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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RACE FOR THE 2011 MONEY TITLE

Looks like this:

Luke Donald wins

17.140%

Webb Simpson wins

82.870%

Donald definitely has to get top-2 money without a tie. Then he needs Simpson to make less than around 20th place money if he finishes solo second. That’s why Webb is a big favorite.

It’s taken Webb 7 more events to get his money though, and the books have Donald favored this week, so it’s not like Simpson is a better player.

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HOW TO EVALUATE TOP COLLEGE TALENT

One of the interesting things about the Fall Series is that a lot of top college players from last season will play in a few tournaments. It’s always hard to actually guess how good these players really are, especially when they keep posting high finishes like Patrick Cantlay, Bud Cauley and Peter Uihlein.

Luckily, Golfweek has some pretty good objective college rankings that are similarly judged against the field you play against like my rankings.

So, let’s compare the Top-10 from their college rankings from the last 3 years and their performance on tour.

Year

Z-Score

Rds

Sag Avg.

Class of 2011

0.014

96

69.00

Class of 2010

0.390

53

69.70

Class of 2009

0.138

100

69.55

Class of 2008

0.278

52

69.50

AVERAGE

0.167

301

69.39

Note, that the Sag. Avg. is the average ranking from Sagarin’s college rankings. Also, Class of 2011 doesn’t mean that’s when the graduated, it’s simply 2011 performance from players in the top-10 of the 2010-11 rankings.

To put the average column into perspective, that basically means that the top-10 college players are about in the middle of the average PGA-Tour pro and Nationwide Tour Pro.

Next, a look at, how the actual Sagarin ranking for the individual player compares to performance on pro tours for that year.

This only counts players with more than 8 rounds on pro tours, since 2003. As you can imagine, a lot of randomness in here, but still a correlation that makes sense.

Now, a look at 2011 for three of the top players from last year’s college rankings:

2011

Projected

Actual

Act. Rds

Peter Uihlein

0.0263

-0.019

20

Patrick Cantlay

-0.0161

-0.363

20

Bud Cauley

0.1922

-0.468

22

Uihlein is the only one that has played close to average. Cantlay and Cauley are the No. 1 and 2 players dating back to 2003, and probably since Tiger came out of college in 1996, though neither Sagarin or my numbers currently go back that far. Of course, there is a lot of good fortune that goes into their nice play so far.

Obviously, I’m not the only one trying to do this, last week Vegas opened Cantlay at -150 over Cauley. My estimate based on those projections would be about -190 to Cantlay.

Finally, if you are trying to judge how good these players would eventually become here’s a few things to consider:

Cantlay’s historic performance is not out of nowhere. His 2010-11 college season was the third lowest since 2003. The two below him, Bill Haas and Ryan Moore. After him, Hunter Mahan, Peter Uihlein and Spencer Levin. That certainly bodes well for Uihlein and Cantlay.

Here’s how the other four have fared in their pro careers: (0 = last college year)

These guys all came out below average in their final college season. Interestingly, the first year they took up the tour, they all were worse players, except Hunter Mahan, who was fractions better, but basically the same. They all have also improved pretty steadily and by their late 20s were inside the top-30 in the world.

That’s a lot of talent that Cantlay and Uihlein have shown.

Cauley is no slouch, either. The five players closest to him are D.J. Trahan, Chris Kirk, Camilo Villegas Joel Sjoholm and Rhys Davies. That group isn’t quite as established but still good. Only Villegas had as consistent a college career based on the Sagarin Rankings as Cauley as had.

As for this week, Cauley was the early favorite against Chris Kirk. I know he played well last week, but I don’t really agree with that. If Cauley is really in the class of Cantlay and Uihlein than that should basically be a toss-up, but if he is a little behind that, then I would say Kirk is a -140 or -130 favorite. I’ll be interested to see what that line closes at.

 

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A LOOK AT TIGER WOODS IN 2011

Here’s a look at Tiger’s rounds, based on the field average (negative is good), for 2011 PGA Tour Events. (NOTE: Did not count WD at PLAYERS Championship)

Round number 17 is the start of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Not a whole lot of meaning in these, because of the small sample and randomness, but Tiger did appear to be getting better until the end of the Masters. His injuries derailed that progress.

Here’s another look broken down by pre- and post- Masters rounds.

Same story pretty much, solid improvement leading into the Masters, then slipped up by the injury. Wish he had a few more rounds after the injury to compare them.

The one interesting question, is why has Tiger been so bad. He’s made swing changes before, this is by far the worst he has been in the transition. Injuries are probably a factor, but I can’t help but wonder what Tiger is actually trying to do with the swing changes sometime. He was the best player ever under Haney, and been pretty slow to replicate that success under Foley.

It’s also pretty clear Tiger needs more tournament reps, though playing in the fall series seems like kind of waste. What would he really be prepping for anyway, a month and a half off from December to January? It would be nice to see Tiger add in a few more early season preps leading into the Masters. It was one thing for him to play 15 times a year from 2006-2009, when he was dominating. Now, I think he might need to expand the schedule a little bit.

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