Mayakoba a 6 on Excitement Scale

in tournament summaries, that seems to not really be possible when there was a 3-way tie late in the day and then a 4-hole playoff to finish. Is this because Niemann got off to a big lead early on? but that should be factored into volatility, not excitement, actually a big comeback or collapse like we sort of saw should increase excitement right?

Audible music is an automatic -2 points


“Excitement”, by our definitions, is about how close the win probabilities are to 0 and 1 throughout the tournament (less excitement = closer to 0/1). I think like halfway through R1 Niemann’s win probability had already surpassed 40 or 50% and then it stayed above 70% until he got the 2-stroke penalty Saturday night. So for most of the tournament it was a very unexciting tournament. Of course they did have a good finish, but that was only for an hour or so (playoffs are not part of the calculations).

The comeback would get factored into volatility as that is about how much win probabilities move from one timestamp to another.

I think both the shotgun format (shorter window for golf) and the smaller fields likely mechanically lower the excitement score and volatility (although in the blog post on this we found there was no correlation between volatility and field size). Also the fact that there is only 3 rounds decreases excitement I think (by our definition), because all else equal a 2-shot lead after R1 will have a higher win probability than if there 4 rounds.


Not every tournament that is close deserves a very high mark. 6 is above-average which seems perfect to me. Niemann’s 59 and a close finish involving some of the better players on the tour push it above the average but needing a penalty to make it close and the tournament having a prohibitive favourite after Rd1 make it less exciting. And the music.

10 should be reserved for the rare few events. 9 an all-time classic. 8 excellent. 7 very good. 6 above average. 5 average. I think 7 is pushing it for a 70% fav after Rd1 and 8 clearly too much.

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6 is out of 100 btw, why I was shocked

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Lol, yes 6 out of 100. Reality is that a quantitative metric meant to capture something subjective like excitement will fail to do so sometimes. Most of this tournament was played with 1 player having a >50% win probability, which is why it scores poorly on the excitement score.

edit: if you look at LIV in 2023, it scores poorly on excitement a lot of the time, probably for reasons I’ve mentioned above. A score of 6 actually beats 3 events last year (and 2 others were a 7 and a 9). Perhaps you think that shouldn’t be the case, but because their events are often dwindled to only a few contenders after R1, and there aren’t that many real contenders to begin with (with their top-heavy fields) it will always be an uphill battle for LIV to get a good excitement score.

It seems like volatility should capture the many different players having a chance to win while excitement should basically be how many high leverage shots/holes were there? This should be heavily tilted toward the final round because that’s how excitement and pressure builds. LIV final round had lots of high leverage shots from Sergio, rahm and Niemann down stretch which is basically all you can ask for from a tournament for excitement. I don’t think difference in say 30-70% in leader odds in early rounds makes a big difference in excitement as that generally just lessens a lot of guys who had a 3% shot to 1%

I wasn’t able to watch it, but ya it sounds like it was pretty good – top players hitting meaningful shots under some pressure. The problem for LIV is that it’s very easy to see how they could make their product better: just turn it into a PGA Tour event (get rid of music, shotgun, add more players, add a cut). We already know that individual golf produces great drama when a few ingredients come together, but unfortunately the Saudis decided to blow up professional golf for their own benefit so we don’t get to see it as much anymore.

With the entertainment scores things are already naturally weighted towards the final round because that is where bigger movement in win probability are possible. Ya the definitions are up for debate… I kind of like these metrics though, they are very clean and come intuitively from the data.

I don’t know that we see less drama with LIV and PGA Tour together, I think we might see more. we get the drama of which league can “win”, who will stay or leave, and two tours with plenty of talent to push each other and give us “double” the drama. We could have had a great Rahm/Sergio/Niemann finish followed by a great Aberg/Clark finish a bit later if not for the weather.

A cut for me is great for fantasy/gambling but irrelevant to actual tournament sporting drama as the players cut are essentially never going to be involved in the important parts of the tournament for a viewer. shotgun start, we will just disagree I can’t watch for 10 hours, a 4 hour jam-packed viewing session of shots works better.

I love looking at the metrics but this one just didn’t make any sense to me with how it played out watching the final round. I love 3 or 4 man races to the top and find those the best types of individual golf battles so hard to say it was below average

Fair enough. You may disagree with the definition and how it’s calculated, and that’s fine, but if a tournament has most of the win probability on 1 guy for 95% of it it’s not going to rate very well on metrics built off of win probability movement and distance from 0/1.

Cuts are great, they provide drama within the tournament and players really do care about missing cuts. This has proven to be true many times (most recently with Tiger at Riviera), but I can also remember some crushing moments for Spieth missing cuts, and JT last year I think.

One thing I noticed watching the broadcast Sunday is they were displaying distances to the pin for most shots (approaches, putts, obviously drives). So the shot level data is there, I wonder if it is possible @matt_courchene to get at that for strokes gained purposes?

haha jesus that’s my bad for rambling at you not having a clue what scale I was talking about. 6th percentile feels harsh!

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Honestly laughed out loud reading this. Getting this framed right now.


Trading at $0 ?!? Where do I sign up?? :joy: