2020 The RSM Classic model and fantasy golf rankings
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2020 The RSM Classic model and fantasy golf rankings



Welcome to my weekly fantasy golf model for the 2020 The RSM Classic!

Beginning in 2020, 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
  • CJ Cup at Shadow Creek: Jason Kokrak – No. 17
  • Zozo Championship at Sherwood: Patrick Cantlay – No. 9
  • The Masters: Dustin Johnson – No. 7

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. In the fall of 2020, I included specific weighting of strokes gained and Quality Strokes Gained against the field strength that week, creating a range of comparison to see how players do against particular competition.

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 The RSM Classic rankings

You’ll see with the rubric that I’ve listed the top 75, as well their current betting odds and DraftKings price.

This is an interesting week at Sea Island. We have an event that measures strokes gained on one of two courses used, as well tournaments like the Masters in recent memory that don’t measure strokes gained. Still, the model produces some names you would expect to see at the top, along with some potential values like HV3.

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 1.631 11200 1 1000 1
2 Hatton, Tyrrell 1.11 10400 4 2000 2
3 English, Harris 0.86 9700 7 3000 5
4 Henley, Russell 0.841 10100 5 3000 5
5 Varner III, Harold 0.826 7400 37 8000 25
6 Fitzpatrick, Matthew 0.819 9900 6 3000 5
7 Kokrak, Jason 0.814 8700 15 4000 10
8 Lowry, Shane 0.704 9200 10 4000 10
9 Burns, Sam 0.643 7700 28 6000 19
10 Harman, Brian 0.593 8500 17 5000 17
11 Day, Jason 0.582 9500 8 3000 5
12 Poulter, Ian 0.573 8300 19 5000 17
13 Ventura, Kristoffer 0.549 7000 59 12500 53
14 Snedeker, Brandt 0.542 7100 53 12500 53
15 Westwood, Lee 0.516 7800 26 8000 25
16 Im, Sungjae 0.501 11000 2 2000 2
17 Gooch, Talor 0.49 7900 24 6000 19
18 Redman, Doc 0.476 8000 22 6000 19
19 Dahmen, Joel 0.475 7400 37 10000 37
20 McCarthy, Denny 0.467 7700 28 8000 25
21 Niemann, Joaquin 0.466 9100 11 4000 10
22 Kisner, Kevin 0.463 8600 16 4000 10
23 Fleetwood, Tommy 0.459 10700 3 2500 4
24 NeSmith, Matthew 0.456 7000 59 12500 53
25 Hubbard, Mark 0.448 6800 73 15000 68
26 Conners, Corey 0.442 8900 13 4000 10
27 Gordon, Will 0.435 7000 59 12500 53
28 Munoz, Sebastian 0.428 9000 12 4000 10
29 Rose, Justin 0.424 8400 18 4000 10
30 Johnson, Zach 0.418 8000 22 6000 19
31 Poston, J.T. 0.413 7300 42 8000 25
32 Oosthuizen, Louis 0.394 9300 9 3000 5
33 Tringale, Cameron 0.389 7200 47 12500 53
34 McNealy, Maverick 0.386 7300 42 10000 37
35 Straka, Sepp 0.354 7600 30 8000 25
36 Reavie, Chez 0.353 7500 33 8000 25
37 Kuchar, Matt 0.33 7400 37 10000 37
38 Piercy, Scott 0.32 7000 59 12500 53
39 Stuard, Brian 0.312 6500 97 20000 82
40 Glover, Lucas 0.295 6800 73 15000 68
41 Norlander, Henrik 0.274 7100 53 10000 37
42 Huh, John 0.27 6600 89 20000 82
43 Hoge, Tom 0.254 6700 81 20000 82
44 Hadwin, Adam 0.252 7300 42 10000 37
45 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.247 8100 21 6000 19
46 Percy, Cameron 0.246 6500 97 25000 104
47 Streelman, Kevin 0.227 7100 53 10000 37
48 Higgs, Harry 0.221 6900 66 12500 53
49 Wallace, Matt 0.212 7600 30 8000 25
50 Vegas, Jhonattan 0.209 6700 81 20000 82
51 Hoffman, Charley 0.202 7200 47 12500 53
52 Ghim, Doug 0.192 6700 81 15000 68
53 Knox, Russell 0.177 7200 47 10000 37
54 Todd, Brendon 0.176 7800 26 8000 25
55 Sabbatini, Rory 0.175 6700 81 15000 68
56 Wise, Aaron 0.163 7400 37 10000 37
57 Noren, Alex 0.139 7600 30 8000 25
58 Cook, Austin 0.137 7500 33 8000 25
59 Hahn, James 0.127 6900 66 12500 53
60 Thompson, Davis 0.1 6300 115 20000 82
61 Perez, Pat 0.1 6600 89 20000 82
62 Schenk, Adam 0.091 6800 73 15000 68
63 Kim, Michael 0.087 6000 143 100000 145
64 Grillo, Emiliano 0.062 7200 47 10000 37
65 Kizzire, Patton 0.043 6800 73 15000 68
66 Long, Adam 0.039 7000 59 15000 68
67 Merritt, Troy 0.036 6500 97 20000 82
68 Frittelli, Dylan 0.024 8800 14 6000 19
69 Kirk, Chris 0.014 6800 73 15000 68
70 Stallings, Scott 0.01 6800 73 15000 68
71 Malnati, Peter 0.008 7100 53 12500 53
72 Taylor, Nick 0.1 6700 81 20000 82
73 Bradley, Keegan -0.005 7000 59 12500 53
74 Gomez, Fabian -0.009 6400 106 25000 104
75 Laird, Martin -0.032 6800 73 15000 68
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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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