Gdula's Golf Simulations: Workday Charity Open
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.
Over the hiatus, I made some tweaks to my original golf model, which used a combination of the OWGR's field strength numbers and datagolf's field strength numbers to adjust each golfer's score relative to the field (on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Korn Ferry Tour). The ultimate goal was 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. From there, a golfer's adjusted stroke data is combined with their round-to-round variance to see how the field is likely to perform when playing out the event thousands of times.
I liked it, and it worked, but it didn't isolate out tee-to-green and putting performance enough, so I made some alterations, this time leveraging strokes gained data and adjusting that for field strength.
For now, I'm averaging out both models.
Here are the results for the Workday Charity Open.
|Justin Thomas||7.4%||+1200||Jon Rahm||6.3%||+1500|
|Xander Schauffele||5.4%||+2100||Patrick Cantlay||5.2%||+1500|
|Hideki Matsuyama||4.9%||+1700||Patrick Reed||4.1%||+4000|
|Brooks Koepka||3.4%||+1600||Sungjae Im||2.9%||+4000|
|Justin Rose||2.7%||+2600||Collin Morikawa||2.3%||+3300|
|Rickie Fowler||2.2%||+3300||Viktor Hovland||2.2%||+2200|
|Matthew Fitzpatrick||1.9%||+6500||Gary Woodland||1.9%||+5000|
|Matt Kuchar||1.8%||+4300||Marc Leishman||1.5%||+4300|
|Joaquin Niemann||1.4%||+4500||Scottie Scheffler||1.4%||+8500|
|Adam Hadwin||1.3%||+4500||Louis Oosthuizen||1.3%||+8000|
|Billy Horschel||1.1%||+7500||Shane Lowry||1.1%||+11000|
|Sebastian Munoz||1.1%||+15000||Jason Kokrak||1.1%||+11000|
|Joel Dahmen||1.1%||+8000||Ian Poulter||1.1%||+15000|
|Jordan Spieth||1.0%||+4500||Harold Varner III||1.0%||+9000|
|Corey Conners||1.0%||+9000||Byeong Hun An||0.9%||+7500|
|Bubba Watson||0.9%||+7500||Jason Day||0.8%||+8500|
|Brandt Snedeker||0.8%||+10000||Jhonattan Vegas||0.7%||+20000|
|Cameron Champ||0.7%||+7500||Kevin Streelman||0.6%||+7500|
Better value near the top belongs to Xander Schauffele (+2100), who outperformed his posted odds at FanDuel Sportsbook in the simulations. Xander has been my first bet of the week.
Viktor Hovland's (+2200) tee-to-green game has been so good lately that I'm looking to dig in on him once more at a course that somewhat de-emphasizes putting.
Patrick Reed (+4000) looks significantly undervalued at this price, and at the odds, he's an easy pick to justify in the betting market. We can also look to Sungjae Im (+4000), who is a little behind Reed in the simulations but a value option nonetheless.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+6500) is a solid tee to green player who can really putt well when he's on, and he stands out based on the sims, as well.
So far, I have an outright on Schauffele, Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im, and Matthew Fitzpatrick. I also went with a first-round leader on Corey Conners, plus top-10s on Conners, Scottie Scheffler, Carlos Ortiz, and Max Homa.