Monthly Archives: October 2011

BETTER TO GRADUATE FROM Q-SCHOOL OR NW TOUR?

25 new players earned PGA Tour cards this week at the Nationwide Tour championship. But how well will they do next year?

In the past few years, Q-school grads have actually done better in terms of results than Nationwide Tour players.

But, that overlooks some circumstances. My guess would be that Q-school players tend to be slightly better overall. It seems there are more players that have been on the PGA Tour, had a bad year and had to go back to q-school, than on the Nationwide Tour.

So, I broke it down just by rookies over the past two years.

Rook yr Rounds Prev yr Rounds
Nationwide 0.1541 1521 0.0152 1682
Q-School 0.2205 1756 0.0883 945

Seems like the Nationwide Tour actually is a better proving ground. Not terribly surprising considering a whole season is a better predictor than the 10 or so rounds it takes to get through Q-school.

Of course, it’s silly to not think about other circumstances here, too. For example, Rickie Fowler was a Q-school grad, who based on his play after he turned pro would have fared quite well on the NW Tour had he played there. Also, in playing some big tournaments and in the fall finish he was clearly more prepared than the average rookie.

Also, consider Kyle Stanley. Stanley’s 2010 season on the Nationwide Tour was pretty good. For whatever reason, he didn’t make as much money as his level of play usually would. Then he qualified by Q-school. He actually has compared very similarly to Keegan Bradley in the last two years. Clearly he was ready for the PGA Tour.

So, that got me thinking, maybe number of pro rounds is a better predictor. Here’s a look at that breakdown

Players with over 70 rounds on major tours in season before PGA rookie year:

Rook yr Rounds Prev yr Rounds
Total 0.1154 1689 0.0349 2009
Nationwide Grads 0.1253 1184 0.0257 1442
Q-School Grads 0.0921 505 0.0585 567

This group is similar to the averages above for previous year, but a lot better in the rookie season on the PGA Tour. Mainly because to play a lot of rounds is usually a good sign of a better player and more rounds rules out the possibility of a fluke.

Players with between 30 and 60 rounds:

Rook yr Rounds Prev yr Rounds
Total 0.2482 599 0.0546 397
Nationwide Grads 0.2552 337 -0.0473 240
Q-School Grads 0.2392 262 0.2104 157

It didn’t really matter which way these guys came to the tour, they were a lot worse.

Players with less than 30:

Rook yr Rounds Prev yr Rounds
All from Q-school 0.218971 903 0.013158 163

Again, these players were not quite nearly as good as more tested players.

As the PGA Tour discusses ending Q-school it’s hard not to agree with them in some form. Players that pretty much qualify without being a member of at least the Nationwide Tour are not really ready for the PGA Tour. On the other hand, there are certain tested players, like Rickie Fowler or Kyle Stanley that failed or didn’t have the chance to qualify through the Nationwide Tour that are clearly ready. From the Tour’s perspective, more pro rounds are good for their incoming rookies as it helps eliminate the fluky players and prepares the good ones better.

Maybe the best solution for the Tour is most of the spots are earned from the Nationwide Tour, but there should still be some kind of last chance qualifying for players that are PGA Tour veterans off down years, experienced Nationwide Players and up and coming young college players with a lot of amateur success.

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CIMB ASIA PACIFIC CLASSIC RD 2

Updated after Round 2:

Player

total wins

odds

Fredrik Jacobson

29.44%

240

Bo Van Pelt

23.18%

331

Jeff Overton

19.79%

405

Stewart Cink

3.85%

2501

Mark Wilson

3.63%

2655

Jhonattan Vegas

3.37%

2872

Jimmy Walker

3.22%

3006

Camilo Villegas

1.99%

4938

Robert Allenby

1.97%

4976

Carl Pettersson

1.60%

6150

Jerry Kelly

1.15%

8596

Cameron Tringale

0.84%

11876

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Updated after Round 1:

Player

Tourney win

Money list

Tour Card

Avg. Money

Delta

Mark Anderson

7.40%

0.00%

99.81%

$220,547.24

0.98%

Camilo Benedetti

7.17%

0.00%

16.74%

$153,203.90

10.79%

Jason Kokrak

9.81%

9.11%

100.00%

$346,858.32

0.00%

Ted Potter Jr.

