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2023 Ryder Cup - Afternoon Fourball Matches
Future-shaping projects

Putting AI into the Ryder Cup

Bringing the latest AI technology to golf

A team at Capgemini developed an AI model to analyze the probability of sporting success in golf’s Ryder Cup – giving fans better insight into the live action.

The Ryder Cup golf tournament is one of the world’s greatest sporting events, with a global audience of millions. Capgemini is a Worldwide Partner of the Ryder Cup, and for the 2023 tournament in Rome, it used artificial intelligence (AI) to provide fans with extra insight, helping them to understand which team was more likely to win, with shot-by-shot analysis of how well the golfers were playing.

One member of the Capgemini team who worked on the tech is Alexander Stufflebeam, who is an Insurance AI Leader for Capgemini in the US.

“There were two parts to our Ryder Cup project,” he says. “The first was the captain’s dashboard, which provides player performance information to the Ryder Cup captains and vice-captains.

“The second, more innovative part was a tool we developed called Outcome IQ powered by Capgemini. It provided a probability estimation of which team is likely to win each hole, each match, and the tournament. And the cool thing about it is that it updated every time a player took a shot. It’s a truly modern sports analytics service that we showcased on the world stage.”

Live probability projections

A Capgemini report looked at the future of sport and how technology can enhance the viewing experience for sports fans. In this context, Outcome IQ powered by Capgemini is a cutting-edge way to encourage engagement in a live global audience.

“It wasn’t just a regular AI project; its distinctiveness lay in how we were able to use it to support a significant live sporting event,” says team member Swati Mishra, who is a manager for Capgemini in Noida. “The stakes were huge. We were working in anticipation of the tool’s live debut during the three days of the tournament where it would be seen by a global audience across different live media channels.

“We knew we had to get it right. There was a lot of pressure for everything to work. This definitely made the project challenging, but also extremely exciting to work on. It was a great experience for all of us, and the end result was a major sense of achievement when it went live during the event, creating an engaging experience for both sports enthusiasts and analysts.”

Leading with data

Alexander began his career as an actuary.

“I was working with analytics, statistics, and probability forecasting, at a very deep level. That led me to AI, and eventually to Capgemini. I was able to apply some of that experience to the Ryder Cup project.

“I also love to play golf, so I think that helped too. Not everyone on the team played golf, so at the start, we watched matches together and it was up to me to explain what was going on. One of our Capgemini values is ‘fun,’ and our golf-watching sessions really helped the team to bond and come together.

“I usually work on projects for financial services companies, developing solutions that end up in the back office of an insurance firm or a bank, so this hasn’t been your average everyday project. However, just as with insurance and finance, it was still all about the numbers and the accuracy of the model we built.”

Pulling together as a team

In India, Swati led the delivery team for the Ryder Cup project.

“The team was made up of colleagues from different disciplines, including data scientists, cloud architects, and user experience and user interface professionals,” she says. “Everyone needed to understand the project requirement plan and the development stages. My job was been to ensure that the project had a seamless development and successful implementation from end to end. 

“And of course, as a Worldwide Partner, the Ryder Cup was a huge event for Capgemini. It was broadcast live in front of millions of people, which made reliability an absolute necessity as there wouldn’t be a second chance to get it right. The team did a good job with this. I believe the solution could be applied to other sports in the future, too.

“It’s always challenging to work on a high-profile project, but it was such a valuable experience and a real team effort. Everyone was very supportive, and I think how we all pulled it together is what made it successful.”

Increased excitement for sports fans

“We had a diverse and incredibly talented team working collaboratively across the globe to create a great fan experience in one of the year’s premier sporting events,” says Alexander, who adds that the aim of the technology was to create a fun experience for fans, wherever they’re watching.

“For all of us involved at Capgemini, it was an opportunity to develop personally and professionally. But ultimately, it was about entertainment.

“Outcome IQ powered by Capgemini provides new insights to a very old game and that’s exciting, and technical accuracy is important, but it also needs to connect with people. In fact, that’s true with anything we do at Capgemini – it’s always about the people we are working with, the people we are working for, and the end users.”

During the tournament, the Ryder Cup homepage (where Outcome IQ powered by Capgemini was featured) had around 5 million views, and the stats were broadcast to an audience in 160 countries and 620 million households.

That’s a vast number of people who experienced the results of the team’s hard work.

Capgemini and the Ryder Cup

Our partnership with the prestigious Ryder Cup reflects our focus on building and celebrating talent, team spirit, and high performance.