Tag Archives: GOLF

ODDS OF EARNING A PGA TOUR CARD

With the Nationwide Tour Championship taking place this week and the top-25 players earning a PGA Tour card, I decided to set up a little simulation to determine what chance every player has of earning a PGA Tour card for next season.

The top-60 players on the Nationwide money list qualify for the Tour Championship. As far as I can tell the purse structure breaks down like this. That doesn’t look too official, but it aligns with the winners share, total purse and breakdown from last year that were published on the official site, so I went with it.

Here are the results of 50,000 sims using two-year performance:

PLAYER

Top-25

Money

Win

Jamie Lovemark

100.00%

$449,024.59

48.57%

Chris Kirk

100.00%

$433,279.10

17.99%

Tommy Gainey

100.00%

$417,128.35

8.78%

Daniel Summerhays

100.00%

$394,032.33

4.27%

Hunter Haas

100.00%

$390,218.17

4.69%

Martin Piller

100.00%

$343,131.20

1.42%

Jhonathan Vegas

100.00%

$346,664.61

4.20%

Kevin Chappell

100.00%

$348,315.95

4.75%

Fabian Gomez

100.00%

$283,126.81

1.35%

Keegan Bradley

100.00%

$280,917.76

1.11%

Kevin Kisner

100.00%

$279,471.26

0.92%

David Mathis

100.00%

$276,591.11

0.85%

Steven Bowditch

100.00%

$264,772.71

0.30%

Tag Ridings

100.00%

$276,163.78

0.80%

Robert Gates

100.00%

$266,859.99

0.00%

D.J. Brigman

100.00%

$250,522.50

0.00%

Scott Gutschewski

100.00%

$238,842.56

0.00%

Peter Tomasulo

100.00%

$234,521.97

0.00%

Michael Putnam

99.95%

$233,484.77

0.00%

Jim Herman

98.68%

$220,863.40

0.00%

Justin Hicks

90.45%

$215,081.47

0.00%

Scott Gardiner

81.81%

$218,901.89

0.00%

B.J. Staten

49.83%

$207,867.43

0.00%

Brandt Jobe

48.66%

$214,801.89

0.00%

Nathan Smith

34.42%

$203,948.14

0.00%

Chris Nallen

21.33%

$200,509.96

0.00%

James Hahn

18.70%

$194,812.47

0.00%

David Hearn

17.33%

$195,951.91

0.00%

Jon Mills

15.74%

$192,763.29

0.00%

William McGirt

14.75%

$188,951.36

0.00%

Brendan Steele

10.25%

$184,266.07

0.00%

Kyle Stanley

9.12%

$182,609.52

0.00%

Joe Affrunti

8.05%

$178,672.75

0.00%

Alistair Presnell

7.20%

$177,591.72

0.00%

Won Joon Lee

6.30%

$177,156.76

0.00%

Colt Knost

5.48%

$168,995.85

0.00%

Gavin Coles

5.04%

$154,868.65

0.00%

Andrew Svoboda

4.81%

$153,345.19

0.00%

Brian Smock

4.78%

$164,522.63

0.00%

Bradley Iles

3.66%

$155,626.89

0.00%

Zach Miller

3.65%

$133,340.85

0.00%

Jonas Blixt

3.64%

$131,724.86

0.00%

Rob Oppenheim

3.51%

$145,541.60

0.00%

David Branshaw

3.32%

$147,289.75

0.00%

Scott Stallings

2.99%

$138,246.54

0.00%

John Riegger

2.63%

$162,718.81

0.00%

Dicky Pride

2.51%

$154,580.12

0.00%

Jason Gore

2.50%

$153,855.38

0.00%

Jeff Curl

2.46%

$130,154.30

0.00%

Mark Anderson

1.84%

$125,823.48

0.00%

J.J. Killeen

1.84%

$128,637.83

0.00%

Paul Claxton

1.80%

$138,957.78

0.00%

Jeff Brehaut

1.77%

$124,910.07

0.00%

Geoffrey Sisk

1.65%

$146,202.74

0.00%

Travis Bertoni

1.59%

$139,134.49

0.00%

Jin Park

1.48%

$154,835.41

0.00%

Kyle Thompson

1.39%

$144,921.45

0.00%

Steve Pate

1.26%

$145,538.40

0.00%

Doug LaBelle II

1.07%

$127,957.30

0.00%

Ewan Porter

0.80%

$128,862.06

0.00%

And 5 guys that could make an impact on the PGA Tour this year:

Chris Kirk

Kirk falls into the category of Rickie Fowler in that he twice appeared in the Sagarin top-10 college players. Kirk has struggled in his first two professional years in more limited action. This year, he played fully on the Nationwide tour and was almost as good as Rickie Fowler on the PGA Tour, picking up two wins and two seconds in 21 starts. If 2010, is his true level of performance he’s probably around 80% to win back his tour card next season.

Jamie Lovemark

Jamie Lovemark made his losing two years ago, in the same playoff as Rickie Fowler, at the Frys.com Open. Lovemark didn’t get his PGA Tour card this year, but fared quite well on the NW Tour, leading its money list. Lovemark wasn’t quite as consistently good as Kirk this year, but racked up a lot of high finishes. In around 100 professional rounds, Lovemark is around a PGA Tour average player.

Kevin Chappell

Like Kirk, Kevin Chappell was a highly decorated college player, who struggled at first after turning pro. Chappell played less than 40 rounds in 2009 and was worse than NW average. With a fuller schedule this year, he was significantly better. With some good luck, he can probably finish around 100 on the PGA Tour money list next season. With some better luck, he can snag a win.

