Halfway through the first round of the 2019 British Masters at Hillside Golf Club, a few spectators behind the 16th green talked about the unusual face of strikingly busy youngsters on every hole. They carried backpacks and constantly typed information into handheld tablets, they scrambled to balls, on the move forever, and often in communication with some distant authority via headsets.
After debating some increasingly colorful options, the two observers decided on their original idea. “A university outing,” they concluded, before one added rather sharply: “Because they can get a degree in anything these days, so why do not they chase golf balls?”
In fact, those backpackers were actually involved in the testing phase of an innovation that, metaphorically at least, would take the statistical arm of the European tour (as it was known at the time) from horse and car to Lexus in one fell swoop.
Previously reliant on the flawed and limited insight provided by traditional statistics, sports betting data business …