It's always important to do a spot of self reflection these days - after all it's not easy being the premier minigolf predictor in the virtual world - and so I thought it would be interesting to see how accurate PP's predictions were for the Doubles event in the Midlands.
The results have been posted on line (http://www.minigolf.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_eventlist&view=details&id=89&Itemid=56) so here we go.
Overall top 4 places:
Predictions / Actual
4th - May the Force Be With Who / 9th
3rd - Oxbridge Morons / 5th
2nd - Booze Brothers / 4th
1st - Jiff-Free / 2nd
Not a bad effort, surprisingly the only one wide of the mark was the reigning (as they were) champions who appear to have crashed out in the group stages with little more than a whimper, finally finding form (i.e. a win) when they were already dead in the water. Clearly the expectations of defending the title saw the previously unbeatable pairing choke when it really mattered.
So what about the individual team predictions I hear you ask? Lets have a look at how accurate PP was in my pre-event musings...
1) MAY THE FORCE BE WITH WHO - Chris Harding & Marc Chapman - the reigning champions having taken the title for the past 2 years. Can they do it again? Probably. Will they? No.
100% accurate. They didn't win. 1 out of 1
2) WILSON - Oliver Florence & Richard Skeggs. Last years runners up were the surprise package of the event but I can't see them repeating this in 2012... remains to be seen if Skeggs can keep himself and the Machine focused long enough to win this weekend.
Finished 8th. After topping their group it all went wrong. And the latest reports from the camp indicate that the Gentle Touch has retired from minigolf. Tis a cruel game. Another accurate prediction. 2 for 2
3) CASUAL FORCE - Sean Homer & Marion Homer. Can they take the crown? It will take more than a degree of luck for this given the Presidents form this year.
Proved to be the case. Crept through the group but luck clearly deserted them. Finished 6th. Another winner. 3 for 3
4) TEAM SQONKEY - Richard Gottfried & Scott Lancley. If they get a tough group then will probably be trawling the bottom half of the event for scraps.
Finished 7th. Got through their group well but not a tough ask by the look of things. But then didn't win again until the last match. Did better than predicted. Oh well. 3 for 4 still not too bad.
5) JIFF-FREE - Seth Thomas & Chris Smith. Could go all the way.
They did. But fell at the final hurdle to finish 2nd. Accurate again. 4 from 5.
6) TEAM SPLODGE - Marina Breeden & Adam Breeden. Could cause an upset or two if they can make the most of home advantage.
They didn't. Came 14th with just 1 win in their 5th match. Got that one wrong. 4 from 6.
7) THE BOOZE BROTHERS - Brad Shepherd & Chris Jones. Will be tough to beat if Shepherd, a proven Matchplay contender, can keep his game together.
Finished 4th. Powered through the group. Took out the reigning champions. Took out the fancied number 1 & 2 pairing in the quarters and then fell to the eventual winners. Were a tough team. Accurate again i'd say. 5 from 7.
8) GEMINI - Steve Sturdy & Ruth Burke. Can't see them troubling the top slots.
They didn't. Finished 12th courtesy of an easy quarter final draw having lost 3 out of 3 in the group. Another spot on prediction. 6 from 8.
9) WILLFRED - Will Donnelly & Freddie Blackburn-Shaw. Will either be pushing for a top 5 finish or perhaps more likely will crash and burn in the group stages.
They came 15th but unfair to say they crashed and burnt. Finished their group with 6 points and failed to go into the top half of the KO's on stroke difference. Clearly had stuffing knocked out of them by this and didn't win again until the final match. Think I got this one wrong. 6 from 9.
10) PERFECT FOR SHAW - Alex Pragnell & Alastair Shaw. They have a chance of taking a scalp or two.
Finished 13th. Had a tough group and then drew the bruised ex champs in the quarter finals. Won the last 2 matches to claim a decent finish. So I will give myself this one! 7 from 10.
11) YOU'VE BEEN NICKTED - John McIver & Nick Chitty. See this power pair fail to make the top 8.
Won the event. About as wrong a prediction as you can get. 7 from 11.
12) WE'AR THE LADS - John Moore & Dave Donnelly. I think they may do well.
They did. Came 3rd. Another one for the PP. 8 from 12.
13) WEIR BIN YO FROM - Owen Johnson & Paul Johnson. Have a chance of not coming last. If it all kicks off during a match then they may as well concede the points straightaway.
They came last. 9 from 13.
14) OXBRIDGE MORONS - Michael Smith & James Rutherford. I fear that the only thing that will drown out the desperation in these two will be the tears and tantrums as 2012 proves to be yet another nail in the Doubles coffin of Rutherford and Smith.
Breezed through the group then lost at first knockout stage. Came 5th. I'll claim this one as well. 10 from 14.
15) THE SNOOZE BROTHERS - Alan Norman & Gareth Holmes. Their slow play could be their main weapon as the matches drag on in the Midlands sun.
Won 1 match in the group but failed to make top 2. Finished 10th with strong 2nd half of the event. But not really much to claim as an accurate prediction. 10 from 15.
16) REAL ALE MADRID - Jam Trubridge & Rob Dodd. It will be a tough ask to see them push into the top half of the event. Their name is ultimately a lot better than they are.
Finished 11th. Name better than them. Chalk it up. 11 from 16.
So a grand total of close to 70% accuracy.
Not bad from a matchplay event with a random draw.
Roll on the British Open...