2020 Charles Schwab Challenge model and fantasy golf rankings
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2020 Charles Schwab Challenge model and fantasy golf rankings



For years, I’ve made fantasy golf picks, power rankings and given betting tips about PGA Tour events.

I’ve looked at two main factors, current form and course history, and tried to bring those together to offer selections and my best guess as to who will contend in a given week.

However, for 2020, I wanted to become more sophisticated and develop a weekly rubric which offers a clear-cut ranking system based on data points weighted in a formula. After some weeks of testing, I’m have this rubric where I want it. Let me walk you through the rubric’s tenets and show off this week’s results.
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How the rubric works

The reason I’m calling this a rubric is because I think a model implies a guess about how the tournament will play out. I don’t think any model can do that. There are plenty of factors data can’t quantify, including luck of the draw, playing partners, hole locations, weather and sheer random stuff.

That’s why the rubric is rooted in things we can quantify more broadly without getting too into the weeds. I don’t believe specific statistics matter for each course. Each player is different, and they achieve their best results slightly differently, as our Course Fit tool indicates. A player can perform well on most PGA Tour courses doing things their way, and their past performance on a course is best indicative of their fit, not where they rank in certain categories.

That said, the biggest chunk of my rubric relies on strokes gained, as well our derivative, Quality Strokes Gained, which weights a player’s strokes gained against the depth of field they face. The rubric looks at this data over the longer term and medium term to derive a player’s quality across the tour and across different fields.

Next, the rubric accounts for two factors I look at every week: current form in the last five PGA Tour events played and their average strokes gained on the host course in the last three years.

All told, the model is designed to point out quality players and boost those middling players who have good current form or good course history.

2020 Charles Schwab Challenge rankings

You’ll see with the rubric that I’ve listed the top 50 in this field, as well their current betting odds and DraftKings price.

We’re looking for quality, of course, but also for some value.

This week, the ranking feels pretty apparent. Rory is the best in the world by far. Jon Rahm is great, and he has a solid course history. Collin Morikawa might be a great sleeper.

There are some values out there, and fortunately the model relies very little on form anyhow, so form basically being a 3-month-old concept isn’t a big deal here.

Click header to sort; the better their position, the more the rubric likes them

POS PLAYER PTS DK PRICE DK RANK ODDS ODDS RANK
1 McIlroy, Rory 2.295 11800 1 1000 1
2 Rahm, Jon 1.852 11000 2 1200 2
3 DeChambeau, Bryson 1.582 10100 4 2500 4
4 Simpson, Webb 1.523 9800 5 2500 4
5 Thomas, Justin 1.334 10600 3 1600 3
6 Rose, Justin 1.266 9000 13 4000 12
7 Woodland, Gary 1.101 8800 15 5000 17
8 Koepka, Brooks 1.075 9700 6 3000 7
9 Fowler, Rickie 1.05 9400 9 3500 9
10 Morikawa, Collin 0.962 9100 12 4000 12
10 NeSmith, Matthew 0.962 6900 68 20000 72
12 Schauffele, Xander 0.96 9600 7 2500 4
13 Finau, Tony 0.954 8700 16 4000 12
14 Na, Kevin 0.931 7600 27 6000 19
15 Wallace, Matt 0.913 6600 92 20000 72
16 Johnson, Dustin 0.902 9500 8 3000 7
17 Im, Sungjae 0.897 9300 10 3500 9
17 Bezuidenhout, Christiaan 0.897 7300 37 12500 37
19 McNealy, Maverick 0.886 7300 37 15000 42
20 Horschel, Billy 0.831 7400 32 8000 28
21 Berger, Daniel 0.83 7700 26 8000 28
22 Day, Jason 0.808 8300 20 6000 19
23 Reed, Patrick 0.801 9200 11 3500 9
24 van Rooyen, Erik 0.8 7100 52 15000 42
25 Lowry, Shane 0.763 8600 17 8000 28
26 Homa, Max 0.739 7500 29 10000 34
27 Kuchar, Matt 0.734 8500 18 6000 19
28 Dahmen, Joel 0.712 7500 29 10000 34
29 Poulter, Ian 0.675 7300 37 15000 42
30 Scheffler, Scottie 0.64 8400 19 4000 12
31 Furyk, Jim 0.616 7100 52 15000 42
32 Cauley, Bud 0.594 6800 76 20000 72
33 Fitzpatrick, Matthew 0.582 8200 21 6000 19
34 English, Harris 0.578 7500 31 6000 19
35 Hadwin, Adam 0.572 7300 37 12500 37
35 Lee, Danny 0.572 7200 44 12500 37
37 Spieth, Jordan 0.571 8000 23 4000 12
38 Hovland, Viktor 0.541 7900 25 6000 19
39 Higgs, Harry 0.534 7000 60 20000 72
40 Leishman, Marc 0.53 8900 14 5000 17
41 Ancer, Abraham 0.517 7300 37 8000 28
42 Sabbatini, Rory 0.514 7200 44 15000 42
43 Piercy, Scott 0.509 6800 76 15000 42
44 Niemann, Joaquin 0.486 7400 32 10000 34
45 Moore, Ryan 0.478 7200 44 15000 42
46 Cabrera Bello, Rafael 0.456 6900 68 15000 42
47 Garcia, Sergio 0.447 8000 23 6000 19
48 Merritt, Troy 0.437 6300 116 30000 110
49 Streelman, Kevin 0.405 6900 68 20000 72
50 Lewis, Tom 0.39 6500 100 25000 98
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About the author

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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