Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘masters

Congrats to Captain America

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Congrats to Captain America (Patrick Reed) on winning his first major at Augusta National yesterday!

Reed went into the final round at -14, and ended at -15 — but it was enough to hold off late charges from 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth, and Ricky Fowler.

It was another dramatic final round at The Masters, and one that kept golf fans around the globe on the edge of their seat.

Reed was paired with Rory McIlroy for the final round, after Rory turned in a 69 on moving day to enter Sunday just three strokes behind Captain America.  

And after having witnessed that tremendous Ryder Cup singles pairing at Hazeltine in 2016 between Reed and McIlroy (which Reed won 1 up), expectations were high for this final round.

But Reed refused to concede any ground, and Rory just couldn’t get it going on Sunday — his Grand Slam will have to wait.

Written by turbotodd

April 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Posted in 2018, golf, masters

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First Day at the Masters

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The first day at the 2018 Masters seems to have proven itself worthy of the hype.

The conditions seemed optimum, and both top players and some fresh names took advantage of them.

IBM powers the website at http://www.masters.com and mobile apps, and between the MyMasters and the “Featured Groups” features it’s proven easier than ever to follow the action remotely.

Thoughts on what I saw from round 1:

  • The greens look monstrously fast. Just ask Sergio Garcia, who bombed a 320-yard drive on the par-5 15 only to have his 207-yard approach shot spin back into the water. Then he proceeded to have a Tin Cup moment, hitting four more wedge shots that also spun back into the drink. It was painful to watch, especially considering Garcia won the green jacket last year
  • Jordan Spieth stirred up another record, birdie-ing five holes in a row on the back 9, 13-14-15-16-17.  It was quite a run, and when he didn’t birdie, his par and bogey saves were spectacular (particularly his chip shot at 18). It’s like Jordan can will the ball to, if not go into the hole, to stop right next to it. He led going into the second round at six-under.
  • China’s Li Haotong, who is only 22 years and is from Hunan Province, shot a stellar three-under 69, which put him only 3 strokes behind Spieth after the first round.
  • Tiger Woods had a mixed-bag round, but he’s certainly still in the hunt, finishing at one over for the first round. Woods got shafted when a line drive out of the woods on 11 hit a man’s chair, a ball that looked destined for the green. But as Sports Illustrated observed overnight with this headline, “Only a fool would write off Tiger Woods after first round at Augusta!” (Although if he doesn’t start making some birdies on those par 5s…)

We’re well into day two, and (SPOILER ALERT), currently the leaderboard is jumbled up with four co-leaders at three-under. So, nobody’s going way low thus far, and it’s proving to be a vicious fight to the weekend cutline!

Written by turbotodd

April 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Posted in 2018, golf

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The Masters Moments

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We’re less than 24 hours away from the most eagerly anticipated Masters golf tournament in recent years.

My journey there last year to see it all live and in person was the opportunity of a lifetime, and a memory I’ll cherish forever.

For a rabid golf fan, it’s the planet around which all other competitions orbit.

But you don’t have to go there in person to appreciate the drama and the beauty of Augusta National.

IBM has partnered with The Masters for 20+ years on the technology used to bring the tournament into a digital experience, and each year the capabilities just get more fascinating.

This year, fans will once again be able to follow the action both on the www.masters.com web site as well as via the Masters Tournament app.

What to look out for this year:

  • LIVE simulcast of broadcast coverage Thursday through Sunday
  • Additional live video streams, including of tournament play at Amen Corner and Featured Groups
  • Masters on the Range — watch the warmups!
  • A “Spoiler Free” mode that will allow you to turn off score-related notifications
  • Shot Tracking Feature — A way to follow each shot on the course, following any player and view every shot, in real time. But don’t let your boss see (unless they’re a golf fan!)

IBM is also putting Watson back to work at The Masters, this time with a “My Moments” capability that uses Watson’s AI magic to create a personalized highlight reel.

This new feature can help you catch up on the great shots of the tournament that you might have missed from your favorite players, as well as the most important shots of the day.

How will it work?  IBM’s AI assistant will “watch” all live-stream video, then parse out clips by recognizing the start and end of a player’s shot.

It will identify the player, the hole they’re playing, and then determine how highlight-worthy the shot is by examining three key vectors: The audio track of the crowd, player gestures (fist pumps, hands in the air, facial emotions, etc.), and a transcription of the broadcast commentary (which Watson will then analyze to highlight emotive keywords).

