Monthly Archives: January 2011

WHY JHONNY VEGAS IS JUST ALEX PRUGH WITH A COOLER NAME

If you listened to the CBS announcers, you would have thought that every shot was “well played” and Jhonny Vegas is the second coming of Tiger.

That’s probably not true.

Vegas, in his previous work on the Nationwide Tour was basically an average PGA Tour Pro. That’s good for the Nationwide Tour, but he’s nothing special on the big tour.

That is, until the last two weeks.

Vegas has an impressive 2011 campaign so far, where he has played to around the Stricker, Mickelson, Furyk level through three events. Of course, that’s only three events.

Overall, history has proven that players that are basically average tend to stay average. Here’s a nice chart to prove that:

 

Between -.05 and .05

Less than -.2 next year

Pct.

2005

57

8

14.04%

2006

68

7

10.29%

2007

70

4

5.71%

2008

88

6

6.82%

2009

55

3

5.45%

 

338

28

8.28%

-.2 historically correlates with around 75 in my rankings. So, there is basically only an 8% chance that Vegas will actually turn out to be a really good player, though I think you can project him to be a little above average this season.

A Lot of those players who jumped back up also had one bad season that made them around average. In that time span, I found Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson as the only two players to make meaningful and seemingly lasting improvements from basically average to better than -.2 and kept it up.

Dustin Johnson absolutely was awful when he first came out, then average his second season, and a lot better his third. Wonder why that is?

As for hot starts to the season, let’s take Alex Prugh last year who had three straight top-tens coming off the Nationwide Tour. On a longer sample he is around average, but he opened up 2010 with a ranking of -.62 in his first four events. After that, He was +.06 for the rest of the season. Here’s a list of players with hot starts on the PGA Tour in the last two years and how they followed it up for the rest of the season:

Player

Year

Before Riv.

After

2 year

5 year

Charlie Wi

2009

-0.749

-0.201

-0.198

-0.194

Luke List

2009

-0.718

0.160

0.248

0.291

Tim Herron

2009

-0.690

-0.063

0.035

-0.070

Matt Kuchar

2009

-0.680

-0.440

-0.570

-0.328

Sergio Garcia

2009

-0.667

-0.382

-0.258

-0.493

Steve Webster

2009

-0.658

0.142

0.033

0.016

Davis Love III

2009

-0.630

-0.256

-0.188

-0.218

Kent Jones

2009

-0.622

0.175

0.109

0.011

Damien McGrane

2009

-0.620

0.891

-0.024

-0.039

Carl Pettersson

2009

-0.614

0.232

-0.039

-0.206

Charley Hoffman

2009

-0.534

-0.164

-0.244

-0.194

Tag Ridings

2009

-0.533

-0.038

-0.065

0.013

Roland Thatcher

2009

-0.520

0.170

0.216

0.093

Dean Wilson

2009

-0.507

0.087

-0.049

-0.154

Shingo Katayama

2009

-0.503

0.045

-0.038

0.060

Steve Stricker

2010

-1.006

-0.623

-0.725

-0.645

Retief Goosen

2010

-0.817

-0.528

-0.496

-0.453

Robert Allenby

2010

-0.815

-0.403

-0.390

-0.451

J.B. Holmes

2010

-0.788

-0.377

-0.241

-0.145

Ernie Els

2010

-0.765

-0.535

-0.437

-0.559

Kenny Perry

2010

-0.716

-0.181

-0.348

-0.338

Brandt Snedeker

2010

-0.703

-0.227

-0.269

-0.221

Alex Prugh

2010

-0.680

0.061

0.015

0.018

Tim Clark

2010

-0.670

-0.331

-0.409

-0.398

Marc Leishman

2010

-0.661

-0.042

-0.107

-0.073

Matt Kuchar

2010

-0.610

-0.638

-0.570

-0.328

Jim Furyk

2010

-0.594

-0.509

-0.577

-0.673

Michael Allen

2010

-0.591

0.278

-0.072

-0.097

Kevin Sutherland

2010

-0.587

-0.111

-0.244

-0.232

Tom Lehman

2010

-0.585

-0.259

-0.199

-0.168

Dustin Johnson

2010

-0.569

-0.484

-0.466

-0.271

John Rollins

2010

-0.550

-0.050

-0.084

-0.163

Davis Love III

2010

-0.516

-0.069

-0.188

-0.218

Jason Bohn

2010

-0.514

-0.098

-0.114

-0.200

AVERAGE

 

-0.646

-0.140

-0.204

-0.207

Actually, players that started off really well, played below their 2-year and 5-year averages. I would guess part of that is because these players tend to be a little older, and part of that is because one small streak of good play skews the average up. Interestingly Vegas had gone from about average to -.07 after the Hope, which is basically the difference.

And, that’s why I’m not on the Jhonny Vegas bandwagon just yet.

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FINAL ROUND LIVE ODDS: FARMERS INSURACE OPEN

Live Odds refreshed throughout the day:

Updated

6:01:28 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

81.60%

17

Phil Mickelson

3.90%

16

Jhonattan Vegas

14.40%

17

 

Updated

5:41:06 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

72.10%

16

Phil Mickelson

6.40%

15

Jhonattan Vegas

20.60%

16

Dustin Johnson

0.20%

17

 

Updated

5:25:07 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

68.00%

15

Phil Mickelson

9.90%

14

Jhonattan Vegas

20.70%

15

Dustin Johnson

0.50%

17

 

Updated

5:10:28 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

56.40%

14

Phil Mickelson

25.40%

13

Jhonattan Vegas

16.70%

14

 

Updated

4:45:12 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

52.00%

11

Phil Mickelson

30.30%

11

Jhonattan Vegas

9.20%

11

Dustin Johnson

2.80%

13

Bill Haas

2.50%

11

Nick Watney*

0.10%

15

D.A. Points

0.80%

12

Anthony Kim

1.00%

11

Hunter Mahan

1.20%

11

 

Updated

3:58:28 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Jhonattan Vegas

16.80%

9

Bubba Watson

26.40%

8

Dustin Johnson

9.40%

10

D.A. Points

6.50%

10

Hunter Mahan

13.70%

8

Phil Mickelson

17.10%

8

Anthony Kim

4.70%

8

Bill Haas

5.10%

8

 

Updated

3:22:21 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

39.20%

6

Anthony Kim

10.20%

6

Jhonattan Vegas

8.10%

6

Hunter Mahan

13.20%

6

Phil Mickelson

15.20%

6

Dustin Johnson

5.30%

8

D.A. Points

3.90%

7

Bill Haas

4.10%

6

Nick Watney*

0.60%

10

 

Updated

2:40:39 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bubba Watson

28.90%

4

Phil Mickelson

31.60%

4

Jhonattan Vegas

11.00%

4

Anthony Kim

5.80%

4

Bill Haas

8.40%

4

Hunter Mahan

7.00%

4

Dustin Johnson

5.20%

5

Nick Watney*

0.80%

8

D.A. Points

0.90%

5

 

Updated

2:00:41 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Phil Mickelson

38.70%

1

Bubba Watson

16.40%

2

Bill Haas

18.70%

1

Anthony Kim

9.00%

2

Jhonattan Vegas

6.40%

2

Hunter Mahan

4.90%

1

Dustin Johnson

2.40%

3

D.A. Points

1.00%

3

Kevin Sutherland

0.80%

3

Pat Perez

0.30%

5

Fredrik Jacobson

0.60%

3

Justin Rose*

0.00%

9

Troy Matteson

0.00%

8

Tom Gillis

0.00%

6

Nick Watney*

0.10%

5

Jimmy Walker

0.30%

4

Billy Mayfair

0.10%

4

 

Updated

1:02:14 PM

1000 sims

Player

Pct

Thru

Bill Haas

23.30%

Phil Mickelson

31.00%

Bubba Watson

15.30%

Hunter Mahan

15.90%

Anthony Kim

7.30%

Jhonattan Vegas

3.20%

Rickie Fowler

0.70%

Fredrik Jacobson

0.10%

Dustin Johnson

0.90%

D.A. Points

0.10%

Brandt Snedeker

0.70%

Kevin Sutherland

0.30%

Troy Matteson

0.10%

4

Tom Gillis

0.00%

2

Pat Perez

0.00%

2

Blake Adams

0.60%

Marc Leishman

0.10%

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2011 Farmers Insurance Open True Leaderboard

Unlike anyone in the media, I dusted off my calculator for a true Farmers Insurance Open Leaderboard.

Calculated on standardize scores from the course today, then converted back to the South average.

aRank and aScore are actual score and rank from today. Cz is the course z-score. Then adjusted is based on South average.

aRank

Player (Course)

aScore

Cz

Adj

Adj rank

1

Sunghoon Kang (NC)

64

-2.31

65.55

1

T2

Alex Prugh (NC)

65

-1.98

66.58

2

T2

Rickie Fowler (NC)

65

-1.98

66.58

2

T5

John Daly (SC)

67

-1.84

67.01

4

T5

Fabian Gomez (SC)

67

-1.84

67.01

4

T5

Phil Mickelson (SC)

67

-1.84

67.01

4

4

Chris Kirk (NC)

66

-1.65

67.61

7

T15

Matt Jones (SC)

68

-1.52

68.01

8

T15

Paul Stankowski (SC)

68

-1.52

68.01

8

T5

Brandt Jobe (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T5

Bill Haas (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T5

Keegan Bradley (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T5

Ryuji Imada (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T5

Fredrik Jacobson (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T5

Y.E. Yang (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T5

Marc Leishman (NC)

67

-1.32

68.64

10

T22

Kevin Sutherland (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T22

Hunter Mahan (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T22

Brian Davis (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T22

Michael Thompson (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T22

Jamie Lovemark (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T22

Kevin Streelman (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T22

Dustin Johnson (SC)

69

-1.20

69.01

17

T15

Anthony Kim (NC)

68

-0.98

69.67

24

If I thought that one round of golf mattered, I’d brag about possibly being the only person in the world to mention Fabian Gomez in a preview of this tournament. But, since it doesn’t and experience has taught me regression to the mean always wins, I’d say he fades over the next three days.

Haven’t really looked at any prices, but I’d guess Fowler is overrated and you won’t find a bargain on the merits of different courses unless it was one pre-tournament (Gomez). I have Kang as now well above average in 22 rounds, for whatever that is worth, and he appeared to speak better English than Jim Gray today.

EUROPE

Don’t feel like adjusting my stuff, so no live odds in America until Saturday, but here’s Europe:

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Paul Casey*

13.08%

665

545

$0.84

Francesco Molinari

12.51%

699

470

$0.71

Peter Hanson*

8.23%

1115

1500

$1.32

Johan Edfors*

6.89%

1351

2200

$1.58

Sergio Garcia*

5.15%

1844

2500

$1.34

Alvaro Quiros*

4.49%

2127

1600

$0.76

Richard Green*

4.19%

2289

2700

$1.17

Matteo Manassero*

3.50%

2761

1800

$0.66

Edoardo Molinari

3.30%

2935

3200

$1.09

Miguel Angel Jimenez*

3.12%

3105

2800

$0.90

Jeev Milkha Singh*

2.88%

3372

5500

$1.61

Padraig Harrington

2.50%

3908

2700

$0.70

Graeme Storm

2.14%

4573

5500

$1.20

Alexander Noren

2.01%

4875

3400

$0.70

Anders Hansen

1.93%

5095

3200

$0.64

Raphael Jacquelin

1.53%

6436

8500

$1.32

Peter Lawrie

1.49%

6634

9000

$1.35

Robert Karlsson*

1.48%

6680

2700

$0.41

Thongchai Jaidee

1.47%

6726

8500

$1.26

I think Sergio Garcia is a real bargain at this price. I have 2002-2009 to prove that he is really good, and 2010 to prove that he is mediocre. I like that. I’m starting to suspect that one fluke year is just one fluke year, and if Sergio is fully back at 2009 play, this is a steal.

 

 

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2011 FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Tiger Woods

29.95%

234

265

$1.09

Phil Mickelson

3.54%

2729

1950

$0.72

Nick Watney

3.13%

3100

2100

$0.69

Hunter Mahan

2.41%

4049

4800

$1.18

Dustin Johnson

2.31%

4229

2100

$0.51

Robert Allenby

2.05%

4778

8000

$1.66

Kenny Perry

1.70%

5782

25000

$4.27

Kevin Na

1.65%

5979

9000

$1.50

Ben Crane

1.56%

6310

4600

$0.73

Justin Rose

1.55%

6372

4400

$0.70

Lucas Glover

1.48%

6657

9500

$1.42

Bo Van Pelt

1.45%

6797

#N/A

#N/A

Steve Marino

1.45%

6820

12000

$1.75

Stewart Cink

1.43%

6918

12000

$1.72

Bubba Watson

1.41%

7017

9500

$1.35

Bill Haas

1.35%

7335

3600

$0.50

Camilo Villegas

1.25%

7900

6500

$0.83

Angel Cabrera

1.21%

8199

19000

$2.30

K.J. Choi

1.20%

8233

8000

$0.97

Charles Howell III

1.16%

8558

2800

$0.33

 

Tiger Woods

Apparently, he’s back.

This projection for Tiger means books/people/market think Tiger’s 2010 season didn’t happen.

Actually, if you look at 2006-2010, and you assume that Tiger is 100% back that projection is a little low.

From what I can tell, the vast majority of proof seems to side with Tiger’s personal issues causing one fluke season. There shouldn’t be any reason he can’t return to that level if he wants to.

However, I’m a little concerned that it’s too soon. At his last appearance in the Chevron World Challenge, I had the fair price level between -.9 and -.95. Now, it’s about -1.1. To be honest, I have no idea what(/who) Tiger has done in the last month, but that seems a bit aggressive. It’s worth noting that the books estimate of Tiger last year was probably more accurate than mine, so I’m okay with -1.1.

The point is, Tiger’s actual skill level could fall anywhere from -.9 to -1.2+ this week. Feel free to make your own guess.

Contenders

Kenny Perry: Perry, on straight average, ranks as one of the best bargains in the field. I’m not sure that’s the case. Looking at his history, you have one obvious out-lying season at age 47/48 in an otherwise slow decline from a great player in his early 40s. I don’t think at this point in his career it’s reasonable to expect a return to 2009 form. That means 2010, or slightly lower, is probably a pretty good estimation of his skills. I think that reasonably puts him in the 140-180-1 range to win this week. Maybe slight value over the actual line, but not as much as the rankings suggest.

Hunter Mahan: Mahan had a great 2009, then fell back to 2007-2008 levels last season. Which was more meaningful? I’m not sure. I have slight value on Mahan, but it’s close either way.

Kevin Na: Na is in the same boat as Mahan. There is probably some improvement in his game, but it might be out-weighed by a 2009 season that looks to be an outlier. Could be slight value in 75-1, maybe.

Pretenders

Rickie Fowler: Rickie should really thank his PR guy, because I’m not sure why he gets as much good press as he does for his performance on tour so far. He stands out with his level of play for a young guy, but not quite as much when you compare it to the rest of the Tour. Last time I checked, there are 149+ other players here this week. Rickie has a few close calls, but he has been a little inconsistent and let’s remember every hole counts the same, whether you’re in third or 89th or whether Peter Kostis is drooling over your slow-mo swing.

Phil Mickelson: Phil has a lesser price against a stronger field this week. Part of this is probably performance based, since he is one of the few players with enough rounds who actually performs worse on the European Tour than the PGA Tour. Still, Phil could be good, and probably higher than the rankings I have due to personal situations in the last few years, but I don’t see a lot of upside. Also, he seems to get some credit for “growing up on Torrey Pines,” but I can’t remember his performance being particularly noteworthy there.

