Gdula's Golf Simulations: THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
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 CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES.
Top Win Odds
|Justin Thomas||8.4%||+650||Brooks Koepka||5.6%||850+|
|Hideki Matsuyama||4.1%||+1400||Tommy Fleetwood||3.3%||+2000|
|Gary Woodland||3.1%||+2200||Billy Horschel||2.9%||+2700|
|Marc Leishman||2.6%||+3300||Viktor Hovland||2.5%||+2000|
|Sungjae Im||2.5%||+2200||Chez Reavie||2.5%||+5000|
|Rory Sabbatini||2.4%||+6000||Collin Morikawa||2.1%||+2000|
|Kevin Na||2.1%||+4200||Jordan Spieth||2.1%||+2000|
|Jason Day||2.0%||+2200||Ryan Moore||1.9%||+6500|
|Rafa Cabrera Bello||1.9%||+2700||Ian Poulter||1.8%||+5500|
|Corey Conners||1.7%||+5000||Joaquin Niemann||1.7%||+3300|
|Jhonattan Vegas||1.7%||+15000||Sergio Garcia||1.7%||+3100|
|Charles Howell III||1.6%||+6000||Joel Dahmen||1.6%||+7000|
|Byeong Hun An||1.6%||+4500||Andrew Putnam||1.6%||+4800|
|Cameron Smith||1.5%||+3300||Lucas Glover||1.4%||+5000|
|Danny Willett||1.4%||+3300||Scott Piercy||1.3%||+7000|
|Phil Mickelson||1.3%||+6000||Max Homa||1.2%||+19000|
|Tyrrell Hatton||1.2%||+5000||Matthew Wolff||1.2%||+4000|
|Vaughn Taylor||1.2%||+13000||Kevin Streelman||1.2%||+9000|
Justin Thomas (+650 on FanDuel Sportsbook) is the dude this week. He's +650 on FanDuel, an implied implied win probability of 13.3%. Even with a field-best 8.4% win probability in my simulations, he's overpriced from a betting perspective. Brooks Koepka (+850) is next on the list but is also overpriced from a strict expected value standpoint.
Tommy Fleetwood (+2000) is worth a look, as he ranks fourth in adjusted stroke average in 2019 and is ninth in strokes gained: around the green over the past 50 rounds, according to FantasyNational, a stat that can help him avoid disaster and use his ball-striking to separate. He's flat out been one of the world's best golfers, statistically, over the past season, but has not won.
If you're looking for positive expected value (aren't we all always?), check out Chez Reavie (+5000) and Rory Sabbatini (+6000). Reavie was one of the best tee-to-green golfers in the world last year, and Sabbatini generated positive strokes gained in all four areas in the 2019 season after adjusting for field strength, via datagolf.