2021 Masters Tournament model and fantasy golf rankings
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2021 Masters Tournament model and fantasy golf rankings



Welcome to my weekly fantasy golf model for the 2021 Masters!

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
  • Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship: Joel Dahmen - No. 22
  • Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth - No. 9

Let me walk you through the rubric's tenets and show off this week's results.

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 Masters rankings

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

The Masters is back in April, and we've got one hell of a tournament shaping up before us. You'll see that there aren't a lot of surprises in the model. The biggest one for me? Hideki.

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 DeChambeau, Bryson 2.349 10800 3 800 1
2 Schauffele, Xander 2.034 10000 6 2000 8
3 McIlroy, Rory 1.995 10200 5 1800 7
4 Rahm, Jon 1.855 11000 2 1200 5
5 Morikawa, Collin 1.645 9600 8 3000 10
6 Thomas, Justin 1.633 10600 4 1000 3
7 Simpson, Webb 1.611 9000 13 5000 16
8 Finau, Tony 1.485 9100 12 3000 10
9 Johnson, Dustin 1.464 11500 1 900 2
10 Wolff, Matthew 1.404 7100 36 15000 37
11 Scott, Adam 1.401 7600 27 6000 22
12 Scheffler, Scottie 1.396 8400 19 5000 16
13 Cantlay, Patrick 1.367 9800 7 2000 8
14 English, Harris 1.352 7300 32 15000 37
15 Reed, Patrick 1.337 9300 10 3000 10
16 Matsuyama, Hideki 1.335 8300 20 5000 16
17 Koepka, Brooks 1.304 9200 11 1000 3
18 Zalatoris, Will 1.3 7300 32 12500 35
19 Casey, Paul 1.288 7700 26 5000 16
20 Hovland, Viktor 1.28 8700 16 3000 10
21 Berger, Daniel 1.272 8500 18 5000 16
22 Fitzpatrick, Matthew 1.127 8100 22 6000 22
23 Day, Jason 1.015 7500 28 6000 22
24 Oosthuizen, Louis 0.987 7500 28 6000 22
25 Kokrak, Jason 0.94 6900 41 15000 37
26 Woodland, Gary 0.917 6800 44 15000 37
27 Griffin, Lanto 0.835 6400 60 30000 58
28 Niemann, Joaquin 0.795 7400 30 8000 29
29 Im, Sungjae 0.773 8600 17 5000 16
30 Westwood, Lee 0.762 8800 15 6000 22
31 Todd, Brendon 0.725 6200 69 100000 72
32 Wallace, Matt 0.706 6400 60 20000 47
33 Bezuidenhout, Christiaan 0.705 6700 48 20000 47
34 Fleetwood, Tommy 0.669 8000 23 6000 22
35 Hatton, Tyrrell 0.625 8900 14 6000 22
36 Rose, Justin 0.607 7200 34 10000 31
37 Poulter, Ian 0.545 6800 44 25000 52
38 Ancer, Abraham 0.522 7400 30 10000 31
39 Spieth, Jordan 0.465 9400 9 1200 5
40 Kisner, Kevin 0.454 6700 48 25000 52
41 Conners, Corey 0.452 6900 41 10000 31
42 Smith, Cameron 0.451 8200 21 30000 58
43 Lowry, Shane 0.443 7000 38 15000 37
44 Horschel, Billy 0.416 7200 34 50000 66
45 Watson, Bubba 0.413 7800 25 50000 66
46 Harman, Brian 0.397 6800 44 3000 10
47 Ortiz, Carlos 0.33 6500 56 60000 69
48 Palmer, Ryan 0.315 6500 56 20000 47
49 Homa, Max 0.277 7100 36 15000 37
50 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.204 6300 64 30000 58

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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