2021 The Honda Classic model and fantasy golf rankings
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2021 The Honda Classic model and fantasy golf rankings



Welcome to my weekly fantasy golf model for the 2021 The Honda 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
  • Mayakoba Golf Classic: Viktor Hovland – No. 5
  • Sentry Tournament of Champions: Harris English – No. 13
  • Sony Open in Hawaii: Kevin Na – No. 33
  • Farmers Insurance Open: Patrick Reed – No. 8
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open: Brooks Koepka – No. 10
  • AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger – No. 1
  • The Genesis Invitational: Max Homa – No. 30
  • WGC-Workday Championship: Collin Morikawa – No. 17
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational: Bryson DeChambeau – No. 3
  • The Players Championship: Justin Thomas – No. 3

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 2021, 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.

2021 The Honda Classic rankings

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

The Honda is looking at a future with weaker fields on a volatile golf course that’s subject to difficult scoring weather. With that in mind, we have to look toward ballstrikers, those who hit the ball a little lower and feel comfortable with potentially getting battered.

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 Berger, Daniel 1.163 10800 2 1000 1
2 Scott, Adam 0.797 10100 5 2500 5
3 Henley, Russell 0.734 9800 6 2500 5
4 NeSmith, Matthew 0.635 7300 40 10000 42
5 Tringale, Cameron 0.63 9100 9 4000 9
6 Im, Sungjae 0.618 11000 1 1400 2
7 Furyk, Jim 0.589 6900 59 12500 55
8 Davis, Cameron 0.58 8600 14 4000 9
9 Westwood, Lee 0.553 10600 3 2000 3
10 Poulter, Ian 0.533 8100 19 5000 13
11 Varner III, Harold 0.515 7600 29 6000 16
12 Niemann, Joaquin 0.505 10400 4 2000 3
13 Moore, Ryan 0.503 7300 40 8000 31
14 Wallace, Matt 0.472 8500 15 6000 16
15 Streelman, Kevin 0.449 7700 26 6000 16
16 Gooch, Talor 0.437 9300 7 3500 8
17 Hubbard, Mark 0.376 7000 54 12500 55
18 Reavie, Chez 0.374 7000 55 10000 42
19 Fowler, Rickie 0.372 8900 11 5000 13
20 Kirk, Chris 0.369 9000 10 4000 9
21 Ghim, Doug 0.346 7100 49 6000 16
22 Sabbatini, Rory 0.337 7200 44 10000 42
23 Straka, Sepp 0.33 6700 71 12500 55
24 Noren, Alex 0.308 7700 26 6000 16
25 Kim, Michael 0.3 6000 131 50000 126
26 An, Byeong Hun 0.292 8000 20 6000 16
27 Bryan, Wesley 0.261 6800 65 15000 65
28 Poston, J.T. 0.255 7900 22 6000 16
29 Perez, Pat 0.251 6500 84 20000 78
30 Rodgers, Patrick 0.25 7000 56 12500 55
31 McNealy, Maverick 0.244 7200 44 10000 42
32 Werenski, Richy 0.232 7200 44 8000 31
33 Ventura, Kristoffer 0.231 6700 71 20000 78
34 Lowry, Shane 0.215 9200 8 2500 5
35 Stricker, Steve 0.214 6800 65 15000 65
36 Schwartzel, Charl 0.212 6800 65 12500 55
37 Huh, John 0.191 6900 59 10000 42
38 Bradley, Keegan 0.189 8400 16 5000 13
39 Taylor, Nick 0.184 7100 49 12500 55
40 Steele, Brendan 0.172 8700 13 4000 9
41 Vegas, Jhonattan 0.171 7300 40 8000 31
42 McCarthy, Denny 0.145 6900 59 10000 42
43 Hadwin, Adam 0.135 7700 26 8000 31
44 Hoge, Tom 0.122 6900 59 10000 42
45 Stallings, Scott 0.121 6500 84 15000 65
46 Clark, Wyndham 0.116 8000 20 6000 16
47 van Rooyen, Erik 0.103 7600 29 10000 42
48 Harrington, Padraig 0.096 6800 65 15000 65
49 Stenson, Henrik 0.086 6700 71 15000 65
50 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.083 7800 24 8000 31
51 Schenk, Adam 0.075 6700 71 15000 65
52 Thompson, Michael 0.075 7500 32 8000 31
53 Hadley, Chesson 0.074 6600 78 20000 78
54 List, Luke 0.069 7500 32 6000 16
55 Malnati, Peter 0.063 6900 59 15000 65
56 Hahn, James 0.057 7300 40 10000 42
57 Norlander, Henrik 0.046 7400 36 10000 42
58 Stuard, Brian 0.046 6300 101 20000 78
59 Glover, Lucas 0.03 7000 57 10000 42
60 Gordon, Will 0.024 7100 49 10000 42
61 Merritt, Troy 0.024 6300 101 30000 111
62 Hoag, Bo 0.002 6600 78 15000 65
63 Rozo, Marcelo 0 6000 131 100000 139
64 Frittelli, Dylan -0.008 8800 12 6000 16
65 Wise, Aaron -0.022 7600 29 8000 31
66 Jones, Matt -0.024 7400 36 8000 31
67 Percy, Cameron -0.027 6900 59 12500 55
68 Long, Adam -0.029 7100 49 6000 16
69 Johnson, Zach -0.033 7400 36 8000 31
70 Kizzire, Patton -0.042 7500 32 6000 16
71 Knox, Russell -0.048 7900 22 8000 31
72 Sloan, Roger -0.054 6500 84 20000 78
73 Dufner, Jason -0.061 6700 71 15000 65
74 Lashley, Nate -0.063 6700 71 15000 65
75 Cink, Stewart -0.08 6500 84 20000 78
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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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