Gdula's Golf Simulations: The American Express
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, but we can try to account for that by simulating out the weekend and seeing what happens.
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 The American Express.
|Rickie Fowler||5.8%||+900||Paul Casey||5.4%||+1600|
|Byeong Hun An||3.3%||+2700||Billy Horschel||3.1%||+2700|
|Sungjae Im||2.8%||+1400||Jason Kokrak||2.7%||+3400|
|Charles Howell III||2.2%||+2900||Tony Finau||2.2%||+1800|
|Vaughn Taylor||1.8%||+5500||Rory Sabbatini||1.8%||+5500|
|Andrew Putnam||1.8%||+4500||Kevin Kisner||1.7%||+2900|
|Ryan Moore||1.7%||+5000||JT Poston||1.7%||+4100|
|Sebastian Munoz||1.6%||+6000||Kevin Na||1.6%||+5500|
|Francesco Molinari||1.6%||+2700||Scottie Scheffler||1.6%||+3700|
|Phil Mickelson||1.5%||+4500||Abraham Ancer||1.5%||+4100|
|Chez Reavie||1.5%||+4100||Brendon Todd||1.4%||+4100|
|Jhonattan Vegas||1.3%||+10000||Lucas Glover||1.3%||+3700|
|Matthew Wolff||1.3%||+3700||Scott Piercy||1.3%||+9000|
|Russell Knox||1.2%||+5000||Denny McCarthy||1.1%||+7000|
|Harris English||1.1%||+6000||Carlos Ortiz||1.0%||+10000|
|Daniel Berger||1.0%||+6500||Brian Harman||1.0%||+5000|
|Aaron Wise||0.9%||+9000||Joel Dahmen||0.9%||+8000|
|Max Homa||0.9%||+15000||Alex Noren||0.9%||+5000|
For the most part, the win equity is low for every golfer based on the win simulations. That's not necessarily true for the odds, however. Rickie Fowler is +900 to win on FanDuel Sportsbook. Fowler should be around 10.0% likely to win -- but he's not really that close. Sungjae Im (+1400) also grades out as overrated.
Paul Casey (+1600) rates out as a significantly better value than Fowler at his odds. Byeong-Hun An and Billy Horschel (both +3700) look like decent enough values, as well, so starting your card with one of these three -- as opposed to Fowler or Im -- is a better mathematical play.