Daniel Summerhays

Daniel Summerhays 2010 season, was the best of his career, ranking above PGA Tour average. After a good 2007, with not enough events to get high enough on NW money list, and an unlucky 2008, where he finished 35th, Summerhays was awful in 2009. This year, he turned that around and if you consider 2009 and outlier, for whatever reason, Summerhays has a chance to be slightly better than average next season.

Hunter Haas

Like Summerhays, Hunter Haas has been close before and rebounded from a off 2009 with his strongest, and most fortunate, season to date. Haas’ two wins this season were enough to finally break into the top-25. Haas has been right around average since 2006, with the exception of 2009, so he should have a decent shot at a top-125 finish on the PGA Tour.

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WHY RICKIE FOWLER IS GOOD, BUT NOT THAT GOOD

Rickie Fowler is good, but how good?

It doesn’t take long starting at this weeks Fill-in-the-blank-sponsor-who-won’t-be-still-sponsoring-this-garbage-fall-series-event-in-two-years-Fall-Series-event to see what the elephant in the room is.

“Rickie Fowler +1015”

That’s right. Rickie Fowler, with 126 rounds on the major professional tours, is favored over a slightly below average field on the PGA Tour.

There was a time when I would just call this insane and think nothing of it. However, let’s try to look at why Rickie Fowler really isn’t that good.

To be honest, there are a lot of unknowns about Rickie. He hasn’t played a ton of rounds on the PGA Tour and he’s young. How do we account for an actual skill and potential upside?

Luckily, Golfweek has the Sagarin ratings for College players*. This is a pretty good objective judge of players.

*Based on their PGA Tour rankings, I’d say the SOS is a little off and using win % against other players then converting that to a score is good to rank players but is not a great indication of the true difference between players.

Next, I went back and looked at how rookies have fared in their first season on a major tour**.

**I defined a rookie year as the first season with over 39 rounds played on a major tour without having played more than 40 total rounds on the major tours in previous years.

Fowler, in fact, is in pretty good company for a young player. There were only 27 players, in the past 10 years, that have appeared in Golfweek’s Sagarin college top-10 in multiple seasons. You would probably recognize the names of Anthony Kim, Dustin Johnson, Lucas Glover, Luke Donald, Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore, Rickie Fowler, Camilo Villegas, Nick Watney, Oliver Wilson and Rhys Davies among them.

Fowler has also had a good start to his PGA Tour career. From 2005-2009 there were 89 players that made their major tour debut-under my definition-and had at least one season in the Sagarin college rankings. Fowler’s 2010 rookie season (Although 30 rounds in 2009 is probably a big advantage for him) would rank third behind only Sean O’Hair and Anthony Kim.
So, there is no doubt that Fowler has been really good this year. However, to be favored in this event, there has to be a pretty high upside for Rickie. Looking at comparable players has that been the case?

Starting with all college players in 2005, who registered rounds for the next 5 years, here is a look at the progression in average score. There turned out to be 7 players who came from the college ranks in 2005, that stuck around until 2010. (Charlie Wi, Martin Laird, Camilo Villegas, Sean O’Hair, Chris Nallen, Ryan Moore, Peter Tomasulo)

As you can see, there is some progression from this 2005*** group. But, that’s only seven players, two of which Villegas,O’Hair are clearly top-20 players in the world. That’s probably an outlier as is the fact that Moore, Nallen and Laird all had very above average season.

***I used 2005 to start because this was the first year that I had a good sample going forward and the Sagarin ratings had a good sample going backward.

To check this out I combined it with other classes (Year 0=rookie year):

This gives Rickie a modest boost for upside around .05 standard deviations. Certainly, that falls short of Vegas’ expectations, but does allow some room for growth.

What happens if we get more specific and take the ten most similar rookie seasons to Rickie Fowler:
Anthony Kim, Sean O’Hair, Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson, Kevin Streelman, Steve Marino, Derek Lamely, Brendan Todd, Daniel Summerhays, Alejandro Canizares and Jeff Overton:

This supports the possible theory that players that are good in their first year on tour are in some part lucky. On average, the guys with great rookie seasons actually regressed in year 1 and 2. After Year 3, I wouldn’t put too much weight in this chart as the players from the classes with more than 3 years are Ryan Moore, Steve Marino, Jeff Overton and Sean O’Hair who all turned into really good players in 2009 and 2010.

It’s important to remember where Rickie Fowler falls in all this. He is one of a small group of players who posted two really good college seasons. He came out onto the PGA Tour and put together a really good rookie season. There is no doubt that he is good. Just not favored over a field that includes Watney, Mahan and Kim to name a few.

As far as conclusive evidence towards a possible upside, there really is not too much with the limited rankings I have. When you look at the big picture of players there is probably some evidence to slight improvements in the sophomore season, but it’s not much. I’d have to say my rankings are pretty fair on Rickie Fowler.

That means 10-1 to win isn’t.

FULL ODDS:

WIN % ODDS
Nick Watney 8.57% 1067
Hunter Mahan 6.98% 1333
Kevin Na 5.94% 1584
Charley Hoffman 5.70% 1653
Anthony Kim 5.68% 1661
Steve Marino 4.88% 1948
Rickie Fowler 4.71% 2023
Bryce Molder 3.99% 2408
Paul Goydos 3.49% 2767
Rory Sabbatini 3.41% 2833
Stephen Ames 3.28% 2950
Brian Gay 3.14% 3089
Davis Love III 3.10% 3121
Kevin Sutherland 2.83% 3435

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BARCLAYS ROUND 2 UPDATED FED EX CUP PROJECTIONS

PLAYER Adv to DB Adv to BMW Adv to TC Average Points TO WIN
Tiger Woods 99.13% 93.12% 74.67% 1,843.89 19.79%
Steve Stricker 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 2,153.60 15.92%
Jim Furyk 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 1,594.05 8.30%
Phil Mickelson 100.00% 100.00% 99.95% 1,433.83 6.48%
Ernie Els 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 1,544.21 4.12%
Matt Kuchar 100.00% 100.00% 99.95% 1,436.44 3.97%
Paul Casey 100.00% 100.00% 79.35% 1,043.36 3.69%
Hunter Mahan 100.00% 100.00% 99.98% 1,250.44 3.14%
Zach Johnson 100.00% 100.00% 94.49% 1,105.20 2.70%
Dustin Johnson 100.00% 100.00% 98.02% 1,102.14 2.56%
Jason Day 100.00% 100.00% 79.76% 1,027.05 1.75%
Bubba Watson 100.00% 100.00% 99.65% 975.41 1.73%
Rory McIlroy 100.00% 100.00% 75.45% 750.26 1.66%
Retief Goosen 100.00% 100.00% 74.55% 804.52 1.59%
Nick Watney 100.00% 100.00% 63.36% 662.84 1.58%
Camilo Villegas 100.00% 100.00% 88.37% 868.86 1.56%
Robert Allenby 100.00% 100.00% 88.12% 882.82 1.51%
Anthony Kim 100.00% 100.00% 60.79% 606.78 1.47%
Tim Clark 100.00% 100.00% 93.64% 853.42 1.44%
Justin Rose 100.00% 100.00% 99.97% 990.44 1.40%
Jeff Overton 100.00% 100.00% 99.90% 937.46 1.25%
Padraig Harrington 100.00% 98.32% 44.20% 550.42 1.23%
Ben Crane 100.00% 100.00% 97.87% 976.07 1.20%
Luke Donald 100.00% 100.00% 72.26% 687.20 1.16%
Sean O’Hair 100.00% 100.00% 47.51% 518.89 1.14%
Rickie Fowler 100.00% 100.00% 59.34% 531.76 0.78%
Bo Van Pelt 100.00% 100.00% 66.32% 549.25 0.59%
Adam Scott 100.00% 100.00% 42.10% 416.27 0.59%
Kevin Na 100.00% 98.96% 26.47% 290.54 0.54%
Ian Poulter 100.00% 86.95% 17.90% 207.30 0.40%
Kenny Perry 100.00% 54.95% 12.09% 157.40 0.40%
J.B. Holmes 100.00% 100.00% 36.99% 325.42 0.38%
Brian Gay 100.00% 94.09% 21.60% 231.59 0.36%
Geoff Ogilvy 100.00% 91.16% 15.99% 197.75 0.33%
Scott Verplank 100.00% 96.97% 14.54% 136.78 0.31%
Kevin Streelman 98.68% 63.31% 21.64% 277.12 0.29%
Lucas Glover 100.00% 66.55% 11.11% 137.09 0.28%
Michael Sim 100.00% 69.37% 13.84% 165.35 0.24%
Ryan Moore 100.00% 100.00% 13.74% 157.00 0.23%
Stewart Cink 100.00% 97.89% 28.21% 295.30 0.21%
Bill Haas 100.00% 100.00% 36.64% 284.13 0.19%
Bryce Molder 100.00% 96.52% 21.02% 210.43 0.19%
D.J. Trahan 100.00% 69.25% 11.26% 117.83 0.19%
Charley Hoffman 100.00% 56.74% 10.64% 129.15 0.19%
Angel Cabrera 100.00% 63.89% 12.18% 140.72 0.17%
Vaughn Taylor 100.00% 99.98% 33.75% 352.11 0.16%
Y.E. Yang 100.00% 80.63% 11.16% 122.17 0.14%
Stephen Ames 100.00% 53.33% 8.54% 98.72 0.14%
Steve Marino 100.00% 41.58% 6.06% 71.64 0.12%
John Senden 99.34% 66.79% 17.95% 201.53 0.12%
David Toms 100.00% 70.65% 9.62% 101.92 0.10%
K.J. Choi 100.00% 100.00% 14.26% 136.40 0.09%
Rory Sabbatini 100.00% 53.31% 6.79% 75.46 0.09%
Chad Campbell 100.00% 45.18% 5.67% 59.18 0.09%
Tim Petrovic 100.00% 63.18% 11.97% 136.16 0.09%
Brandt Snedeker 100.00% 85.83% 7.48% 77.92 0.07%
Justin Leonard 100.00% 52.41% 6.65% 76.77 0.07%
Pat Perez 100.00% 52.25% 6.72% 65.56 0.07%
Davis Love III 87.37% 34.56% 5.80% 62.48 0.07%
Brendon de Jonge 100.00% 100.00% 10.85% 80.93 0.05%
Marc Leishman 100.00% 88.63% 9.44% 86.09 0.05%
Heath Slocum 100.00% 95.03% 13.55% 124.19 0.05%
Charlie Wi 100.00% 88.86% 11.43% 103.49 0.05%
Matt Jones 100.00% 53.90% 4.50% 43.12 0.05%
Paul Goydos 100.00% 19.58% 3.22% 40.32 0.05%
Webb Simpson 98.02% 47.44% 8.52% 93.86 0.05%
Ryan Palmer 100.00% 100.00% 29.56% 217.15 0.03%
Fredrik Jacobson 100.00% 94.11% 6.60% 63.77 0.03%
Charles Howell III 100.00% 63.22% 4.42% 43.58 0.03%
Jason Dufner 100.00% 28.07% 2.96% 33.64 0.03%
J.J. Henry 100.00% 53.22% 3.95% 33.66 0.03%
Tom Gillis 100.00% 15.84% 2.04% 23.48 0.03%
D.A. Points 100.00% 42.67% 5.67% 57.28 0.03%
Jonathan Byrd 81.24% 27.96% 3.92% 38.51 0.03%
Ricky Barnes 100.00% 100.00% 7.28% 58.54 0.02%
Jason Bohn 100.00% 100.00% 8.59% 77.32 0.02%
Spencer Levin 100.00% 62.44% 3.17% 29.09 0.02%
John Rollins 100.00% 24.46% 2.08% 22.46 0.02%
Vijay Singh 100.00% 28.14% 3.93% 42.90 0.02%
Steve Elkington 100.00% 14.35% 1.63% 17.47 0.02%
Martin Laird 98.89% 46.88% 9.16% 100.05 0.02%
Josh Teater 97.14% 31.65% 3.40% 36.02 0.02%
Blake Adams 87.66% 7.26% 1.33% 15.03 0.02%
Aaron Baddeley 77.39% 16.25% 1.54% 15.01 0.02%
Carl Pettersson 100.00% 100.00% 16.01% 102.17 0.00%
Stuart Appleby 100.00% 100.00% 8.77% 55.67 0.00%
Brian Davis 100.00% 89.54% 4.26% 33.28 0.00%
Shaun Micheel 100.00% 16.09% 1.33% 12.18 0.00%
Greg Chalmers 100.00% 37.35% 1.91% 16.68 0.00%
Jimmy Walker 100.00% 22.00% 1.99% 22.89 0.00%
Kris Blanks 100.00% 7.55% 0.61% 6.42 0.00%
Alex Prugh 100.00% 4.99% 0.47% 3.88 0.00%
Boo Weekley 100.00% 9.11% 1.42% 14.63 0.00%
Chad Collins 99.83% 26.49% 3.03% 30.41 0.00%
Garrett Willis 98.04% 7.10% 1.52% 15.77 0.00%
Ryuji Imada 93.50% 38.06% 6.43% 63.94 0.00%
Chris Couch 90.25% 30.99% 4.75% 51.82 0.00%
Troy Matteson 72.38% 18.38% 2.53% 27.96 0.00%
Chris Riley 62.72% 3.60% 0.40% 4.09 0.00%
J.P. Hayes 59.72% 10.00% 0.68% 6.72 0.00%
John Merrick 58.73% 11.12% 1.09% 11.77 0.00%
Andres Romero 41.35% 8.11% 0.95% 10.84 0.00%
David Duval 41.34% 4.45% 0.50% 3.95 0.00%
Robert Garrigus 38.81% 7.59% 1.13% 14.12 0.00%
Kevin Sutherland 18.31% 1.73% 0.28% 3.54 0.00%
Jerry Kelly 2.70% 0.23% 0.03% 0.22 0.00%
Alex Cejka 0.21% 0.02% 0.00% 0.00 0.00%
Derek Lamely 0.02% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00 0.00%

MAKING BANK
Steve Stricker was the big beneficiary of Tiger Woods’ terrible round today. Stricker played competently himself and improved his odds of winning the FED EX CUP by about 3%. That jump was worth about $52,000. Jason Day had an even better picking up around $85,000 in projected money.

TOP 5 TODAY: (Overall NET $)
Jason Day $88,933 ($113,325)
Steve Stricker $52,153 (-$6,467)
Matt Kuchar $51,334 ($77,308)
Robert Allenby $50,801 ($9,643)
Kevin Streelman $37,889 ($35,713)

TOP-5 OVERALL:
Jason Day $113,325
Tiger Woods $96,134
Matt Kuchar $77,308
Ben Crane $52,975
Zach Johnson $47,382

BURNING CASH
In what has become Completely normal for this year, Tiger Woods took a huge step back after seeming to make progress. He was probably about 40 or 50% to win the FED EX CUP when he was -8 today, then bogeyed four more holes and cost himself over $100,000 in projected money.

BOTTOM-5:
Tiger Woods -$157,160 ($96,134)
Phil Mickelson -$56,786 (-$114,229)
Tim Clark -$48,758 (-$52,446)
K.J. Choi -$39,491 (-$24,189)
Camilo Villegas -$37,431 (-$2,948)

OVERALL BOTTOM 5:
Phil Mickelson -$114,229
Anthony Kim -$56,515
Tim Clark -$52,446
Bo Van Pelt -$36,852
J.B. Holmes -$29,347

It would really be hilarious if people treated Phil as poorly as they do Tiger when he plays like crap, but it makes me happy to see Phil playing so poorly.

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FED EX CUP PROJECTED STANDING AFTER BARCLAYS FIRST ROUND

Updated FED EX Cup Projections after Round 1 at Barclays. (Sorry for Delay):

PLAYER Adv to DB Adv to BMW Adv to TC Average Points 1 avg rank
Tiger Woods 99.52% 97.00% 85.24% 2,293.33 27.25% 11.6
Steve Stricker 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 2,080.16 13.60% 6.9
Jim Furyk 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 1,591.16 8.08% 10.1
Phil Mickelson 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 1,555.40 6.42% 10.4
Ernie Els 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 1,543.82 4.14% 9.6
Hunter Mahan 100.00% 100.00% 99.84% 1,243.55 3.02% 13.0
Matt Kuchar 100.00% 100.00% 99.72% 1,281.75 2.84% 12.7
Paul Casey 100.00% 100.00% 68.91% 881.31 2.44% 22.0
Camilo Villegas 100.00% 100.00% 92.64% 1,059.19 2.30% 16.8
Dustin Johnson 100.00% 100.00% 93.20% 1,000.95 2.06% 17.1
Zach Johnson 100.00% 100.00% 87.88% 966.45 1.92% 18.2
Rory McIlroy 100.00% 100.00% 83.54% 924.68 1.84% 19.2
Jeff Overton 100.00% 100.00% 99.70% 1,004.82 1.58% 16.0
Anthony Kim 100.00% 100.00% 70.89% 717.68 1.54% 23.2
Tim Clark 100.00% 100.00% 97.44% 1,009.87 1.46% 16.1
Retief Goosen 100.00% 100.00% 67.39% 741.85 1.42% 23.5
Nick Watney 100.00% 100.00% 59.99% 663.35 1.36% 25.6
Justin Rose 100.00% 100.00% 99.76% 939.50 1.26% 17.0
Bubba Watson 100.00% 100.00% 98.42% 936.72 1.26% 17.2
Ben Crane 100.00% 100.00% 94.94% 882.02 1.10% 18.4
Robert Allenby 100.00% 100.00% 67.87% 663.17 1.02% 23.8
Bo Van Pelt 100.00% 100.00% 81.94% 734.91 0.94% 21.7
Sean O’Hair 100.00% 100.00% 41.65% 446.45 0.84% 32.3
Luke Donald 100.00% 100.00% 71.61% 696.24 0.82% 23.0
Padraig Harrington 100.00% 91.30% 27.35% 318.67 0.76% 41.4
Rickie Fowler 100.00% 100.00% 49.21% 454.58 0.62% 29.6
Geoff Ogilvy 100.00% 99.06% 29.81% 328.04 0.62% 38.3
J.B. Holmes 100.00% 100.00% 51.05% 453.65 0.60% 29.0
Ian Poulter 100.00% 86.28% 21.56% 265.75 0.60% 46.3
Jason Day 100.00% 100.00% 51.71% 499.78 0.54% 28.9
Adam Scott 100.00% 100.00% 37.59% 375.34 0.48% 34.2
Lucas Glover 100.00% 82.86% 18.14% 216.67 0.42% 48.5
Brian Gay 100.00% 93.64% 23.56% 267.95 0.42% 43.7
Bill Haas 100.00% 100.00% 42.17% 343.97 0.36% 32.2
Kenny Perry 100.00% 46.45% 10.28% 133.16 0.36% 66.6
Brandt Snedeker 100.00% 99.50% 25.31% 257.37 0.30% 40.2
Kevin Na 100.00% 95.70% 20.18% 225.96 0.30% 44.7
Scott Verplank 100.00% 98.98% 29.29% 284.67 0.30% 38.2
David Toms 100.00% 86.76% 14.84% 163.46 0.30% 48.2
Ryan Palmer 100.00% 100.00% 39.25% 335.83 0.20% 33.1
Ryan Moore 100.00% 100.00% 16.00% 169.02 0.20% 45.6
K.J. Choi 100.00% 100.00% 39.97% 368.75 0.18% 32.8
Michael Sim 100.00% 60.59% 10.78% 126.94 0.18% 61.3
Davis Love III 91.34% 53.43% 12.54% 145.02 0.18% 64.6
Vijay Singh 100.00% 68.19% 10.94% 118.33 0.16% 58.0
Charley Hoffman 100.00% 61.37% 13.80% 160.73 0.16% 60.0
Stewart Cink 100.00% 90.88% 15.66% 148.77 0.14% 48.1
Bryce Molder 100.00% 79.04% 9.52% 95.15 0.12% 54.2
Rory Sabbatini 100.00% 69.07% 11.78% 140.06 0.12% 58.3
D.J. Trahan 100.00% 65.79% 10.98% 120.46 0.12% 59.9
Pat Perez 99.98% 65.99% 11.36% 123.55 0.12% 59.0
Jason Bohn 100.00% 100.00% 10.46% 94.85 0.10% 47.0
Chad Campbell 100.00% 31.31% 3.40% 40.02 0.10% 75.7
J.J. Henry 100.00% 63.87% 6.46% 63.96 0.08% 62.4
Justin Leonard 100.00% 47.01% 6.46% 72.25 0.08% 67.6
Angel Cabrera 99.94% 61.57% 12.82% 140.83 0.08% 59.8
John Senden 90.82% 49.05% 8.30% 94.49 0.08% 67.8
Ben Curtis 42.77% 16.60% 2.72% 35.06 0.08% 96.3
Vaughn Taylor 100.00% 99.74% 21.56% 205.50 0.06% 42.0
Heath Slocum 100.00% 90.30% 12.98% 120.25 0.06% 50.0
Charlie Wi 100.00% 80.48% 8.66% 84.55 0.06% 55.0
Steve Marino 100.00% 73.19% 13.36% 144.27 0.06% 55.1
Paul Goydos 100.00% 21.80% 3.16% 39.72 0.06% 79.9
Stephen Ames 100.00% 33.81% 5.10% 57.95 0.06% 73.9
Fredrik Jacobson 100.00% 98.12% 8.96% 85.10 0.04% 50.6
Charles Howell III 100.00% 80.22% 6.42% 57.58 0.04% 55.4
Marc Leishman 100.00% 78.10% 6.92% 71.08 0.04% 56.9
Jason Dufner 100.00% 36.79% 3.70% 41.07 0.04% 72.8
Tim Petrovic 99.98% 46.41% 6.38% 68.73 0.04% 68.8
Chad Collins 97.80% 39.61% 5.92% 63.19 0.04% 71.9
Carl Pettersson 100.00% 100.00% 26.53% 162.78 0.02% 36.1
Brendon de Jonge 100.00% 100.00% 16.06% 114.30 0.02% 40.9
Stuart Appleby 100.00% 100.00% 6.88% 44.27 0.02% 47.2
Jimmy Walker 100.00% 33.27% 3.64% 37.21 0.02% 75.4
D.A. Points 99.98% 32.47% 4.06% 43.13 0.02% 75.3
Blake Adams 85.42% 9.04% 1.40% 15.76 0.02% 89.2
Chris Riley 94.56% 24.34% 1.56% 15.27 0.02% 80.7
Kevin Sutherland 69.03% 18.16% 2.20% 22.89 0.02% 85.1
Aaron Baddeley 34.85% 9.78% 0.66% 8.20 0.02% 94.8
Kevin Streelman 31.93% 10.28% 1.18% 12.80 0.02% 97.4
Dean Wilson 32.15% 6.48% 0.50% 5.55 0.02% 102.4
Troy Matteson 35.11% 8.98% 0.94% 10.50 0.02% 101.4
Jonathan Byrd 78.52% 33.67% 6.06% 61.32 0.02% 78.3
Kevin Stadler 8.14% 1.74% 0.24% 3.54 0.02% 116.5
Ricky Barnes 100.00% 100.00% 9.74% 79.02 0.00% 47.2
Brian Davis 100.00% 78.42% 3.08% 28.20 0.00% 60.1
Y.E. Yang 100.00% 51.63% 5.34% 57.42 0.00% 65.6
Matt Jones 100.00% 43.39% 4.00% 44.31 0.00% 69.9
Spencer Levin 100.00% 41.97% 1.54% 13.27 0.00% 71.1
John Rollins 100.00% 27.83% 1.82% 19.67 0.00% 76.2
Shaun Micheel 100.00% 18.50% 1.56% 14.82 0.00% 81.4
Steve Elkington 100.00% 18.60% 1.38% 12.71 0.00% 81.5
Greg Chalmers 100.00% 36.59% 2.08% 20.35 0.00% 74.4
Kris Blanks 100.00% 9.06% 0.64% 6.34 0.00% 87.9
Tom Gillis 100.00% 38.31% 3.28% 34.87 0.00% 72.9
Alex Prugh 99.76% 15.74% 0.76% 5.61 0.00% 84.6
Boo Weekley 98.90% 12.44% 1.44% 17.05 0.00% 85.5
Garrett Willis 96.22% 14.02% 1.16% 11.68 0.00% 85.8
Josh Teater 92.32% 28.25% 3.02% 29.86 0.00% 78.5
Jerry Kelly 41.13% 6.68% 1.00% 8.51 0.00% 94.5
Alex Cejka 33.05% 5.88% 0.60% 5.40 0.00% 96.3
Derek Lamely 18.40% 2.54% 0.28% 3.57 0.00% 99.8
Webb Simpson 32.49% 8.56% 0.64% 6.87 0.00% 95.9
Martin Laird 66.25% 16.98% 1.62% 16.89 0.00% 87.0
Matt Bettencourt 9.00% 1.46% 0.12% 0.92 0.00% 103.8
Chris Couch 81.28% 33.63% 5.98% 61.04 0.00% 76.7
Jeff Maggert 0.58% 0.12% 0.00% 0.00 0.00% 107.4
Sergio Garcia 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00 0.00% 0.0
Briny Baird 42.39% 11.52% 0.84% 6.98 0.00% 95.2
Joe Ogilvie 0.12% 0.02% 0.00% 0.00 0.00% 109.7
John Merrick 15.74% 3.34% 0.30% 2.72 0.00% 105.8
Bill Lunde 7.54% 1.20% 0.10% 0.73 0.00% 108.7
Ryuji Imada 25.75% 5.90% 0.54% 5.84 0.00% 102.9
J.P. Hayes 20.36% 3.76% 0.26% 3.34 0.00% 106.3
Corey Pavin 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00 0.00% 0.0
Bob Estes 11.10% 2.32% 0.18% 2.14 0.00% 110.4
Cameron Beckman 28.93% 5.94% 0.56% 6.37 0.00% 104.3
Andres Romero 12.56% 2.26% 0.28% 2.42 0.00% 112.0
Michael Letzig 19.34% 3.82% 0.36% 3.30 0.00% 109.6
Nathan Green 17.16% 3.96% 0.62% 6.97 0.00% 110.7
David Duval 33.03% 5.44% 0.58% 5.57 0.00% 105.2
Woody Austin 8.92% 2.20% 0.22% 2.01 0.00% 115.8
Graham Delaet 5.02% 0.58% 0.04% 0.23 0.00% 119.0
Robert Garrigus 37.85% 10.34% 1.82% 19.88 0.00% 102.6

MAKING BANK INDEX:
I ran a regression using the players average rank in the simulation and the FED EX CUP bonus pool to see who made and who lost money with yesterdays round:

MAKING BANK:
Tiger Woods: Woods jumped from an average rank of around 28 to down near 11. That translates into a whopping $253,294 in FED EX CUP bonus money. Easily the biggest mover of the Day.

Camilo Villegas $34,483
Ben Crane $29,982
Matt Kuchar $25,974
Adam Scott $25,520
Jason Day $24,392
Vaughn Taylor $24,126
Ryan Palmer $23,547

BURNING CASH
Steve Stricker: Stricker had a decent round yesterday, but when you consider that Tiger Woods played so well, it really hurt everyone else’s chance of picking up Bonus money. At -$58,620, Steve was the biggest loser yesterday.

Phil Mickelson -$57,443
Robert Allenby -$41,157
Anthony Kim -$37,401
Bubba Watson -$21,086
Ernie Els -$18,978
Dustin Johnson -$16,313

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ARE PRO GOLFERS THE SAME AT PUTTING?

I’ve been copying down some golf stats for a few projects, but one thing stuck out to me very quickly. How similar the putting stats looked for all PGA Pro’s.

Let’s take for example, “Putting from Inside 10 feet.”

The average player in 2009 made about 86% of his putts from inside 10 feet and took about 925 attempts on the season. Adjusting everyone out to 925 putts, the minimum was 765 and max was 836 with a standard deviation of almost 12.

I ran a simulation assuming the average putter makes 86% of his putts, and take 925 attempts. The standard deviation was smaller at around 9.25*, but the minimum and maximum were pretty similar at 775 and 830, respectively.

*Not too surprising considering there is a certain variance probably in the data from factors like different length on average putts, different courses played, different number of attempts.

One more important thing to note is that the top-10 putters on tour took an average of around 805 attempts from inside 10 feet in 2009 and the bottom-10 took an almost identical average of around 805. Obviously with an average of around 120 less putts, that increases the variance. There was a small correlation (around r=.2) between number of putts taken and distance away from average.

It’s certainly not conclusive, but it’s worth thinking about the next time some announcer tells you what a great putter player x is. Putting especially from inside of 10 feet requires such a lack of natural physical talent that it’s not out of the question that pro golfers have essentially mastered it.

I’m not sure how much of this I believe, but it could be possible that all pros are basically the same from 10-feet and in(or maybe putting in general) with the only difference being variance.

Just something to think about.

This raises the question is Tiger Woods really a great putter?

I’m not so sure. Maybe his clutch ten footers are a result of his superior ball-striking and scrambling around the green giving him more total ten footers. That is, it appears Tiger makes a ton of big putts from inside 10 feet because his superior ability to get it there gives him more opportunities than everyone else. Tiger’s skills approaching the green, specifically at distances that are hard (long iron, approaches to par 5s) or important (scrambling on missed greens) make him seem like a better putter.

This is what no one realizes. Over the past decade almost no one has hit it closer than Tiger approaching the green from the fairway and scrambling. Tiger looks like a great putter because a 3-footer is so much easier to make than an 8-footer or his tap-in 2-foot birdie is much more likely to fall than a player who wedged it to ten feet.

I doubt it surprises anyone who knows golf, that Tiger’s long game and scrambling are what have really separated him from the competition, but it’s interesting to wonder: Is there anything separating Tiger’s putting from the competition?

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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS ROUND 4

10,000 simulations, Obviously includes the chances of going to a playoff which is around 19%.

Player win alone win in playoff playoff total wins
Nick Watney 45.62% 5.98% 12.53% 51.60% -107
Dustin Johnson 9.43% 2.50% 5.46% 11.93% 738
Rory McIlroy 8.48% 2.79% 5.93% 11.27% 787
Jim Furyk 3.38% 1.47% 3.02% 4.85% 1962
Jason Day 3.26% 1.16% 2.77% 4.42% 2162
Martin Kaymer 2.87% 1.20% 3.12% 4.07% 2357
Zach Johnson 1.89% 0.91% 2.42% 2.80% 3471
W.C. Liang 1.40% 0.42% 1.39% 1.82% 5395
Jason Dufner 1.17% 0.45% 1.19% 1.62% 6073
Steve Elkington 0.75% 0.39% 1.17% 1.14% 8672
Matt Kuchar 0.67% 0.46% 0.98% 1.13% 8750
Bryce Molder 0.66% 0.34% 0.70% 1.00% 9900
Bubba Watson 0.57% 0.29% 0.79% 0.86% 11528
Steve Stricker 0.23% 0.11% 0.33% 0.34% 29312
Ernie Els 0.14% 0.16% 0.26% 0.30% 33233
Simon Dyson 0.12% 0.03% 0.18% 0.15% 66567
Bo Van Pelt 0.08% 0.02% 0.06% 0.10% 99900

Nick Watney: Watney is basically Dustin Johnson at the US Open. I think they are underrating the ability of first time winners to hold on. It’s not like this hasn’t happened recently either with McDowell outplaying bigger names at Pebble, YE Yang last year, Oosthuizen at St. Andrews, even Lucas Glover at Bethpage Black.

Rory McIlroy: When I looked at Rory’s level of play over the past three years he is almost identical to Nick Watney. I mean like ridiculously similar. At 21, Rory might go further, but realizing his potential won’t all happen at once. It would be interesting, given these career paths to see the odds if the names were reversed. I’m willing to say there might be a “-” in front of Rory’s line.

Dustin Johnson Thought there might be some side effects from DJ’s horrendous showing on Sunday at Pebble, where he literally got every bad break possible, but it appears not.

The Rest: Furyk and Day are decent options, but I really think Watney is the way to go. If you’re looking for uber-longshots Dufner is probably the best under 100-1. Steve Stricker isn’t terribly likely to win tomorrow, but he’s show the ability to go low elsewhere and is probably better than 1000-1 if he can get a lot of help.

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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS

Just going to take a quick look at some people I think might be decent value:

Tiger Woods: There might be a touch of value in Tiger to win this week. Obviously, everyone hates him after what he did last week, but I’m not putting too much stock in that. Basically, if you think there is meaning into why Tiger has been so much better in majors 15-1 is probably slight value, if not, Tiger’s probably more around 25-1. I’m not convinced on him winning, but I think he has a great shot to finish ahead of Phil.

Steve Stricker: Apparently not even being in his home state gets full respect for Stricker. Whatever that is worth, plus whatever credit he deserves for a top-10 is probably worth something for the world’s second best golfer. Stricker’s major performance from the last 4 years is below average, but I don’t think there is a whole lot of meaning to that considering he has won plenty of big tournaments in that time. Since 2006, Stricker has been basically the same golfer as Phil Mickelson round for round, with Stricker being better in the recent years. A boring personality and variance at the majors are the only reasons people don’t realize this.

Anthony Kim: Obviously there are injury and performance concerns coming off last week. That should serve to make Kim quite unpopular. I doubt Kim will be 100-percent, but even at less than full health, Kim is good enough to make the chance he gets lucky at 150-1 pretty good.

Jim Furyk: Furyk back-doored another top-5 performance last week, which seems to be about par for the course for him. Like Stricker, he’s never been quite as good in majors as the rest of the tournaments, so no one considers how good he really is. Furyk along with Els and Singh are the three players I think you could make a very strong case that have been better than Phil Mickelson in the Tiger era. It’s close, though.

Paul Casey:
I made pretty much the same case for Casey at St. Andrews where he finished 3rd. It seems like all of the Euros are getting hype now, except for the ones who really deserve it. It’s been kind of an up a-and-down career for Casey, but he has at least 4 seasons as good as 2010(which is down from 09).

Sergio Garcia Sergio has been awful this year, leading to what is probably a much needed vacation from golf. Still, everyone hates him because he’s such a whiner, and he has played decently in majors. From 2004-2009, this guy was really good, with play that stacked up in majors. In 2010, he fell apart. He probably has no shot at winning this week, which makes him at least a decent look.

Rickie Fowler: Didn’t think I’d be defending Rickie after such a high profile start to his career. Fowler has not been too much of a standout overall, but has shown the ability to go low when he gets hot and get into contention. I still think he might be a little short of putting four winning rounds together, but judging by his play at St. Andrews it might be worth a shot that he gets lucky.

Zach Johnson: ZJ is now almost always undervalued. His career has been so roller coaster that it’s tough to get a good stand on where he should be. With a major under is belt, three really good seasons and everything else pretty strong I think he’s worth a shot at a venue where his name jumps out to almost no one. (Remember Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard made a playoff here last time)

J.B. Holmes: Holmes has been good enough in 2010 to make him worth 125-1. However, this is his only year on tour anywhere close to this good (largely because he has turned around a horrendous short game) so I’d say tread with caution.

Mitch Lowe: After a 103rd Finish in Reno, Mitch Lowe is trending up.

Kenny Perry: 2009 seemed to be such an outlier for Kenny at his age that I’m a little concerned here. Kenny definitely matched his level from earlier in his career last year, but the previous few years(as well as this one) have been down from that. At his age, that’s probably predictable, but he might be slight value playing well last week and at 200-1.

Steve Marino: Steve has back issues, reportedly from carrying the PGA Tour in Tiger’s absence, that forced him to miss Greenbriar. With two weeks to rest, I think that’s enough to make Steve worth a look at an inflated price.

Michael Sim: If, like me, you weren’t paying attention to Turning Stone Sim rallied on the final day to finish T-3. I doubt he made it onto TV that round. I’m not sure how much of Sim’s 2009 was luck or not, but you’re definitely getting a player with potential on a low here, who can really chip and putt.

Kevin Na: He’s going to win at some point, why not a major?

Soren Kjeldsen: Not that finishing top-5 last year actually means anything, but it shows you he was capable of contending in a major. It’s easy to write Soren off, because no matter what he does he is underrated, but he keeps popping up for wins somewhere around the world.

David Toms: His history, with a PGA win, is really pretty hard to ignore even though he’s had a down year. He should be able to rebound with at least one more strong year in his career and I’m thinking there is a better than 325-1 chance it starts this week.

Jason Bohn: Interestingly enough one of the big stats on tour that predicts success is approaches from outside of 200 yards. Bohn has been inside the top-10 in that category each of the last two years. Of course, the rest of his game is not that great, but he’s surprising strong enough in his career to be interesting at almost 400-1.

Mike Weir: Almost Identical comparison to David Toms. Will he win this week? Probably not, but there has to be better than a 500-1 shot.

Gonzalo Fernandez Castano:
Sergio’s pal is your out-of-left-field random look of the week. He’s certainly been consistent enough in Europe, though if he came to America you would never distinguish him from the pros that finish 75-100 on the moneylist every year. What distinguishes him this week is that he is 950-1, while most of those guys are 400 to 500-1. Gregory Havret finished second in the US Open and GFC is way more accomplished than him, so you never know.

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