USA Captain Stacy Lewis, with help from KPMG, will use Solheim-specific analytics for the first time to guide the team in 2023

USA Captain Stacy Lewis, with help from KPMG, will use Solheim-specific analytics for the first time to guide the team in 2023

Stacy Lewis is now reading Shane Ryan’s book, The Cup They Couldn’t Lose: America, the Ryder Cup, and the Long Road to Whistling Straits, for the second time. After being named captain of the Solheim Cup, the former #1 found Ryan’s book to be a good place to start her investigation. Now, she is rereading it and taking notes.

While the situation for Lewis’s team doesn’t seem as urgent as it was for Steve Stricker’s American team last year, the Americans have lost the last two Solheim Cups.

Lewis, at 37, the youngest American captain in Solheim Cup history, isn’t afraid to turn things around. And after reading about the stat systems that Ryder Cup teams (and Presidents Cup teams) have relied on in recent years, Lewis was on a mission to get something similar for his team.

“In the past, we made couples based on being friends or who got along,” Lewis said, “there really hasn’t been any rhyme or reason. Juli did the personality test and things like that because we never had statistics to evaluate.”

Team USA’s Ally Ewing and Team USA’s Nelly Korda react on the 16th green during the Foursomes match on day one of the Solheim Cup at the Inverness Club on September 4, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Lewis met with statistical groups working with men in the US (Scouts Consulting Group) and Europe (Twenty First Group). He knew that he would have to find a creative way to finance the program outside of the Solheim Cup budget. That’s when KPMG stepped up to help, creating an extension to the existing KPMG Performance Insights with ongoing help from Twenty First Group.

By the time the Solheim Cup is held in Spain for the first time on September 22-24, there will be two years of data to analyze.

“It’s going to help project who’s going to make the team and then from that,” Lewis said, “make your picks based on the matchups and who’s going to match up well.”

The data will also be specific to the golf course, looking at details such as what type of shots will be taken from the tees and how many of the par 5s are achievable.

“KPMG Performance Insights has been a game changer in terms of helping LPGA players maximize their performance,” said Shawn Quill, KPMG National Sports Industry Leader, “informing the way they practice and play, by while enhancing storytelling, broadcast media coverage, and more. ”

Now, Lewis believes those ideas will also be a game changer for the Solheim Cup.

At the 2017 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Price was asked how analytics became part of the preparations for the US Ryder Cup. Price said the PGA of America he recognized that after a loss at Gleneagles, where Europe won for the third time in a row, a program was needed.

“We had to make sure that, from the Ryder Cup to the Ryder Cup, the PGA of America would give the Ryder Cup captains, and really the Ryder Cup family, every opportunity to succeed and every resource they needed. “, said. Price. “And clearly, because the players on the team were using analytics and the competition was using analytics, we needed to be in a position where we could provide our captains and vice-captains with the information that would help them make better picks … and then generally, how pairings from four-balls to foursomes were going to work. How would the team really come together?

This week at the Presidents Cup in Charlotte, international captain Trevor Immelman was asked at a pre-tournament press conference to talk about some of the details they’ve gone through from an analytical standpoint to gain some sort of advantage as the underdogs. .

“Do you really think I’m going to answer that question?” Immelman responded.

Every little advantage helps.

Initially, Lewis texted Stricker to let him know he’d like to chat. At the time, Lewis wasn’t sure what she wanted to ask. However, now that she is further along in the process, she is looking forward to catching up with him this fall.

Notebook in hand.

Ready

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The story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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