8.07%

29.56%

100.00%

$424,338.15

0.00%

Roger Tambellini

2.39%

0.00%

5.51%

$119,373.99

3.67%

Darron Stiles

3.04%

0.00%

21.07%

$170,863.30

12.05%

Roberto Castro

6.02%

0.00%

84.00%

$205,700.14

17.73%

Steve Wheatcroft

3.41%

0.00%

100.00%

$224,421.85

0.00%

Kyle Thompson

3.38%

0.00%

100.00%

$252,610.75

0.00%

Ryan Armour

1.83%

0.00%

5.56%

$132,264.17

2.51%

David Lingmerth

2.20%

0.00%

6.45%

$134,356.04

2.73%

Aaron Watkins

1.98%

0.00%

6.72%

$144,312.90

2.88%

Cliff Kresge

2.25%

0.00%

10.20%

$156,886.75

4.44%

Garth Mulroy

2.07%

0.00%

99.71%

$203,184.13

0.84%

Casey Wittenberg

1.44%

0.00%

5.67%

$141,012.74

1.20%

Rob Oppenheim

2.50%

0.00%

8.31%

$146,425.53

1.00%

Matt Davidson

2.08%

0.00%

8.40%

$153,677.17

1.63%

Kyle Reifers

0.79%

0.00%

100.00%

$243,044.54

0.00%

Mathew Goggin

2.50%

6.60%

100.00%

$388,047.82

0.00%

Greg Owen

0.83%

0.00%

3.13%

$123,931.37

-1.17%

Matt Hendrix

0.85%

0.00%

4.23%

$141,206.83

-0.41%

Jeff Gove

0.57%

0.00%

3.08%

$142,463.26

-0.39%

Paul Claxton

1.33%

0.00%

6.38%

$149,327.50

-1.32%

Tommy Biershenk

2.11%

0.00%

27.33%

$176,554.22

-0.27%

Brett Wetterich

2.26%

0.00%

46.31%

$185,846.39

0.20%

Matt Every

2.91%

0.00%

100.00%

$232,577.91

0.00%

John Mallinger

2.24%

0.24%

100.00%

$254,154.37

0.00%

Russell Knox

2.45%

0.55%

100.00%

$256,438.35

0.00%

Gary Christian

1.63%

1.07%

100.00%

$265,664.18

0.00%

Alistair Presnell

0.51%

0.00%

1.32%

$109,147.22

-1.06%

Travis Hampshire

0.38%

0.00%

1.05%

$108,790.04

-0.80%

John Kimbell

0.23%

0.00%

0.72%

$109,843.22

-0.54%

Craig Bowden

0.27%

0.00%

0.88%

$110,907.41

-0.63%

Andrew Svoboda

0.81%

0.00%

2.16%

$118,982.89

-2.24%

Aaron Goldberg

1.02%

0.00%

3.49%

$133,439.56

-2.21%

Will Wilcox

0.56%

0.00%

2.78%

$141,529.14

-2.17%

Ken Duke

0.49%

0.00%

3.18%

$144,951.90

-1.77%

r Richard H. Lee

0.29%

0.00%

3.71%

$150,901.73

-2.00%

Josh Broadaway

0.31%

0.00%

16.56%

$172,541.02

-1.20%

Billy Hurley III

1.12%

0.00%

41.70%

$182,096.34

-3.61%

Daniel Chopra

0.24%

0.00%

26.39%

$176,562.05

0.26%

Martin Flores

0.69%

0.00%

95.78%

$191,023.23

3.13%

Jonas Blixt

1.01%

0.97%

100.00%

$314,307.10

0.00%

Danny Lee

0.59%

0.56%

100.00%

$310,794.91

0.00%

Justin Bolli

0.21%

0.00%

0.51%

$111,021.81

-0.83%

B.J. Staten

0.36%

0.00%

1.34%

$131,213.17

-2.35%

Brian Smock

0.40%

0.00%

2.25%

