2011 WGC CADILLAC CHAMP AT DORAL

Note: I banged this out off the opening odds, and they changed. I’m not changing the post. I’ll answer questions on other players and prices in the comments section.

CONTENDERS

Jim Furyk: What a first round loss in the WGC Match Play is supposed to discourage me here. Furyk had one of his luckiest seasons in 2010, in terms of wins, but on a round-for-round basis it was actually a down year. Looking at the big picture, there is no reason in his early forties that Furyk’s slow start is any predictor of an overall decline. Now, it is possible, that Furyk took his $10 million check and celebrated this offseason (though I think it’s an annuity) and that is the reason behind his slow start. In cases like this, I’ve found the market is usually a better predictor than me. To get an idea, I’ve started to record ROI and how players fare with certain ROI’s. Furyk is -.29 better than this field, with an ROI of $1.69. In just two tournaments on the PGA Tour (SSS!) similar players have averaged around -.2 better than average and include Robert Allenby and Ryan Moore’s T4 at the Northern Trust Open. The larger picture, suggests players with value do regress back towards the Vegas line (Shocker!), but not nearly enough to make Furyk a bad pick, all other things considered. Furyk also has three top four finishes here in the last five tries.

Tiger Woods: It’s basically meaningless to run the same kind of comparison on Tiger Woods. He is pretty much a unique case at this point only comparable with himself and since I only have the Honda, Northern Trust and Avantha Masters recorded you’re out of luck. Personally, I think Tiger should be around -.9 and I’ve thought that basically since the Chevron, although his start to the season has been pretty bad in eight stroke play rounds. Aside from the bad drive on the 19th in Arizona (I assume he won’t find too many cacti at Doral) I thought his ball-striking was pretty good down the stretch. Scouting him, I would say his pitching, where Tiger usually had a large advantage on the field was terrible. I’m not sure that means anything, though.

Retief Goosen: I’m really shocked that you can still find nice prices on Retief Goosen. Goosen is No. 20 in the world just on rounds played in 2011, and unlike some players (cough, cough…Graeme McDowell, Nick Watney) it actually seems to be a reasonable average and a sustainable level. Again, based on the line, I think you could expect Goosen to maybe not be as good as my rankings suggest, but you could also draw reasonable comparisons to Moore and Allenby again. Possibly the best comparison might be Justin Leonard last week who went off at $2.05 by my rankings, played above average and finished T17. However, it’s probably smarter to assume he is not as good as my rankings suggest, but I don’t see any way he is THAT much worse.

PRETENDERS

Martin Kaymer: Okay, so Kaymer is the No. 1 player in the world. Is he this good? Probably not. Only a handful of golfers have been able to match Kaymer’s level in the short run over a two year period. Only Tiger Woods, has played well enough over an extended period of time to warrant this price against this field. Is Kaymer that good? It’s doubtful. I have Kaymer at about the same level as Jim Furyk this week. He’s playing well recently and has upside, but it’s not worth this much. By my admitted estimation, even if you make some adjustments to Kaymer you can make him the second best player in the field currently, but 18-1 sounds way more fair than 8-1. Keep in mind, this is a really good field and Kaymer has not proved over any length of time that there is any reason to separate him from the group of Westwood, Stricker, Furyk, Kuchar and Casey.

Graeme McDowell: Sometimes, like in Kaymer’s case, I agree with adding to a player’s rating. I really can’t see it in McDowell’s case. Sure he should be entering the prime of his career, but his 2010 was so far above what he previously posted, that it’s hard to believe that there wasn’t some good variance in there. In three tournaments, he’s been tiger-like in 2011. I do not expect this to continue. Not surprisingly, his odds are comparable to the likes of Rickie Fowler, Vijay Singh and J.B. Holmes in PGA Tournaments this year. That group has basically played to average in 16 rounds. The larger picture suggests, maybe to factor in some kind of bonus for good recent play, but (a) it’s not enough to make Graeme close to 15-1 and (b) I don’t see any reason why it is fair in his case.