All this will help the Masters digital team move faster and get the best clips to the global golf audience as quickly as possible.

I have a hunch it’s going to be a Masters for the ages…don’t miss a moment of it (or, at least, the key moments)!

You can download the iOS version of The Masters app here and the Android version here.

Written by turbotodd

April 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Posted in 2018, golf, PGA, pga tour

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Another Spanish Green Jacket

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If you’re a golf fan of any degree, and you watched the finish of the 2017 Masters in Augusta, Georgia yesterday, you know that once again it was a special Sunday finish for longtime Spanish pro golfer, Sergio Garcia.

Up to yesterday, Garcia had started in 73 major championship tournaments stretching back to 1999, and had never crossed the finish line first.

That all changed in a one-hole sudden death playoff after he, and English golfer and U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, walked the 18th hole for the second time in a day. With Rose’s drive off to the far right side of the 18th fairway and into the pine straw, the green nearly hidden from view, Sergio had his opportunity to strike.

And boy did he, planting his approach inside ten feet of the flag, and eagerly awaiting Rose’s bogey finish before Garcia sank his birdie putt to put an exclamation point on his strong finish.

That it all happened on what would have been the 60th birthday of now deceased Spanish golfer and two-time Masters winner, and Garcia’s idol, Seve Ballasteros …well, it writes itself.

I had occasion to visit Augusta National and the Masters for the first time last week, and as a longtime fan and player of the game of golf, I will only say nothing can prepare you for the real thing.

I’ve watched the tournament on TV and virtually for the better part of 20 years — ever since IBM first started building the Masters Website — and the undulations and diverse topography of the course are something that can only be fully grokked in person. It is, in a word, simply majestic.

And par for the course, IBM continues to partner with Augusta National in order to bring the best of this world-class competition to fans around the world.

This year, we brought Watson along for a tee time — you can read more about Watson’s work behind the scenes here.

In the meantime, congratulations to Sergio, and Viva Espagna!

Another fantastic Masters is in the bag.

Written by turbotodd

April 10, 2017 at 9:04 am

The Masters Leaderboard Is Live!

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This year's Masters iPad application not only nicely mimics the real deal in Augusta...it also has a sort feature where you can look at leaders according to several categories, including "active players," "past champions," "amateur players," and even "first time participants."

This year’s Masters iPad application not only nicely mimics the real deal in Augusta…it also has a sort feature where you can look at leaders according to several categories, including “active players,” “past champions,” “amateur players,” and even “first time participants.”

That’s it, today’s the day.

The first players have already teed off at the Masters in Augusta.

Yesterday, I discussed the virtual means by which you could experience playing at Augusta National.

Today I’m going to focus on the various means by which you can follow this year’s action on and off the course.

First, and most importantly, the leaderboard.

On the Masters web site, for which IBM is the longtime technology sponsor, you can go to the virtual equivalent of the traditional Masters leaderboard.

You can also find the leaderboard on this year’s revamped iPad app, which I’m quickly leaning on as my 19th hole for following all the action from Augusta.

This year it includes live video from a number of the holes, including Amen Corner, 15, 16, as well as two “featured groups,” a Masters “in-depth” feature channel, and for those warm-ups, the driving range, and over the weekend a live simulcast of CBS’ TV coverage.

You’ll be able to access live radio, news features, and pictures from the grounds (including new 360 panoramic images that I suspect will be suitable for framing!).

As for TV coverage itself, that doesn’t start in the U.S. until 3:00 PM EST ESPN. However, live video coverage begins on Amen Corner starting at 10:45 AM on the Website and via the mobile applications, so if you’re hankering to get out to the action, that’s going to be your fastest way in.

This year, IBM is leaning heavily on its SmartCloud technology to help drive quality and continuous operations, along with the flexibility and scalability required by the Masters.

As players peak on the course, we typically see a resultant workload increase in our technology systems.

This helped lead to have the need to provision a new Presentation Services “instance,” for example, in less than 3 minutes using Tivoli Provisioning Manager, as it helps us get new virtual machine instances up and running quickly.

We are also able to move one workload to another on our POWER systems powering the Masters using our Live LPAR mobility in four minutes without service interruption.

Can you say pressure putt???

So as the tournament begins, who will I be keeping a close eye on?

Tiger, for sure.  Phil. Brandt. Rory. Graeme. Garrigus. Schwartzel. Colsaerts. Poulter. Oosthuizen. Guan (the 14 year-old Chinese kid).

