recommendation Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood should play together. Crucially they also had enough of Bjørn’s ear to reassure him and his vice-captains to “stick to the plan”’ on the first morning when Europe were about to go 3-1 down and were considering last-minute changes to the afternoon foursomes.

As Wooster relates: “This was a critical moment, and one where all those months spent establishing relationships and trust came to the fore. We knew the foursomes was a very different format and our statistical simulations gave us a high level of confidence the afternoon would be ours.” Bjørn listened and stuck to the plan. Europe won the session 4-0 and never looked back.