🍳 Let's Ham & Egg It
Heritage Review & Zurich Preview | Stats, Trends & More!
If you like watching the world burn, let me introduce you to the Zurich Classic. The team format will pit 80 teams against one another in both fourball (best ball) and foursomes (alternate shot).
There will be hamming and egging, there will be a 59-watch, there will be chaos. Throw your data out the window (well, not all of it) and embrace your inner menace.
I hope you enjoy.
🏆 Last Week’s Optimal Lineup
👁️ Lookback At It
One of the best parts about this weekly email is that I can easily look back and see what I was thinking seven days ago. I can keep track of player trends, narratives and other things. Last week, I displayed the top players on “Small Greens” — those 4,000 sq. feet and smaller.
Here’s that same list with the results for each player.
Two golfers who were highly regarded before the year fell off a cliff — but I’m happy to report that they are back from the dead*!
Cameron Davis — missed five straight cuts from the AMEX to the API due to an illness. He finished T6 at the PLAYERS, played fine at the Match Play and just finished T7 last week in Hilton Head. His off-the-tee numbers are back — gaining 2+ strokes in each of his last three starts. He gained 10.68 from tee-to-green last week, the 4th best mark in the field and his career high.
Hayden Buckley — Buckley has been frustrating because he got into this trend of playing well on Thursday then punting on Friday. He missed four straight cuts from Riviera to THE PLAYERS. Since, he finished T10 at the Texas Open and T5 at the Heritage. He’s been elite off-the-tee throughout and has found his approach play again (+9.97 in last 10 rounds).
🦾 The Most Complete Teams
While there is clearly a “Big Two” (Homa/Morikawa & Cantlay/Schauffele) in terms of teams at the top of the board, there’s a third team lurking that could play spoiler.
There are actually three teams in this field who are gaining at least 0.50 strokes ball-striking and 0.30 strokes in the short-game over the last 36 rounds.
Sungjae Im and Keith Mitchell actually gains in all four major Strokes Gained categories, It’s even more impressive how they rate out because Mitchell has really struggled recently. He’s lost a total of 19.19 strokes over his last three starts. If you go back to the last 100 rounds, these two get even better.
🧑🤝🧑 Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
I’ve gotten a bit freaky on RickRunGood.com this week and aggregated the stats by team when it makes sense. You’ll see this on the Cheat Sheet, Power Rankings and Custom Model.
It allows us to see the teams as a whole, along with their strengths and weaknesses. Here are the best teams in the field, over the last 36 rounds.
This event has been played since 1938 but it didn’t become a team event until 2017.
There is one golfer who has won twice — once as a single and once as a teammate.
There is one golfer who has won twice — both in the team competition.
(Answer at bottom of the email)
🦈 Racking Up The Fantasy Points
This year has been dominated by Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm, there’s no doubt in that. They rank 1st and 2nd in just about any metric you want to use — including Fantasy Points Gained*.
*Fantasy Points Gained is better than using raw fantasy points, since scoring 100 points at the Bermuda Championship is much different than scoring 100 points at the U.S. Open.
Below are the golfers who have gained the most fantasy points since January 1st, 2023.
Some obvious names on the list but how about Wyndham Clark?! He’s the 5th best fantasy scorer of 2023 and is currently riding a 13-tournament streak of gaining fantasy points to the field — the longest active streak on TOUR.
👨🚒 Brotherly Love
Matt Fitzpatrick needs no introduction — our 2022 U.S. Open Champion earned his second PGA TOUR win last week at the RBC Heritage. He’s joining forces with his brother, Alex Fitzpatrick this week. Let’s give some more context to younger Fitzpatrick.
Played four years at Wake Forest and holds the third best career scoring average in school history (70.94)
Ranked as high as 4th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings
Turned pro in 2022, doesn’t currently have status on a tour.
Ranked 705th in the OWGR.
Has played three OWGR sanctioned tour events in 2023, with a T9 on the Challenge Tour in his last start two weeks ago.
🏒 Somebody Learned How To Putt
And that somebody is Benny An! Since the start of 2023, An has gained 0.12 strokes putting per round in 25 rounds. That’s huge for him!
From the start of his career to December 31, 2022, he lost 0.55 strokes putting per round. That’s a 0.67 stroke PER ROUND improvement.
Good on ya, Benny.
⚾ I Bought You a Homakawa Jersey
When Collin Morikawa and Max Homa announced they were playing this event together, they did it with the nickname “Homakawa” on the back of a Dodgers jersey.
I saw that and thought “man, I should buy one of those”. I’m not a Dodgers fan. I don’t wear baseball jerseys. They aren’t event being sold — I had to do a custom order from Fanatics. I just thought it would be cool (?). I ended up buying three and figured I’d give them away. Here’s how to get your hands on one.
Be subscribed to this email newsletter. Which, if you’re reading, there’s a good chance you already are. If you’re not, you can sign up below.
Follow me on Instagram (@RickRunGood).
You can do one, both or neither. If you’re already doing those things, congrats — you’re in!
⚠️ In Case You Missed It
🤑 Ryan Gerard and Nicolai Hojgaard have accepted Special Temporary Membership status on the PGA TOUR making them eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions through the end of the season.
🎥 You’ll only be able to draft one golfer from each team, but they’ll be priced the same and will earn the same amount of points. Learn the nuances of the DFS format for this week via my YouTube Preview.
Billy Horschel won as an individual in 2013 and as a teammate (with Scott Piercy) in 2018.
Cameron Smith won twice in the team competition — 2017 with Jonas Blixt and 2021 with Marc Leishman.