Dustin Johnson: Basically the same point I have with McIlroy. You can see the talent there, but I can’t see him growing into it overnight.

Darkhorses

Kevin Chappell: Rookies on the PGA Tour seem to be pretty underrated this week. Part of that is probably with good reason as the recent trend seems to be that most players have a career year to get to the PGA Tour through the NW Tour then regress on their first year out. Still, I think there are players to cherry pick that could have enough upside to make it worth it. One is Chappell, who has consistently been around PGA average for the past three years. Chappell had a solid college career, comparable with Rickie Fowler in the Sagarin rankings in his last season. He probably projects to about an average PGA player or slightly better, which means he wins here around 1 in 300 tries.

Bryce Molder: Molder probably played over his head in 2010, but did have a solid potential before that. I think it’s probably reasonable to expect his game to fall around the same level as Kenny Perry, which means there may be slight value in 175-1.

Stephen Ames: Ames is another star that could be value for this week. From 2006-2009, he played at a very consistent level, and picked up two wins. Last season, he fell far below that. Based on his play last season that 175-1 is pretty fair, but I think even with his age he should project to around the -.28 to -.25 on average. That puts the fair price around 100-1 to 125-1.

Tom Gillis: Gillis was great value last year as he kept up his level of play from the previous two years, on the PGA Tour for the first time in a while. Gillis probably doesn’t have a lot of upside in his mid-forties and his game isn’t really noteworthy, but if you ignore the 136th place finish in his first start this year I think he is more in the 150-1 to 175-1 area to win this week.

LONGGGGGshots

Rookies: Don’t know much about them, but Fabian Gomez, James Driscoll, William McGirt and a host of other PGA Tour new faces at 1000-1 week, could be worth a shot. Of course, they probably won’t end up winning (or get mentioned), but may finish inside the top-25 if you’d like to follow on shot-tracker.

Scott McCarron: Heard the name before, but haven’t really noticed him much. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think he is an average PGA Pro based on his play the last three years. I’m sure a closing 78 at the Bob Hope doesn’t help his cause in many people’s opinions, but, whatever that’s just one round. Could be worth a shot if he has a career week like some guy named Rocco did here 3 years ago.

Blake Adams: Blake Adams had a great year in 2009 on the Nationwide Tour, where he would have been well above the PGA Tour average. In 2010, on the PGA Tour, he regressed back to essentially and average golfer. At age 35, he should be at the top of his game, and I’m willing to say that an average PGA Tour golfer wins this week more than 1 in every 650 tries. Adams posted a 63rd place finish here last year largely because of a third-round 77. If random Anthony Wall, can finish t-11 in Abu Dhabi maybe Adams can throw together a good week in San Diego.

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Kenny Perry

1.70%

5782

25000

$4.27

Stephen Ames

1.06%

9334

26000

$2.77

J.J. Henry

0.54%

18592

50000

$2.68

Brandt Jobe

0.43%

23429

62000

$2.64

Ben Curtis

0.65%

15285

40000

$2.61

Chad Collins

0.50%

20102

49000

$2.43

Pat Perez

0.69%

14393

35000

$2.42

Angel Cabrera

1.21%

8199

19000

$2.30

William McGirt

0.23%

44344

100000

$2.25

Blake Adams

0.34%

29751

67000

$2.25

Tom Gillis

0.63%

15773

33000

$2.09

Matchups to Watch:

Player

Opponent

Wins

Ties

Implied

Odds

Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson

78.57%

3.38%

81.31%

-435

Hunter Mahan

Ryuji Imada

66.40%

4.07%

69.21%

-225

Bubba Watson

J.B. Holmes

51.36%

4.48%

53.77%

-116

Kenny Perry

Vijay Singh

53.19%

4.28%

55.57%

-125

Robert Allenby

Ben Crane

51.04%

4.61%

53.50%

-115

Tiger Woods

Dustin Johnson

81.56%

3.33%

84.36%

-540

Nick Watney

Rickie Fowler

59.39%

4.49%

62.18%

-164

Anthony Kim

Justin Rose

43.21%

4.64%

45.31%

121

Gary Woodland

Jhonattan Vegas

37.35%

5.05%

39.33%

154

Mike Weir

Bill Lunde

57.75%

4.59%

60.53%

-153

European Tour:

