BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD: OVERRATED

This could get dangerous. I’m basing this almost strictly off my numbers, which are by no means perfect and there are certainly some problems are problems with doing this. I don’t ever use strictly my numbers because there are too many question marks in my opinion. Remember, they only account for overall strength of a player, without current or course form(whatever they might be worth), 1-year is a completely arbitrary time frame I chose, and I still have no idea how important or predictive a players standard deviation is. So, take this for what it is worth.

Tiger Woods
:
Well, Maybe. For what’s it worth, My numbers have Tiger Woods at his current 5dimes price of +180 as the most -EV pick in the field. The problem is that only includes Tiger’s last year, much of which includes his (relatively) slow and probably injury influenced start to this season.

The question is, what is Tiger’s actual level of play. On one hand, his game certainly seems to be coming around in the past few weeks, particularly on the ball striking front. On the other hand, his putting has been phenomenal the past two weeks. Tiger is certainly the best putter, particularly when it matters inside 10 feet, but I really think he is going on an unreasonable pace the past two weeks. Get him on some greens that he hasn’t played 10 times throughout his career and we will see if he keeps reading all the putts right.

Moral of the story, here are the three possible projections for Tiger, and he probably falls somewhere in between:

Yearly: 25.7%, +290, -.09 EV
2-Yr Avg: 35.4%, +183, -.00 EV
2008 Max: 43.4%, +130, +.07 EV

I should also add, that over the past 4 years, Tiger has won over 40% of the tournaments he has entered. Now not all of those are against a strong field like this, but 33-35% does not seem unreasonable to me.

Unfortunately, that leaves me just as confused as I was before coming into this tournament. Like I’ve said before, I’m not touching Tiger with a 40-foot pole, but I’m not too keen to fade him either with what is out there(NOT win, Padraig, Phil). If I could make up a Hunter Mahan +450 v. Tiger match-up, I’d probably take that.

Lee Westwood:
Westwood has not been as good this year as he was last, so I don’t want to call him entirely overrated. That being said, high finishes recently plus the fact that he seems to be a major cry baby don’t count in Lee’s favor.

Padraig Harrington:
I really hate to keep somewhat defending these guys, because on the whole they are overrated, but Padraig has been working on his game and was much better last season.

I’m not conceding that one good week means he is back after he missed 5-cuts IN A ROW this season. Also, even at his best from last year, Paddy was not as good as some other guys on Tour. His z-score from last year would put him in the 10 to 20th best player in the world range. So, I’m saying overrated.

Stewart Cink:
Again, Cink was better last year, so it is entirely possible that he is somewhat undervalued by my numbers. However, as the last major champion and with several good finishes since, you aren’t surprising Vegas anymore by taking Cink.

Geoff Ogilvy:
Back when I was on the Geoff Ogilvy bandwagon during the Asian/Australian stretch of the European Tour I expected him to be in the range where he is now (10-20 in the world). Of course, after I got off, he won twice and played about how I expected he should. Ogilvy is a good player with a one dimensional high ball long ball flight(shouldn’t be too bad at Hazeltine), but 45-1 is a pretty steep price.

Phil Mickelson:
Uh, NO. Phil is the token golfer for idiot sports fans and will probably be the most popular player in the field. Coming off his break from the Tour, I know there will be people willing to back him just for the “story.” Not me. Overrated.

Angel Cabrera:
Angel Cabrera really has two majors? Are we sure? Can we take this back? He has a streaky game, but lacks consistency. 60-1 seems like it is too much.

Retief Goosen:
I’m incredibly pissed at Jim Furyk for last week. By the time the tournament started he had moved from -110 to -125 and went off at -130 against Retief in each of the next two rounds. Of course, Jim lost by a considerable margin. Is that going to stop me, Nope. I already have my sights set on another Retief match-up provided the Greek releases it where I think they will.

Ian Poulter:
I don’t know what this means but Ian Poulter was claiming on twitter all week that he was hitting the ball awful at Firestone. Poulter is very good, but I think his goofy clothes speak louder than his performance on the course.

Not surprisingly, for the most part these guys make up my fade list. Back tomorrow, with more breakdowns.

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