2020 CJ Cup at Shadow Creek model and fantasy golf rankings
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2020 CJ Cup at Shadow Creek 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
  • BMW Championship: Jon Rahm – No. 2
  • US Open: Bryson DeChambeau – No. 9
  • Sanderson Farms Championship: Sergio Garcia – No. 40

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 CJ Cup at Shadow Creek rankings

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

Last week, we had Marty Laird at No. 102 in our ranking. He won. This goes to prove how a model cannot fully account for a lot of what happens in golf and demonstrates just how talented these guys are, with not that big of a gap between, say, the 50th best player and the 150th best player. It also proves that horses for courses is a real thing and can make a worthwhile long-shot bet.

This is going to be a fascinating week, with a very strong field taking on Shadow Creek in Vegas. My theory is that players who like Augusta National should like here given Fazio’s influence at the club.

The ranking at the top absolutely makes sense, so hopefully we find some gems in the 20s and 30s.

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 1.8 10600 4 1400 4
2 Thomas, Justin 1.76 10800 3 1200 3
3 Rahm, Jon 1.673 11300 1 1000 1
4 Schauffele, Xander 1.428 10300 5 1400 4
5 Berger, Daniel 1.316 9300 12 3000 11
6 Cantlay, Patrick 1.259 9800 7 2500 7
7 Finau, Tony 1.258 9400 11 3000 11
8 Matsuyama, Hideki 1.156 9200 13 3000 11
9 Koepka, Brooks 1.106 9700 8 2500 7
10 Johnson, Dustin 1.098 11100 2 1000 1
11 English, Harris 1.068 8600 19 4000 16
12 Fitzpatrick, Matthew 1.065 8900 16 4000 16
13 Hovland, Viktor 1.059 9000 15 3500 15
14 Morikawa, Collin 0.968 9500 10 2500 7
15 Fleetwood, Tommy 0.885 9100 14 3000 11
16 Scheffler, Scottie 0.841 8800 17 5000 20
17 Kokrak, Jason 0.814 7000 40 10000 37
18 Woodland, Gary 0.707 7700 28 6000 24
19 Ancer, Abraham 0.705 8200 23 5000 20
20 Horschel, Billy 0.704 7200 36 8000 31
21 Wolff, Matthew 0.691 10000 6 2000 6
22 Hatton, Tyrrell 0.686 9600 9 2500 7
23 Casey, Paul 0.628 8000 25 5000 20
24 Niemann, Joaquin 0.614 7500 30 6000 24
25 Henley, Russell 0.608 7100 38 8000 31
26 Fowler, Rickie 0.571 8100 24 6000 24
27 Watson, Bubba 0.546 7300 34 8000 31
28 Rose, Justin 0.538 7800 27 6000 24
29 Garcia, Sergio 0.535 8400 21 6000 24
30 Conners, Corey 0.514 6900 42 10000 37
31 Im, Sungjae 0.481 8700 18 4000 16
32 Na, Kevin 0.48 6700 47 10000 37
33 Harman, Brian 0.478 7200 36 10000 37
34 Oosthuizen, Louis 0.476 8500 20 4000 16
35 Poulter, Ian 0.472 7400 32 6000 24
36 Hubbard, Mark 0.456 6200 65 30000 65
37 Kisner, Kevin 0.419 7500 30 8000 31
38 Smith, Cameron 0.403 6800 44 10000 37
39 Dahmen, Joel 0.383 6500 53 15000 52
40 Kim, Joohyung 0.368 6400 57 25000 59
41 Day, Jason 0.362 8300 22 5000 20
42 Todd, Brendon 0.322 7900 26 6000 24
43 Taylor, Nick 0.267 6200 65 40000 70
44 Munoz, Sebastian 0.266 7000 40 10000 37
45 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.263 6800 44 10000 37
46 Lowry, Shane 0.257 7600 29 8000 31
47 An, Byeong Hun 0.238 6600 50 12500 47
48 Hadwin, Adam 0.233 6700 47 12500 47
49 Kuchar, Matt 0.231 6900 42 10000 37
50 Streelman, Kevin 0.214 6500 53 15000 52
51 Griffin, Lanto 0.209 6300 61 15000 52
52 Higgs, Harry 0.19 6300 61 25000 59
53 Frittelli, Dylan 0.121 6600 50 15000 52
54 Spieth, Jordan 0.111 7300 34 10000 37
55 Palmer, Ryan 0.103 6700 47 12500 47
56 Ortiz, Carlos 0.1 6400 57 25000 59
57 Gooch, Talor 0.08 6200 65 25000 59
58 Werenski, Richy 0.059 6300 61 30000 65
59 Steele, Brendan 0.036 6500 53 12500 47
60 Landry, Andrew 0.025 6100 69 30000 65
61 Bradley, Keegan 0.012 6500 53 15000 52
62 Ham, Jeongwoo 0 6200 65 50000 73
63 Leishman, Marc -0.039 6800 44 15000 52
64 Hoge, Tom -0.06 6100 69 25000 59
65 Lee, Danny -0.077 6300 61 25000 59
66 Noren, Alex -0.11 7400 32 8000 31
67 Thompson, Michael -0.11 6400 57 30000 65
68 Long, Adam -0.141 6600 50 15000 52
69 Duncan, Tyler -0.152 6000 74 30000 65
70 Champ, Cameron -0.288 6400 57 12500 47
71 Lee, Kyoung-Hoon -0.637 6100 69 40000 70
72 Kang, Sung -0.698 6100 69 40000 70
73 Kim, Hanbyeol -0.7 6000 74 50000 73
74 Lee, Jaekyeong -0.7 6100 69 50000 73
75 Kim, Si Woo -0.76 7100 38 10000 37
76 Herman, Jim -0.77 6000 74 50000 73
77 Kim, Seonghyun -0.8 6000 74 50000 73
78 Lee, Tae Hee -4.353 6000 74 50000 73
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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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