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Paul Casey

9.90%

910

700

$0.79

Francesco Molinari

6.65%

1404

1100

$0.80

Padraig Harrington

6.00%

1567

1100

$0.72

Ian Poulter

5.39%

1755

1100

$0.65

Peter Hanson

3.57%

2701

3300

$1.21

Edoardo Molinari

3.53%

2733

4000

$1.45

Sergio Garcia

3.38%

2859

3000

$1.05

Miguel Angel Jimenez

2.80%

3471

2200

$0.64

Alvaro Quiros

2.65%

3674

2200

$0.61

Robert Karlsson

2.62%

3717

1050

$0.30

Richard Green

2.44%

3998

4500

$1.12

Soren Kjeldsen

2.04%

4802

7500

$1.55

Gonzalo Fernandez-Casta

1.97%

4976

10000

$1.99

Matteo Manassero

1.94%

5055

2200

$0.45

Soren Hansen

1.89%

5191

8000

$1.53

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IS MARTIN KAYMER REALLY THE NO. 2 GOLFER IN THE WORLD?

That really depends on your criteria.

Has Martin Kaymer been the second best player in the world since the PGA Championship?

No, He’s actually been the best. (Here is the top-10):

Martin Kaymer

-0.88278

32

Lee Westwood

-0.80399

20

Paul Casey

-0.78899

32

Steve Stricker

-0.75241

28

Graeme McDowell

-0.73393

42

Matt Kuchar

-0.67803

37

Tiger Woods

-0.65715

28

Jason Day

-0.64852

24

Rory McIlroy

-0.60657

40

Luke Donald

-0.59762

30

The problem, of course, is that a reliable time frame?

And that answer would appear to be no. Consider that this is a list of the top-5 golfers over a five year stretch from 2010-2006.

Player

Z-score

Rds

Tiger Woods

-1.09043

265

Jim Furyk

-0.67335

417

Phil Mickelson

-0.65223

379

Steve Stricker

-0.64483

365

Ernie Els

-0.55861

450

So Kaymer is almost certainly playing at an unsustainable level.

But, let’s not confuse that with not good. Kaymer is young, and so far has showed a pretty consistent arc to improvement. At 25, Kaymer’s game is at a level that is better than any of his peers. If you had to project him somewhere on that five-year list, I’d say right now his game probably falls above Els. With Furyk, Mickelson and Stricker aging, that means Kaymer is certainly in the discussion for the current No. 2, but it is by no means clear-cut. You would probably have to include players like Paul Casey and Lee Westwood, in that discussion as well.

The point is, Kaymer is a very promising young player, and appears to be on his way up, but don’t expect him to keep up this current level of play.

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ROUND 3: 2011 ABU DHABI HSBC GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

I’m not sure how I could be so far off Kaymer, etc. before the tournament and right on now:

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Martin Kaymer

54.43%

-119

-140

$0.93

Charl Schwartzel

13.29%

652

660

$1.01

Graeme McDowell

10.60%

843

645

$0.79

Rory McIlroy

4.03%

2381

1650

$0.71

David Lynn

1.96%

5002

6500

$1.29

Soren Kjeldsen

1.62%

6073

4000

$0.66

Niclas Fasth

1.48%

6657

6500

$0.98

Gareth Maybin

1.24%

7965

6500

$0.82

Richard Green

1.02%

9704

6500

$0.67

Phil Mickelson

0.79%

12558

8000

$0.64

Retief Goosen

0.74%

13414

10000

$0.75

Ignacio Garrido

0.69%

14393

10000

$0.70

Rafa Echenique

0.65%

15285

6500

$0.43

Joost Luiten

0.58%

17141

8000

$0.47

Alexander Noren

0.55%

18082

8000

$0.45

Ross Fisher

0.51%

19508

10000

$0.52

I’m not sure there is much here, which is unfortunate because I was considering how to arm chair referee to my benefit this weekend.

