|[February 17, 2014]
PGA TOUR and Official Technology Partner CDW Announce Return of ShotLink Intelligence? Prize
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. & VERNON HILLS, Ill. --(Business Wire)--
The ShotLink Intelligence? Prize, a competition developed jointly by the PGA
TOUR and official technology partner CDW
that challenges academics to find the best new application of ShotLink
statistics, is returning in 2014 with an increased prize of $30,000 in
technology from CDW (News - Alert) for the winning paper.
The ShotLink Intelligence? Prize was introduced in 2012 as part of
ShotLink Intelligence Powered by CDW, a program offering academic
institutions the ability to use golf and the PGA TOUR as a research
tool, fostering the development of new insights through big data
analysis. ShotLink is the PGA TOUR's proprietary scoring system that
captures multiple data points on every shot struck during competition,
which in turn has translated into hundreds of new statistics and
provided greater insight into player performance. While the core of the
ShotLink Intelligence program has dramatically expanded golf analytics,
academics have gone further, using PGA TOUR statistics in the study of
fields as diverse as behavioral economics and risk management.
The winning paper from 2012, as determined by a panel of judges, was
authored by Lucius Riccio, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in discipline at
Columbia Business School, who used ShotLink data to determine the PGA
TOUR's best long approach shot ball strikers.
The competition returns in 2014 with a $30,000 technology prize from CDW
for the winning paper: $20,000 will be granted to the school and $10,000
to the author.
Academics will have the opportunity to analyze ShotLink data throughout
2014 and submit entries during the first quarter of 2015. The winner
will be announced in early March 2015 at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT (News - Alert)) Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, of which CDW is a
sponsor. The conference will be held at the MIT campus in Cambridge,
Mass. More details on ShotLink Intelligence Powered by CDW and the
ShotLink Intelligence Prize are available at www.pgatour.com/shotlinkintelligence.
"We are thrilled to again support the ShotLink Intelligence Prize," said
Neal Campbell, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at CDW.
"Our collaboration with the PGA TOUR on ShotLink centers n offering
technology solutions to drive big data analysis, and this program
directly advances that work to the cutting edge of the academic
Using Data for Academic Enhancement and Business Success
The PGA TOUR began sharing ShotLink data with academic institutions in
2005, establishing a formal process for academics to gain not-for-profit
access to the wealth of statistical data collected by ShotLink at PGA
TOUR tournaments for academic purposes. The program has grown
substantially since then, with researchers from around the world using
the data to further academics.
"The ShotLink Intelligence Program has provided an opportunity for the
PGA TOUR and CDW to support higher education with meaningful data that
is at the core of our sport while offering an interesting, unique and
clean data set for the academic community," said Steve Evans, PGA TOUR
senior vice president of information systems. "It is rewarding to see
new insights derived from the program. Dr. Riccio's paper focuses on
ball striking from key distances, which provides new insight into this
aspect of the game. When ShotLink was developed, we had a goal to
differentiate our players and to try to explain why PGA TOUR players
make this difficult game look relatively easy. Lou has done a great job
of helping us continue to meet that goal."
Riccio, who teaches business analytics, optimization, simulation and
operations management at Columbia University, set out to produce a
single, comprehensive measure of long approach shot ball striking by
ranking all players and identifying those who are best in long approach
shot accuracy. For the analysis, he used par four fairway approaches
between 150 to 225 yards, the yardages for which most pros are playing
full iron shots.
Combining rankings of percentage of greens hit and closeness to the hole
showed Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Robert Garrigus and
Tiger Woods as the top four ball strikers on the PGA TOUR in 2012, with
Rose having the highest green hitting ability and Westwood hitting it
Riccio used the $25,000 prize from CDW for a new center of excellence at
Columbia, the Center for Advanced Sports Analytics within the
Engineering School's Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. "We
received two servers that will enable us to process an almost unlimited
amount of sports data, not only the wonderful data the ShotLink system
provides for the top golfers in the world, but also the new data which
is streaming in about basketball, soccer and football," Riccio said.
"Our sports analytics students have already used the system to make some
significant breakthroughs in understanding and explaining the intricate
details that make the difference between winning and losing."
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world's premier membership organization for touring
professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the
PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, NEC (News - Alert) Series-PGA TOUR
Latinoamérica, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.
The PGA TOUR's mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver
substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give
back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the
communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for
Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion
households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually
all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to
maximize charitable giving. In 2013, tournaments across all Tours
generated more than $133 million for local and national charitable
organizations and in early 2014 the TOUR's all-time charitable
contributions surpassed $2 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM,
the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte
Vedra Beach, FL.
CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions to business,
government, education and healthcare. Ranked No. 267 on the FORTUNE 500,
CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,900 coworkers. For the
year ended December 31, 2013, the company generated net sales of more
than $10.7 billion. For more information, visit www.CDW.com.
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