Going forward I want to use these preview posts more to look into certain things that could affect value on a given week, rather than just randomly selecting players and writing about them (though I will continue with some of that) I have a few ideas of my own for “research projects” but if you have anything you would like to see, please feel free to send them along.
If you listen to the MSM, you would come away with the obvious opinion that majors matter more. Why this is, no one knows. According to Curtis Strange and people like him, majors take an extra amount of preparation, and are more mentally challenging than a regular tournament. That seems like a load of garbage to me, but traveling across the ocean one week, then back the next week, could definitely impact someone’s ability to play golf.
To look at this I compared the British Open and Canadian Open(as well as US Bank Champ w/Canadian Open (SSS, I know)) over the past two years. What I got was hardly conclusive.
|open avg||canadian av||2 yr total avg|
|us bank av||canadian av||2 yr total avg|
As you can see performance varies very little from the Open Championship to the Canadian Open. Considering that players who had played in both tournaments averaged around 78 rounds per year in each, that’s not a huge sample size and any difference is most likely random noise. What is interesting is that players from 2 years in each of these tournaments underperformed their 2-year averages. That’s not as terrible as it sounds (in ~78 tournaments, underperfoming that much would be in the 33rd of so percentile of performace), but it is still lower.
There was a much bigger sample size from the US Bank Championship to the RBC Canadian Open. There were about 4-5 times as many similar rounds as there were with the Open Championship. Once again, players played worse in the Canadian Open then they did the week before. The differences between the performances were smaller, but possibly more meaningful when comparing around 300 rounds. Then again, players who played in Reno-Tahoe this year will be traveling from a different location to a new venue at the Canadian Open, so who knows how much to read into this.
The crazy thing is, players playing both tournaments played below their two year averages. I’m not sure why this is and there are tons of conclusions you could draw. First and foremost, you have to consider this a small sample size.
Secondly, it might tell us more about the type of players who play in each events. Maybe playing in back-to-back weeks is the disadvantage and there are certain types of players who play in each event. The really good players obviously skip Canada after playing the British for the most part. Good and Moderate players might go to Canada, but would be less likely to play in the British Open(especially US Tour based moderately good players) or in the horrible fielded secondary event. Then the generally below average players fill out the field in the secondary event and have a disadvantage against a portion of players who are better, but not good enough to play the Open and took a week off.
I back tested this and players who didn’t play in either the British Open or the US Bank Championship and did play in the Canadian Open. While it did show a difference in quality of players (-.15 average for Open and Canadian both, around average for just Canadian, and .12 average for US Bank and Canadian Open in back-to-back weeks) there results were quite mixed as well.
In the end, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t downgrade anyone who played last week in one tournament over the other, I might consider a small advantage for players who took the week off. But, if that’s your reason for liking a player it’s definitely not enough.
600 words is enough, so here are the top 25 players from each of the tournaments:
RBC CANADIAN OPEN
|Fredrik Andersson Hed||0.068||94||1.055||1.6189%||6077|