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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1 Comment

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One response to “WHY JHONNY VEGAS IS JUST ALEX PRUGH WITH A COOLER NAME

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