2020 PGA Championship model and fantasy golf rankings
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2020 PGA Championship 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. So far, it’s been a tremendous success. Here’s a look at the PGA Tour winners in the restart and where they landed in the model:

  • Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial: Daniel Berger – No. 21
  • RBC Heritage: Webb Simpson – No. 7
  • Travelers Championship: Dustin Johnson – No. 10
  • Rocket Mortgage Classic: Bryson DeChambeau – No. 2
  • Workday Charity Open: Collin Morikawa – No. 11
  • the Memorial Tournament: Jon Rahm – No. 6
  • WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Justin Thomas – No. 6

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 PGA Championship rankings

You’ll see with the rubric that I’ve listed the top 100 in this field, as well their current betting odds and DraftKings price.

This week is the first time that we’ve tried our model in a major championship. We’re using the course fit portion of the model to delve into how players gain strokes in this particular championship instead of one this particular course.

Everything else should make sense.

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 Thomas, Justin 2.019 11300 1 1000 1
2 McIlroy, Rory 1.925 10700 3 1400 3
3 Cantlay, Patrick 1.823 9400 8 2500 8
4 Rahm, Jon 1.715 10500 4 1400 3
5 Simpson, Webb 1.678 9700 7 2500 8
6 Scott, Adam 1.554 7800 22 6000 26
7 DeChambeau, Bryson 1.51 10300 5 1400 3
8 Schauffele, Xander 1.429 10000 6 2000 6
9 Koepka, Brooks 1.295 11100 2 1000 1
10 Matsuyama, Hideki 1.248 8200 16 4000 13
11 Woods, Tiger 1.22 9200 9 3000 10
12 Woodland, Gary 1.202 7900 20 5000 19
13 Morikawa, Collin 1.171 8600 12 3000 10
14 Fitzpatrick, Matthew 1.149 8100 17 5000 19
15 Fowler, Rickie 1.12 8300 15 3000 10
16 Finau, Tony 1.049 7900 20 4000 13
17 Hovland, Viktor 0.986 8500 13 4000 13
18 Berger, Daniel 0.984 8800 11 4000 13
19 Reed, Patrick 0.978 8000 18 4000 13
20 Day, Jason 0.963 8400 14 4000 13
21 Bezuidenhout, Christiaan 0.939 7000 54 15000 43
22 Na, Kevin 0.933 7000 54 20000 56
23 Wallace, Matt 0.902 7200 45 15000 43
24 Fleetwood, Tommy 0.843 7700 24 5000 19
25 Rose, Justin 0.843 7800 22 5000 19
26 Homa, Max 0.829 7200 45 15000 43
27 van Rooyen, Erik 0.817 7100 49 20000 56
28 Ancer, Abraham 0.811 7700 24 5000 19
29 Hubbard, Mark 0.783 6200 113 50000 101
30 Hatton, Tyrrell 0.769 8000 18 5000 19
31 Spieth, Jordan 0.736 7700 24 5000 19
32 Horschel, Billy 0.721 7400 36 15000 43
33 Lowry, Shane 0.712 7500 31 10000 32
34 Reavie, Chez 0.694 7400 36 15000 43
35 English, Harris 0.685 7200 45 15000 43
36 Scheffler, Scottie 0.64 7300 40 12500 38
37 Stenson, Henrik 0.639 7300 40 10000 32
38 Henley, Russell 0.615 6600 81 25000 66
39 Glover, Lucas 0.604 6700 74 20000 56
40 Poulter, Ian 0.582 7100 49 15000 43
41 Garcia, Sergio 0.562 7600 27 8000 28
42 Johnson, Dustin 0.56 9000 10 2000 6
43 Cauley, Bud 0.549 6400 96 25000 66
44 Snedeker, Brandt 0.531 6900 60 15000 43
45 Taylor, Nick 0.516 6300 104 30000 83
46 Streelman, Kevin 0.5 7100 49 15000 43
47 Moore, Ryan 0.492 7000 54 25000 66
48 Kuchar, Matt 0.481 7500 31 10000 32
49 Niemann, Joaquin 0.472 7300 40 12500 38
50 Wolff, Matthew 0.465 7500 31 8000 28
51 Conners, Corey 0.463 7000 54 15000 43
52 Leishman, Marc 0.457 7500 31 6000 26
53 Varner III, Harold 0.456 6600 81 30000 83
54 Furyk, Jim 0.447 6600 81 30000 83
55 Kisner, Kevin 0.436 7100 49 12500 38
56 Hadwin, Adam 0.431 7300 40 20000 56
57 Im, Sungjae 0.421 7600 27 8000 28
58 Sabbatini, Rory 0.419 6800 67 20000 56
59 Oosthuizen, Louis 0.388 7600 27 8000 28
60 Tringale, Cameron 0.386 6800 67 30000 83
61 Casey, Paul 0.384 7500 31 10000 32
62 Werenski, Richy 0.382 7000 54 25000 66
63 Lee, Danny 0.368 6100 123 50000 101
64 Griffin, Lanto 0.353 6500 88 50000 101
65 Grillo, Emiliano 0.349 6800 67 25000 66
66 Harman, Brian 0.343 6600 81 30000 83
67 Hebert, Benjamin 0.34 6100 123 100000 129
68 Watson, Bubba 0.34 7400 36 10000 32
69 Straka, Sepp 0.308 6500 88 30000 83
70 Poston, J.T. 0.307 6700 74 25000 66
71 Stricker, Steve 0.298 6100 123 50000 101
72 Merritt, Troy 0.258 6500 88 25000 66
73 Munoz, Sebastian 0.24 6400 96 50000 101
74 Schwartzel, Charl 0.233 6900 60 20000 56
75 Frittelli, Dylan 0.225 6800 67 25000 66
76 List, Luke 0.217 6800 67 30000 83
77 Willett, Danny 0.211 7200 45 15000 43
78 Kokrak, Jason 0.203 6500 88 25000 66
79 Long, Adam 0.203 6600 81 30000 83
80 Gooch, Talor 0.202 6400 96 50000 101
81 McCarthy, Denny 0.194 6300 104 50000 101
82 Lewis, Tom 0.184 7100 49 15000 43
83 Stuard, Brian 0.181 6100 123 50000 101
84 Todd, Brendon 0.163 7400 36 12500 38
85 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.161 6600 81 20000 56
86 Dahmen, Joel 0.13 6900 60 20000 56
87 Redman, Doc 0.124 6900 60 30000 83
88 Hoge, Tom 0.108 6300 104 50000 101
89 Labritz, Rob 0.1 6000 133 300000 136
90 Bradley, Keegan 0.065 6700 74 25000 66
91 Piercy, Scott 0.046 6500 88 50000 101
92 An, Byeong Hun 0.045 7300 40 12500 38
93 McDowell, Graeme 0.038 6500 88 30000 83
94 Steele, Brendan 0.022 6900 60 25000 66
95 Kang, Sung 0.018 6400 96 50000 101
96 Palmer, Ryan 0.006 6900 60 15000 43
97 Luiten, Joost -0.019 6700 74 30000 83
98 Johnson, Zach -0.055 6500 88 25000 66
99 Jones, Matt -0.058 6300 104 50000 101
100 Smith, Cameron -0.095 6800 67 25000 66
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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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