$142,552.72

-3.51%

James Nitties

0.52%

0.00%

45.01%

$180,622.92

-6.77%

Gavin Coles

0.43%

0.00%

100.00%

$236,895.30

0.00%

Erik Compton

0.30%

0.00%

100.00%

$236,800.98

0.00%

Steve Friesen

0.01%

0.00%

0.16%

$125,257.14

-0.80%

Bubba Dickerson

0.15%

0.00%

0.49%

$131,623.12

-2.00%

Luke List

0.20%

0.00%

1.31%

$142,497.10

-4.12%

J.J. Killeen

0.68%

51.19%

100.00%

$421,978.13

0.00%

Marco Dawson

0.23%

0.00%

4.27%

$156,465.76

-11.83%

Scott Brown

0.09%

0.00%

75.69%

$181,834.91

-4.02%

Troy Kelly

0.17%

0.11%

100.00%

$252,974.31

0.00%

Miguel Carballo

0.08%

0.04%

100.00%

$262,497.15

0.00%

Kirk Triplett

0.14%

0.00%

0.46%

$119,528.25

-4.58%

Brenden Pappas

0.00%

0.00%

0.18%

$139,177.63

-3.43%

Roberto Castro made the biggest move today. He jumped from about 2 in 3 to make the PGA Tour next season to 84%. Mark Anderson also pretty much clinched his tour card today as the first round leader.

On the negative side, James Nitties was about 50-50 entering the round and now is in the mid 40s to make the Tour. Marco Dawson was the biggest percentage drop on the day, but only started at 16% to make the PGA Tour anyway and now is less than 6%.

Brett Wetterich, Nitties, and Billy Hurley III are in the biggest spots right now. Each is between 40 and 47-percent to earn their tour card next season. Nitties sits at No. 25 right now in terms of projected average money.

On average, it will take $178,663.25 to make it into “The 25.”

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CIMB ASIA PACIFIC CLASSIC ROUND 1

Updated after Round 1:

Player

total wins

odds

Robert Allenby

22.65%

341

Fredrik Jacobson

10.42%

860

Jhonattan Vegas

9.11%

998

Bo Van Pelt

8.88%

1027

John Senden

4.37%

2186

Jimmy Walker

3.92%

2452

Stewart Cink

3.14%

3083

Mark Wilson

2.79%

3479

Ben Crane

2.57%

3788

Carl Pettersson

2.51%

3881

Jeff Overton

2.17%

4517

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NATIONWIDE TOUR MONEYLIST ODDS

Odds from this week’s Tour Championship and making the PGA Tour next season:

Player

Total wins

money wins

top-25

total money

Matt Every

4.08%

0.00%

100.00%

$236,121.30

Brett Wetterich

3.73%

0.00%

46.11%

$189,574.12

Russell Knox

3.55%

0.63%

100.00%

$259,382.62

Jason Kokrak

3.43%

3.24%

100.00%

$326,090.48

J.J. Killeen

3.28%

70.74%

100.00%

$433,596.36

John Mallinger

3.24%

0.25%

100.00%

$256,722.55

Ted Potter Jr.

2.78%

11.64%

100.00%

$404,945.63

Tommy Biershenk

2.73%

0.00%

27.60%

$178,151.14

Roberto Castro

2.72%

0.00%

66.27%

$192,537.22

Mathew Goggin

2.55%

6.52%

100.00%

$386,682.38

Gary Christian

2.43%

1.37%

100.00%

$267,580.76

Jonas Blixt

2.41%

2.25%

100.00%

$319,372.23

Rob Oppenheim

2.34%

0.00%

7.31%

$144,411.35

Troy Kelly

2.34%

1.18%

100.00%

$264,404.85

Marco Dawson

2.24%

0.00%

16.10%

$167,459.91

Billy Hurley III

2.22%

0.00%

45.31%

$186,841.64

Camilo Benedetti

2.16%

0.00%

5.95%

$134,644.97

Paul Claxton

2.09%

0.00%

7.70%

$151,032.07

Aaron Goldberg

1.98%

0.00%

5.70%

$137,262.03

Andrew Svoboda

1.92%

0.00%

4.40%

$123,468.56

James Nitties

1.86%

0.00%

51.78%

$187,085.63

Kirk Triplett

1.85%

0.00%

5.04%

$130,671.83

Greg Owen

1.75%

0.00%

4.30%

$125,602.87

Martin Flores

1.65%

0.00%

92.65%

$194,729.44

Matt Davidson

1.64%

0.00%

6.77%

$150,752.69

Steve Wheatcroft

1.62%

0.00%

100.00%

$213,809.81

Scott Brown

1.55%

0.00%

79.71%

$190,906.54

Danny Lee

1.49%

1.40%

100.00%

$314,364.42

Mark Anderson

1.46%

0.00%

98.83%

$197,982.39

Brian Smock

1.44%

0.00%

5.76%

$148,055.51

Garth Mulroy

1.39%

0.00%

98.87%

$197,651.29

Gavin Coles

1.39%

0.00%

100.00%

$242,322.30

Erik Compton

1.35%

0.00%

100.00%

$242,022.45

Casey Wittenberg

1.35%

0.00%

4.47%

$138,451.08

David Lingmerth

1.35%

0.00%

3.72%

$128,411.74

Will Wilcox

1.30%

0.00%

4.95%

$144,706.07

Matt Hendrix

1.28%

0.00%

4.64%

$141,714.75

Luke List

1.27%

0.00%

5.43%

$149,069.83

Kyle Thompson

1.26%

0.00%

100.00%

$242,227.36

Cliff Kresge

1.24%

0.00%

5.76%

$150,559.45

Miguel Carballo

1.19%

0.80%

100.00%

$270,085.70

Ken Duke

1.14%

0.00%

4.95%

$147,705.32

B.J. Staten

1.11%

0.00%

3.69%

$135,706.18

Ryan Armour

1.08%

0.00%

3.05%

$126,398.73

Alistair Presnell

1.08%

0.00%

2.38%

$111,590.97

Aaron Watkins

1.08%

0.00%

3.84%

$138,536.36

Darron Stiles

1.06%

0.00%

9.02%

$160,731.58

Richard H. Lee

1.00%

0.00%

5.71%

$153,425.80

Jeff Gove

0.82%

0.00%

3.47%

$142,472.94

Roger Tambellini

0.81%

0.00%

1.84%

$109,622.49

Travis Hampshire

0.78%

0.00%

1.85%

$110,796.85

Brenden Pappas

0.78%

0.00%

3.61%

$146,251.37

Josh Broadaway

0.66%

0.00%

17.76%

$173,993.95

Bubba Dickerson

0.65%

0.00%

2.49%

$136,003.59

Craig Bowden

0.63%

0.00%

1.51%

$112,492.64

Kyle Reifers

0.59%

0.00%

100.00%

$240,353.31

Daniel Chopra

0.58%

0.00%

26.14%

$178,032.64

Justin Bolli

0.53%

0.00%

1.34%

$113,670.43

John Kimbell

0.51%

0.00%

1.26%

$111,140.34

Steve Friesen

0.24%

0.00%

0.96%

$127,661.18

 

J.J. Killeen is a big favorite to win the money list overall at around 70%.

The Top-17 players on the money list are all guaranteed spots on the PGA Tour (Or, at least didn’t miss out in 100,000 sims)

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HOW GOOD IS LUKE DONALD’s 2011?