It’s just an incredibly talented field, as, of course, it always is.  Length and shot shaping are always helpful at Augusta, especially right to left, but as Zach Johnson proved several years ago, shorter hitters can score (and win) if they play the right angles.

As for me, I went back and played another virtual round at Augusta last night in my Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 and shot 2 under.

There’s hope for me yet.  That means I would currently be tied with Jim Furyk for second place in my Walter Mitty golf fantasy.  But it’s only Thursday…

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

Day One At The Masters

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Today’s the best day of the year!  Happy Master’s, everybody!

The Master's leaderboard on the Masters.com Website during this morning's opening round in Augusta.

I’ve had the TV blasting from the moment I woke up this morning, and I’ve minimized my conference call schedule to make sure I can pay appropriate attention to day one of the 2012 Masters’ tournament from Augusta, Georgia.

As of this writing, Martin Kaymer has jumped out to −2 after 9, while Henrik Stenson is −2 but through 3.   The course seems to be playing difficult so far, with very few red numbers thus far.

Tiger Woods just played #1 and is at even par.

The big question overnight was whether Augusta would allow for lift, clean and place (where the golfer can pick up their ball and clean off any mud, grass, etc.), but apparently it wasn’t necessary, despite the 14 inches of rain the course saw overnight on Tuesday.

Now, to your viewing options: This year, I’m keeping tuned into the Masters iPad application that IBM helped build for the tournament.  It includes a nice top-shelf interface that includes a leaderboard, livestreaming video from both featured groups and Amen Corner, and a news stream that keeps you in touch with the latest from the round.  It’s a VERY nice one stop Master’s shop.

I’m also tuning into the Golf Channel for ongoing commentary for highlights, and soon, I’ll be tuning into the AT&T U-Verse Master’s coverage, which will allow me to custom follow one of two featured groups, Amen Corner, and/or 15/16.  Nice job, AT&T!  You should promote that more!

And of course, on Masters.com, you can find everything you need to know about the tournament, including all the pairings, results, and live video coverage of Amen Corner, 15/16, and of course, pictures from today’s round.

You can also follow the hashtag #masters on Twitter, but be forewarned — it’s trending like #egypt during the Arab spring, and this is only day one!

Written by turbotodd

April 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

IBM Continues Middleware Leadership (And Tiger’s Master’s Opening Round Tee Time)

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It’s Tuesday of Master’s week.  I caught a couple of the interviews from the media room today.  Tiger was looking very confident, but so were Phil and Rory.

I’m really digging Golf Central’s “Live from the Masters” coverage, and looking forward even more to seeing a new feature from AT&T U-Verse this year, whereby they will be following “featured” groups of golfers on individual dedicated channels.

Guess who I hope to follow?  Tiger, of course, who’s paired up with Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez (“The most interesting man in the world…!”) and Sang-Moon Bae, South Korea’s 25 year-old golfing wunderkind, 10:35 EST on Thursday.  Hmm, do I have any conference calls then??

Yesteday, some good news from Gartner.  They announced that based on their definition of middleware IBM has once again been named the overall marketshare leader in middleware software.

The rankings are based on total worldwide revenue for 2011 and mark the eleventh consecutive year of leadership for IBM.

According to the report, IBM was the leading software vendor with 32.1 percent market share, extending its lead to nearly double that of its closest competitor.

According to Gartner, IBM grew 12.4 percent in 2011, faster than the overall market. The worldwide application infrastructure and middleware software market grew 9.9 percent to $19.4 billion, according to Gartner.

Besides its overall lead, according to the Gartner report, IBM holds the number one market share position in key sub-markets growing faster then the overall IT market.

For example, the Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) segment grew at 11.2 percent in 2011, Gartner said. IBM was named the number one vendor in BPMS software with a 27.1 percent share; almost triple that of its closest competitor. BPMS software enables companies to develop and implement processes that help their businesses be more agile and grow.

Gartner reported that IBM continues to be number one in other growing and key areas including the Enterprise Service Bus Suites, Message Oriented Middleware Market, the Transaction Processing Monitor market and Integration Appliances.

Gartner also reported double digit growth by IBM for the Portal Products and User Interaction segment IBM’s continued market share leadership in middleware has been a key reason for the company’s strong growth.

Coming back to the Master’s, I’ll hope to add some more color before fleeing for the wilds of West Texas on Friday for my annual “gun camp” trip with some good friends.

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