Phil Mickelson: I think the recent rise of the “European Dominance” has actually shifted the insane public perception around Phil to somewhat near his actual level of play. It is certainly reflected in the OWGR’s. Phil has historically played pretty well at Doral, but I think that just puts him into the next group behind Tiger. Straight up, I have him at 33-1, I think you’re safe saying he is more in the 20-1 to win this week, but I really see no evidence yet that it should be lower.

MATCHUPS:

I tried to use some adjustments for these. Obviously, I’m working with a pretty small sample size, so I’m not sure how I did.

Player

Opponent

Wins

Ties

Implied

Odds

Tiger Woods

Martin Kaymer

56.73%

5.04%

59.74%

-148

Paul Casey

Graeme McDowell

49.24%

4.80%

51.73%

-107

Nick Watney

Luke Donald

47.65%

5.07%

50.19%

-101

Lee Westwood

Steve Stricker

58.17%

4.51%

60.91%

-156

Jim Furyk

Geoff Ogilvy

50.25%

5.05%

52.92%

-112

Dustin Johnson

Ian Poulter

47.92%

5.21%

50.55%

-102

Hunter Mahan

Bill Haas

51.18%

4.77%

53.74%

-116

Ben Crane

Rory Sabbatini

50.72%

4.80%

53.28%

-114

Retief Goosen

Ernie Els

47.20%

5.12%

49.74%

101

Justin Rose

Jason Day

49.91%

4.76%

52.41%

-110

Padraig Harrington

Ryan Moore

49.63%

4.93%

52.20%

-109

Mark Wilson

Ryan Palmer

49.34%

4.80%

51.83%

-108

Peter Hanson

Anders Hansen

54.97%

4.86%

57.78%

-137

Camilo Villegas

Bo Van Pelt

53.44%

5.05%

56.28%

-129

Seung-Yul Noh

Ryo Ishikawa

48.94%

4.66%

51.33%

-105

Phil Mickelson

Graeme McDowell

48.04%

5.04%

50.59%

-102

Ross Fisher

Jhonattan Vegas

55.99%

4.88%

58.86%

-143

Francesco Molinari

Edoardo Molinari

55.81%

4.89%

58.68%

-142

Zach Johnson

Thomas Aiken

49.52%

4.79%

52.01%

-108

Rickie Fowler

Aaron Baddeley

58.76%

4.60%

61.59%

-160

Anthony Kim

Adam Scott

50.11%

5.15%

52.83%

-112

Bubba Watson

Y.E. Yang

50.84%

4.96%

53.50%

-115

Jim Furyk

Alvaro Quiros

54.73%

4.81%

57.49%

-135

Matt Kuchar

Rory McIlroy

50.96%

4.98%

53.63%

-116

Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson

60.19%

5.11%

63.43%

-173

Charl Schwartzel

Vijay Singh

51.03%

5.10%

53.78%

-116

K.J. Choi

Jeff Overton

44.79%

4.98%

47.13%

112

Robert Allenby

Robert Karlsson

53.53%

4.87%

56.27%

-129

Tim Clark

Kevin Na

54.65%

4.92%

57.48%

-135

Martin Laird

Louis Oosthuizen

48.76%

5.13%

51.39%

-106

Miguel Angel Jimenez

D.A. Points

50.06%

4.96%

52.67%

-111

Charley Hoffman

S.S.P. Chowrasia

79.39%

3.23%

82.03%

-457

Jonathan Byrd

Thomas Bjorn

49.93%

4.70%

52.39%

-110

Hiroyuki Fujita

Kevin Streelman

27.39%

4.11%

28.56%

250

Kyung-Tae Kim

Rhys Davies

27.44%

3.89%

28.55%

250

Martin Kaymer

Luke Donald

53.77%

5.10%

56.66%

-131

Tiger Woods

Graeme McDowell

61.38%

4.69%

64.40%

-181

 

TOP-25:


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