Gdula's Golf Simulations and Betting Picks: KPMG Women's PGA 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, but we can try to account for that by simulating out the weekend and seeing what happens.
Unfortunately, data for the LPGA Tour isn't nearly as robust as it is on other professional golf tours, so these simulations are based on long-term, round-by-round scoring. Each round is adjusted for the field average for the given day and the field strength of the golfers in the tournament.
So, this means we can identify an adjusted strokes gained average for each golfer on the LPGA Tour.
Golfers without a significant sample will have their data regressed to a Tour-average mark to avoid any extreme outliers.
I then simulate out the event a few thousand times to see who is most likely to win and then compare those simulation odds to the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Here are the most likely winners for the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, according to the model.
|Sei Young Kim||7.4%||+1800|
|Jin Young Ko||7.4%||+1600|
|So Yeon Ryu||3.9%||+1800|
|Brooke M. Henderson||3.8%||+2900|
|Hyo Joo Kim||2.6%||+2700|
|In Gee Chun||1.5%||+4500|
|Emily Kristine Pedersen||0.8%||+12000|
|Jodi Ewart Shadoff||0.7%||+15000|
|Nanna Koerstz Madsen||0.5%||+21000|
I don't typically see positive expected value on PGA Tour favorites, but the model sees it for three of the golfers with odds of +2000 or shorter, and that's the top three in the simulations.
Inbee Park (+1400) boasts the best adjusted strokes gained average over the past year on the LPGA Tour, followed closely beind by Sei Young Kim (+1800) and Jin Young Ko (+1600)
Inbee Park has seven career major wins, including three at the Women's PGA Championship and, in total, 12 of 14 made cuts at the event.
Sei Young Kim is yet to finish outside the top 25 in any of her six Women's PGA Championship starts and won it last year by five strokes over Inbee Park, a performance that earned her the single best adjusted strokes gained mark over the past year on the LPGA Tour.
Jin Young Ko has been top 15 in each of her two Women's PGA Championships and has two major wins already.
The model sees two-time major winner Ariya Jutanugarn (+1800) and Jessica Korda (+2200) as overvalued and prefers Lydia Ko (+2200), Brooke Henderson (+2900), and Yuka Saso (+6000) at their numbers.
Some long shots who may be undervalued and who could be in play for top-10 and top-20 bets: Mel Reid (+10000), Carlota Ciganda (+5000), and Moriya Jutanugarn (+4100).