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2018 Ryder Cup | Visualising the Moliwood Matches

Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, or 'Moliwood' as they are now known, became Europe's most successful partnership at a single Ryder Cup with their four victories together at Le Golf National, Paris in September 2018. Moliwood won 4 out of 4 matches as a pairing and earned themselves a place in the record books. This was the first time a European pairing had gone 4-0 on the first two days of the Ryder Cup, and Tommy Fleetwood was also the first rookie to achieve this. 

Open champion Molinari and the 2017 Race to Dubai winner Fleetwood were expected to perform well together against team USA, and thanks to the power of analytics, this turned out to be a perfect partnership. Fleetwood’s amazing performance off-the-tee along with his approach shot accuracy blended seamlessly with Molinari’s sublime short-game and brilliant putting. Tommy also sank his fair share of long-range putts too. 
Despite a few bogeys on the front nine during their Friday morning match, Moliwood kicked into gear on the back nine, coming back from two-down against the USA with a birdie-run that started the European team’s charge. The United States may have won the first three points, but Europe then went on to win the next five and subsequently won back the 2018 Ryder Cup 17.5 points to 10.5 points. One of the finest European wins in the competition’s history, and the star pairing of Moliwood had a dramatic impact on the outcome.

This poster, designed in collaboration with the team at the 15th Club, celebrates the amazing performance by Molinari and Fleetwood and the role data analytics played in the selection of wildcard picks and the optimisation of European pairings. As with my previous two posters, every golf shot and yardage to the hole is visualised, alongside key stats that explain why the Moliwood pairing was so successful. 

How the poster works
The poster flows left-to-right, with each semi-circle representing one of the Moliwood matches, going from Friday Morning Fourballs and Friday Afternoon Foursomes, to Saturday Morning Fourballs and Saturday Afternoon Foursomes. Each match then works top-to-bottom, starting with Hole 1 at the top of each segment. 

For Fourball (better-ball) matches, only the score that counts for each team is represented with the player initials next to each node. For Foursomes (alternate-shot), every shot is displayed for each team, again with the player initials next to each node to identify who hits the next shot.
​​​​​​​ The yardage to the pin for each shot is also displayed next to each node, and the distances switch to feet once the ball lands on the green. Distances to the pin within a very small range are not labelled.

Lines are colour-coded based on which team wins the hole (Europe is blue, USA is red), with halved holes represented in light grey. The total match score is displayed as a bubble for each hole, again colour-coded according to which team is up in the match.

For more information on how the Ryder Cup matchplay format works, please see this guide:
https://www.rydercup.com/news-media/usa/ryder-cup-faqs-scoring-history-format-and-how-it-works



All shot data and stats were supplied by 15th ClubThanks again to their amazing team for collaborating on this project.

Read more about the role 15th Club played in the 2018 Ryder Cup:

Matt Miller
March 2019

2018 Ryder Cup | Visualising the Moliwood Matches
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2018 Ryder Cup | Visualising the Moliwood Matches

Data Visualisation of the Moliwood Matches, Ryder Cup 2018
23
916
2
Published: