Gdula's Golf Simulations: Sanderson Farms Championship
Volatility is the name of the game in golf, and picking winners isn't easy. With fields of 150-plus golfers sometimes being separated by how a putt or two falls each week, predicting golf can be absurdly tough.
We'll never be able to capture everything that goes into a golfer's expectations for a week
I'll keep it simple: I track weekly results from the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Korn Ferry Tour.
Using a combination of the OWGR's field strength numbers and datagolf's field strength numbers, I adjust each golfer's score relative to the field. The ultimate goal is to place a score from the Waste Management Open, the BMW International Open, and the Knoxville Open on level playing fields. This adjusted strokes metric lets me see how golfers are performing across all tours.
Their adjusted stroke data is combined with their round-to-round variance to see how the field is likely to perform when playing the event out thousands of times.
Here are the results for this week's Sanderson Farms Championship.
Top Win Odds
|Joaquin Niemann||4.5%||Brandt Snedeker||4.4%|
|Byeong Hun An||4.1%||Sungjae Im||3.5%|
|Lucas Glover||3.2%||Vaughn Taylor||3.1%|
|Scottie Scheffler||3.0%||Kevin Streelman||2.7%|
|Cameron Smith||2.5%||JT Poston||2.5%|
|Brian Harman||2.3%||Emiliano Grillo||1.9%|
|Corey Conners||1.6%||Juan Sebastian Munoz||1.6%|
|Dylan Frittelli||1.5%||Aaron Wise||1.5%|
|Siwoo Kim||1.5%||Wyndham Clark||1.5%|
|Brian Stuard||1.4%||Nick Taylor||1.1%|
|Matt Jones||1.1%||Russell Henley||1.0%|
|Sam Burns||1.0%||Sepp Straka||1.0%|
Despite leading the simulations in win odds, Joaquin Niemann would have to go back-to-back after winning the Greenbrier last week. Priced at +1200 on FanDuel Sportsbook, Niemann is pretty much maxed out.
Brandt Snedeker (+1800) and Byeong-Hun An (+2200) pop with positive expected value at their respective win odds. An leads the field in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 50 rounds, according to FantasyNational.com. Snedeker is just 19th and is 103rd in strokes gained: off the tee in that span.
Sungjae Im (+2000) has ranked just 101st in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds but has ranked second in adjusted stroke average in 2019 and is still sixth since the U.S. Open.
Top Cut Odds
|Golfer||Made Cut Odds|
|Byeong Hun An||69.7%|
|Juan Sebastian Munoz||62.8%|
Sometimes, you want to back players likely to make the cut or play the make-the-cut prop. These golfers are most likely to play the weekend in the simulations.
Lucas Glover (+2000) has finished 22nd, 39th, 5th, and 14th at this event in four tries. Course history isn't baked into the simulations because, well, that's its whole own conversation, but the point of the simulations are less about predicting the outcomes exactly and more about identifying golfers who should perform at a certain level more often than not. Glover should play the weekend.
Matt Jones (+7000) has missed three straight cuts here but is coming off a 10th-place finish last weekend and has performed as one of 2019's most consistent golfers in terms of variance. Against a field like this, he should see Saturday and Sunday.