Here’s a look at the Top-25 seasons individual season dating back to 2000:

Rank

Player

Z-score

Rounds

St. Dev

Year

1

Tiger Woods

-1.3863

72

0.7812

2000

2

Tiger Woods

-1.2683

58

0.7643

2006

3

Tiger Woods

-1.2201

68

0.8218

2007

4

Tiger Woods

-1.1527

70

0.8385

2009

5

Tiger Woods

-1.1096

68

0.9509

2002

6

Tiger Woods

-1.0151

68

0.8797

2003

7

Tiger Woods

-0.9903

74

0.9159

2005

8

Tiger Woods

-0.9459

76

0.8043

2004

9

Vijay Singh

-0.9246

118

0.8875

2004

10

Jim Furyk

-0.9218

84

0.7967

2006

11

Vijay Singh

-0.9191

102

0.7936

2003

12

Tiger Woods

-0.9093

76

0.8186

2001

13

Ernie Els

-0.8954

90

0.8672

2004

14

Luke Donald

-0.8516

82

0.8277

2011

15

Phil Mickelson

-0.8222

76

0.9268

2000

16

Vijay Singh

-0.8130

109

0.8393

2005

17

Lee Westwood

-0.8058

72

0.9083

2010

18

Davis Love III

-0.7981

75

1.0098

2001

19

Ernie Els

-0.7975

64

0.8827

2000

20

Mike Weir

-0.7887

75

0.7948

2003

21

Phil Mickelson

-0.7871

69

0.8556

2006

22

Adam Scott

-0.7869

70

0.9310

2006

23

Jim Furyk

-0.7862

101

0.7575

2003

24

Ernie Els

-0.7789

60

0.7482

2003

25

Luke Donald

-0.7716

79

0.8026

2006

 

So, a pretty good season for Donald. The best anyone has done since 2009 Tiger Woods.

It will be interesting to see if Donald’s European performance for the rest of the year is good enough to keep him ahead of what Westwood did last season. Looking at their careers Donald is pretty clearly the better player. He turned pro in 2001, and by 2004 he was already putting up scores that would put him in the top-12 or 15 players in the world. He’s had 6 seasons in his pro career that were at least that good. Half of Donald’s pro years have landed in the top-100 of all seasons. Only Tiger, Vijay, Phil and Ernie have a better ration in the last 12 years.

Clearly, Donald is a good player.

Where does he go from here?

In his mid-30s it’s not really surprising that Donald is having a career year. That is the typical prime for golfers. He also has had an extremely good college career and quickly started dominating on the pro tours. It would be hard to match 2011, but it’s also hard to say Donald will fall far. Really, at this point only a fully healthy Tiger and maybe Sergio could be considered better overall players. Of course, young guys like Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer could be right on his heels.

The only concern I have with Donald is length. He hit 55% of his drives less than 280 last season, the highest percentage of any of the 13 players below -.4 in my rankings last year. Players that hit a similar (between 52 and 58%) ratio of drives less than 280 yards are actually worse than a PGA Tour average player on average.

Donald is hitting the ball almost 275 off the tee this year. Furyk, David Toms and Zach Johnson hit the ball a few yards shorter and were pretty good players. But, players that hit the ball less than 273 off the tee are basically average players. Only Bryce Molder and Brian Gay are decent players on the PGA Tour in that group. The problem is, if courses get maybe 200 yards longer on average, Donald could hit a limit as to how good he can be. In majors, where the courses tend to be longer, Donald is about 1-standard deviation worse than his average. He’s still a good player, but not quite as dominant as he has been in other tour events.

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WATFO: DONALD TAKES THE MONEY TITLE?

Luke Donald basically needed a top-2 finish and some luck from Simpson to come away with the money title. Here’s a look at how it played out through the week. Marked by chance to win, through that given hole.

I only ran before the first, before the second, before the third, before the fourth and then the final nine holes.

Donald started the week at less than 20% to win, and pretty steadily declined until the back nine on Sunday. Then starting really at the 11th hole, there was a five hole stretch that brought him from less than 10% to take the money title to over 97%.

Here’s a look at the back nine, more specifically:

Donald actually birdied the 64th hole (No. 10), but didn’t really pick up much as Webb Simpson also made birdie on that hole. Then Donald birdied the next 5, as well, while Simpson played that stretch in 1-over par. That basically sealed the deal for Donald and probably is as good a six hole stretch as there ever has been in golf.

I’ll take a look at where Donald’s season ranks in the last decade later this week.

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