GOLF

Gdula's Golf Simulations: Wyndham Championship

FanDuel Sportsbook offers some pretty nice value for the Wyndham Championship this week on a few select golfers.

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.

The Process

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 Wyndham Championship.

Golfer Simulated
Win%
FanDuel
Sportsbook
Win Odds
Golfer Simulated
Win%
FanDuel
Sportsbook
Win Odds
Webb Simpson 8.4% +1000 Patrick Reed 5.4% +1600
Tommy Fleetwood 4.3% +1400 Paul Casey 4.1% +1800
Brooks Koepka 3.8% +1000 Billy Horschel 3.4% +3100
Sergio Garcia 3.3% +4000 SungJae Im 3.1% +3700
Harris English 2.9% +2600 Brendon Todd 2.4% +3700
Justin Rose 2.4% +1800 Kevin Kisner 1.8% +5000
Corey Conners 1.7% +4500 Joaquin Niemann 1.6% +5000
Sebastian Munoz 1.5% +21000 J.T. Poston 1.5% +4800
Ryan Moore 1.4% +5500 Shane Lowry 1.3% +2900
Jason Kokrak 1.2% +15000 Matthias Schwab 1.2% +6500
Chez Reavie 1.1% +5000 Tom Lewis 1.1% +7000
Jim Furyk 1.1% +10000 Harold Varner III 1.0% +7000
Jordan Spieth 1.0% +3400 Charles Howell III 0.9% +6500
Lucas Glover 0.9% +8000 Brandt Snedeker 0.9% +4500
Patrick Rodgers 0.8% +8000 Doc Redman 0.8% +7000
Bud Cauley 0.8% +8000 Rory Sabbatini 0.8% +7000
Carlos Ortiz 0.8% +10000 Matt Wallace 0.8% +8000
Brian Harman 0.8% +7000 Russell Henley 0.8% +5500


Webb Simpson (+1000 on FanDuel Sportsbook) is the betting favorite, the model's favorite, and the obvious favorite this week at a course where he's dominated and against a field this weak. Simpson is overvalued -- but only by a bit. I can't blame you for starting your betting card here.

I'm not. Instead, I'm looking to Justin Rose (+2200) despite what the model says. The model is based on long-term form, and Rose hasn't quite been Rose lately. However, he's swapped equipment and has looked more like his former self. We know that the expectation for Rose should be elite driving and iron play, especially against this field. He's a good enough putter to convert birdie chances. His biggest weakness is around-the-green play, which shouldn't factor in much for the winner. We need golfers to hit greens in regulation and make birdies -- not scramble to save par.

The model also likes Sungjae Im (+3400), though I'm starting to worry about his long-term iron play. It's been just about world-average when adjusted for field. He's still a good driver and has a win on Bermuda -- as well as some of his best overall finishes. I've bet him, but it's a harder case to make from a sheer current form standpoint.

The model also finds value in Sergio Garcia (+4000), a former winner at the Wyndham in 2012 and a top-flight tee-to-green player. Garcia's putting is always a concern when seeking his true high-end upside. Billy Horschel (+3100) also has value, per the model results. He is an accurate driver and a good Bermuda putter, which should keep him in the mix this week.

Long shot values look like Sebastian Munoz (+21000) as a really underrated all-around golfer, Jason Kokrak (+15000) as a great ball-striker relative to this field, and Jim Furyk (+10000) as someone who shouldn't miss a fairway. I've bet Munoz already, but he's someone with long enough odds to consider for a top-10 or top-20 instead of just an outright.

My bets so far include outrights on Rose, Im, Joaquin Niemann, Doc Redman, and Munoz.