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2011 ABU DHABI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Player

total wins

odds

vegas

winning

Lee Westwood

8.59%

1065

800

$0.77

Paul Casey

6.57%

1423

1400

$0.98

Martin Kaymer

5.63%

1676

700

$0.45

Phil Mickelson

5.28%

1795

2200

$1.21

Rory McIlroy

4.66%

2047

1000

$0.51

Retief Goosen

4.61%

2068

4500

$2.12

Graeme McDowell

3.91%

2458

1400

$0.59

Padraig Harrington

3.74%

2573

4500

$1.72

Francesco Molinari

3.72%

2591

2200

$0.85

Ian Poulter

3.53%

2737

1500

$0.56

Charl Schwartzel

2.72%

3574

3300

$0.93

Ross Fisher

2.13%

4590

4000

$0.87

Peter Hanson

2.11%

4635

4000

$0.87

Edoardo Molinari

1.94%

5063

6600

$1.30

Louis Oosthuizen

1.79%

5499

1800

$0.34

Miguel Angel Jimenez

1.49%

6620

7500

$1.13

Alvaro Quiros

1.45%

6778

4200

$0.63

Richard Green

1.34%

7357

12500

$1.69

Simon Dyson

1.21%

8192

18500

$2.24

Soren Hansen

1.21%

8199

12500

$1.52

Thongchai Jaidee

1.18%

8367

10000

$1.19

Soren Kjeldsen

1.14%

8649

30000

$3.44

Gonzalo Fernandez-Casta

1.05%

9406

25000

$2.64

Matteo Manassero

1.04%

9543

6600

$0.69

 

Pretenders:

Europe: There seems to be a group of European players that everyone is giving super powers to right now. I’m not sure where this is coming from, but they aren’t this good. Hopefully 2011, will support that opinion.

Youth: Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy are two of the games’ brightest stars. They aren’t magicians, though. Neither one of them has ever played at a high enough level to be at this price.

Major winners: Looking at you Uzi.

Contenders:

Retief Goosen: Goosen is coming off a pretty dismal week by missing the cut at the Africa Open in his last outing. That’s really not good for a world-class player. Goosen is coming off two pretty solid seasons, though he is clearly a step down since 2004, when he was a top-5 player in the world. He’s more like top-15 now, and on his way down, but not that far down. Who exactly is better than him in this field: Westwood, Phil, Rory, Kaymer and Casey. I think that’s it. In his only appearance at Abu Dhabi GC, the Goose took home a

Phil Mickelson: Will Phil Mickelson actually give a crap this week? Hard to say, but if he does he is either the best or second best player in the field, depending on how you look at Westwood’s 2010. Over the past two years, Phil has dropped his level of play down to Goosen, but there seem to be a lot of good reasons for that with his family issues. At every tournament in America, you get odds like that is the case. This week, there is a very fair price. For Phil, this is the first appearance in the Abu Dhabi Championship and I’d be interested to see how he has fared in Euro Tour events over his career.

Darkhorses:

Gonzalo-Fernandez Castano: I’m guessing a less than stellar history at Abu Dhabi accounts for this price. GFC, at the very least, is a solid player ranked inside the top-100 of the world. He’s even on a bit of a roll going back to last year.

Soren Kjeldsen: Kjeldsen is coming off a down year – still better than PGA average – after four solid years before that. Kjeldsen is consistently forgotten for some reason, and I think that is the case here.

Shot in the dark:

Anthony Wall: Can’t say I’ve heard much about Wall, but he’s had a moderate amount of success over the past few years. Last year was not as good for him, but he’s only 34 and finished 4th here two years ago, so who knows?

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