Bettors need to realize that winning golf tournaments in the PGA is hard. Very hard. It’s quite possible, then, for even the best golfers to go through a long drought between wins. the losing streak could be blamed on any number of factors – health, motivation, off-course distractions, a change in playing style, age, or just bad luck. When a drought ends then bettors are faced with a handicapping puzzle. Does the win signal the end of the down period and the return to the past form? Or is the golfer more likely to revert back to the bad form that has haunted him after the win? Being able to get a good sense of what is likely can obviously be very valuable for bettors. Here are six factors for PGA handicappers to consider when looking at this issue:
What was his form leading up to the win? – Sometimes a win won’t really come as too much of a surprise once you look back at a golfer’s recent past performance. For example, if he had had several top 10 performances in recent PGA outings, or if he had shown statistical improvements in key stats – driving accuracy, greens in regulation, scoring average, and so on – then he was clearly finding his form. That means that the win was just a continuation of the progress he has been making, and the form could easily be sustainable. It’s far harder to trust that the form can last, though, if the win came in the midst of poor or inconsistent play. The golfer clearly got everything working just right for one weekend, but that doesn’t mean that he can do so again. Golfers who seem to win out of the blue often disappear right back into obscurity. There’s a mental angle to consider with them as well – while the win will be a confidence booster for them, they’ll also be forced to consider what happened, why they succeeded when they have failed in the past, and what they can do to maintain it. Those aren’t the kinds of thoughts golfers want to have floating around their heads – golf is played best when you aren’t thinking about anything.
What kind of win? – Ultimately, a win is a win. Not all wins are equally impressive or confidence inspiring, though. Did he win in dominating fashion, or emerge from a crowded field? Was it a strong field, or a particularly weak one? Did the course give him a particular advantage because of conditions, style, or familiarity? Did he maintain his momentum, or was he inconsistent through the week? Did he close strong? The more golf bettors consider the way that he won the more insights they can get into the likelihood that the streak can continue.
Was it really a drought? – Bettors can only really consider a win after a long absence from the top of the podium the end of a drought if the golfer had been winning at a more frequent rate before his last previous win. If the golfer hadn’t won in three years, and hadn’t won for two or three years before his last win, either, then this is a less noteworthy win. He’s not ending a drought, he’s just collecting one of his irregular wins. To really consider that something may have changed in a significant way for the golfer with this win the losing streak needs to have been a significant change in form.
What ’s next? – How a golfer is able to perform after a win has a lot to do with what tournament they will be playing next. Are they playing again right away, or do they have a week or more off? That’s especially a concern if the health of the golfer has been an issue. Does the next course suit him, or is it not as much of a fit as the one he won on? Are they facing a similarly tough field in their next tournament, or is the tournament more or less difficult than the one they won?
How have they done off of past wins? – PGA wagerers can get a good sense of what may happen in the future based on what has happened in the past. If the golfer has used the win as a springboard for success and has been strong in the following weeks then he could likely do the same again here. Some golfers seem to be exhausted by wins, though, and their form falls off after a win. If that has happened before then it’s a good bet it will again.
How will the public view the win? – There are some wins that the betting public will get very excited about, and others that will have no significant future impact on betting action. The higher profile the golfer is, and the more coverage his struggles have had, the more likely that the public will imagine a return to form and bet accordingly. If the golfer has been successful in the past but isn’t a household name then the public may not really notice that a losing streak has ended and that there is something to consider. The popularity of the golfer and the exposure of the win, then, can have a big impact on where the value lies in betting on the golfer next time out.