GOLF

Gdula's Golf Simulations and Betting Picks: Wyndham Championship

Which golfers set up best at Sedgefield Country Club and outperform their betting odds this week?

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 years, I have made plenty of tweaks to my original golf model, which uses 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 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. 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.

In addition to that long-term adjusted form, I factor in course-level adjustments for course fit.

I run a second model that uses more granular strokes gained data, which allows me to very easily adjust for course fit. The results are averaged out.

I let the data do the talking and don't make many tweaks -- if any. Golfers with a small sample get regressed to a low-end PGA Tour player to round out their samples. Data points are weighted more heavily toward recent performance.

Here are the most likely winners for the Wyndham Championship, according to the models.

Golfer FanDuel
Salary
Win% Top-10% Made
Cut%
FanDuel
Sportsbook
Win Odds
Louis Oosthuizen $11,800 7.6% 34.7% 79.5% +2000
Webb Simpson $12,100 5.7% 32.9% 78.4% +1200
Patrick Reed $11,700 4.8% 26.9% 74.8% +2200
Hideki Matsuyama $11,900 3.9% 27.2% 74.4% +1500
Brian Harman $11,300 3.8% 26.2% 74.7% +2900
Jason Kokrak $11,400 3.5% 22.0% 71.3% +3100
Sungjae Im $11,200 2.4% 18.6% 68.3% +3100
Will Zalatoris $11,500 2.3% 18.2% 67.9% +2700
Russell Henley $10,900 2.2% 18.4% 68.1% +3200
Kevin Streelman $9,900 1.8% 16.9% 66.5% +5500
Talor Gooch $9,600 1.7% 14.4% 62.8% +6500
Siwoo Kim $10,600 1.7% 14.5% 63.6% +3400
Adam Scott $10,800 1.6% 12.5% 60.6% +4500
Brendon Todd $8,700 1.6% 14.9% 64.1% +10000
Bubba Watson $10,500 1.4% 12.4% 60.6% +4800
Tommy Fleetwood $11,000 1.4% 12.3% 60.9% +4000
Lanto Griffin $8,600 1.3% 11.1% 59.8% +10000
Justin Rose $9,800 1.3% 11.6% 59.9% +5500
Doug Ghim $9,000 1.2% 13.0% 61.7% +8000
Harold Varner III $9,300 1.2% 11.8% 60.7% +0
Kevin Na $10,300 1.2% 12.7% 61.3% +4400
Kevin Kisner $9,900 1.2% 11.1% 59.3% +4800
Chris Kirk $8,600 1.1% 11.7% 60.3% +14000
Patton Kizzire $9,100 1.1% 10.8% 58.2% +8000
Matt Jones $8,500 1.1% 10.0% 57.8% +14000
Robert MacIntyre $10,100 1.1% 12.5% 61.0% +4400
Lucas Glover $9,300 1.1% 10.8% 58.8% +7000
Seamus Power $10,400 1.0% 10.7% 58.1% +4200
Zach Johnson $9,400 1.0% 10.2% 57.8% +6500
Charl Schwartzel $9,700 1.0% 10.7% 58.5% +5500
Sebastian Munoz $9,700 1.0% 10.3% 57.9% +5500
Branden Grace $9,500 1.0% 10.4% 58.9% +7500
Jhonattan Vegas $9,600 1.0% 11.1% 58.8% +5500
Joel Dahmen $8,900 1.0% 11.3% 58.8% +9000
Hank Lebioda $9,200 0.9% 9.8% 56.9% +7000
Gary Woodland $10,200 0.9% 10.2% 58.2% +4400
Mackenzie Hughes $9,100 0.8% 8.2% 54.1% +8000
Mito Pereira $9,500 0.8% 9.1% 56.2% +4800
Aaron Wise $8,300 0.8% 9.1% 56.0% +17000
Adam Hadwin $8,400 0.8% 7.8% 53.7% +14000
Rickie Fowler $10,000 0.7% 8.7% 54.4% +5000
Chez Reavie $8,900 0.7% 9.9% 56.5% +9000
Matthew Wolff $10,700 0.6% 5.9% 49.5% +4200
Michael Thompson $8,000 0.6% 8.5% 55.3% +19000
Ryan Armour $8,500 0.6% 9.6% 56.4% +9000
Brandt Snedeker $9,800 0.6% 7.9% 54.7% +5500
Kyle Stanley $8,400 0.6% 9.7% 56.5% +17000
Mark Hubbard $8,100 0.6% 7.8% 53.2% +17000
Erik van Rooyen $9,400 0.6% 7.9% 53.4% +6000
Ryan Moore $9,000 0.6% 8.2% 53.5% +8000
Luke List $8,800 0.5% 7.5% 52.9% +10000
Brice Garnett $8,100 0.5% 7.8% 53.5% +19000
Francesco Molinari $9,000 0.5% 6.9% 50.8% +12000
Brian Stuard $8,200 0.5% 7.8% 53.5% +17000
Roger Sloan $8,100 0.5% 6.9% 52.0% +17000
C.T. Pan $8,900 0.5% 6.8% 52.0% +9000
Doc Redman $8,800 0.5% 6.5% 50.9% +10000
Matt Kuchar $8,700 0.5% 6.5% 51.9% +17000
Nick Taylor $7,600 0.5% 5.8% 49.4% +25000
Kramer Hickok $8,400 0.5% 6.5% 50.7% +12000
Bo Hoag $8,500 0.5% 7.5% 53.3% +14000
Martin Laird $8,000 0.5% 7.1% 52.6% +19000
Dylan Frittelli $8,600 0.5% 5.9% 49.6% +12000


The data is preferring Louis Oosthuizen (+2000 on FanDuel Sportsbook) to make good on his recent run of form and convert a win, and his 7.6% odds make him a positive expected value at the 20/1 number.

The model likes Webb Simpson well enough but sees him as overvalued at a place where he has won and historically played great golf. The model also thinks that Hideki Matsuyama (+1500) is overrated, though it's hard to argue with his recent form.

With the model not interested in Simpson and Matsuyama, value is emerging on other golfers at the top. There's Oosthuizen, of course, but also Patrick Reed (+2200) and Jason Kokrak (+3100), all of whom outperform their numbers in the model.

As for longer shots and top-10 or top-20 contenders, Kevin Streelman (+5500), Talor Gooch (+6500), Patton Kizzire (+8000), and Lanto Griffin (+10000) have a good combination of expected value and current stats for the setup at Sedgefield Country Club.