2020 US Open model and fantasy golf rankings
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2020 US Open 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, I developed 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
  • PGA Championship: Collin Morikawa – No. 13
  • The Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson – No. 20
  • US Open: Jon Rahm – No. 2

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 US Open rankings

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

This week we have a second major of the year, with the US Open at Winged Foot. I think our model excels in better fields because of Quality Strokes Gained, so it’s going to do better than last week at the Safeway, which was pretty solid. I’m going to make some changes to the rubric based on field strength.

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 Simpson, Webb 1.809 9700 8 2500 8
2 Rahm, Jon 1.732 11000 2 1000 2
3 Johnson, Dustin 1.695 11500 1 800 1
4 Scott, Adam 1.48 8700 14 4000 16
5 Thomas, Justin 1.453 9200 3 1400 3
6 Berger, Daniel 1.434 6000 10 3000 10
7 McIlroy, Rory 1.363 10500 4 1400 3
8 Cantlay, Patrick 1.279 9400 9 3000 10
9 DeChambeau, Bryson 1.224 9900 7 2000 7
10 Schauffele, Xander 1.179 10100 5 1400 3
11 Morikawa, Collin 1.06 10000 6 1800 6
12 Hovland, Viktor 1.052 8000 20 5000 20
13 Matsuyama, Hideki 1.012 9000 11 3000 10
14 English, Harris 0.985 7900 22 8000 26
15 Reed, Patrick 0.957 8500 16 3500 15
16 Woods, Tiger 0.943 8600 15 5000 20
17 Finau, Tony 0.875 9100 10 3000 10
18 Bezuidenhout, Christiaan 0.862 6500 79 30000 72
19 Woodland, Gary 0.859 7800 24 8000 26
20 Horschel, Billy 0.826 7500 30 12500 36
21 Fowler, Rickie 0.811 8300 18 4000 16
22 Hatton, Tyrrell 0.802 8100 19 4000 16
23 Na, Kevin 0.8 6800 59 25000 60
24 Hubbard, Mark 0.798 6700 65 30000 72
25 Fleetwood, Tommy 0.776 8900 12 2500 8
26 Kokrak, Jason 0.766 6800 59 25000 60
27 Fitzpatrick, Matthew 0.738 8000 20 6000 23
28 Snedeker, Brandt 0.68 7000 48 25000 60
29 Im, Sungjae 0.677 7500 30 8000 26
30 Leishman, Marc 0.654 7100 43 15000 41
31 Poulter, Ian 0.652 7300 37 15000 41
32 Reavie, Chez 0.604 6900 53 12500 36
33 Lowry, Shane 0.598 7700 26 10000 32
34 Kisner, Kevin 0.596 7600 28 8000 26
35 van Rooyen, Erik 0.589 6900 53 30000 72
36 Casey, Paul 0.588 7900 22 5000 20
37 Westwood, Lee 0.569 7000 48 20000 50
38 Rose, Justin 0.556 8400 17 4000 16
39 Harman, Brian 0.527 6400 87 30000 72
40 Smith, Cameron 0.524 7000 48 20000 50
41 Imahira, Shugo 0.505 6100 116 50000 99
42 Ancer, Abraham 0.494 7800 24 8000 26
43 Kuchar, Matt 0.491 7200 40 12500 36
44 Wallace, Matt 0.478 7100 43 20000 50
45 Conners, Corey 0.455 6900 53 20000 50
46 Werenski, Richy 0.411 6300 97 40000 89
47 Garcia, Sergio 0.399 7500 30 12500 36
48 Stenson, Henrik 0.387 7200 40 15000 41
49 Niemann, Joaquin 0.386 7400 34 12500 36
50 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.37 6900 53 25000 60
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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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