🏦 Take It To The Bank
Mexico Review & Wells Fargo Preview | Stats, Trends & More!
The big events never stop. Another designated event this week and we are charging straight towards the PGA Championship. I’ll be arriving in Rochester on Monday that week so my replies are open for restaurant recommendations and/or things for Mina to do — if they exist.
Looking forward to checking out Oak Hill and meeting up with those who will also be attending.
🏆 Last Week’s Optimal Lineup
👁️ Tony Finau Is The Ceiling
Since the start of the 2022 season, there have been nine instances of a golfer gaining 17+ strokes to the field in a single tournament. Of those nine instances, Tony Finau has five (!!) of them. No other golfer has done it multiple times.
🏆 Now He’s Winning *TOO* Much!
I was pretty stunned to hear via Patrick McDonald that Tony Finau has won five times in his last 41 starts. That’s a 12.2% win rate which is reserved for only the game’s most elite winners. It got me thinking — “has anyone had a better Last 41 events than Finau?”. The answer is yes, but it might be much closer than you think.
Number of PGA TOUR wins over their last 41 starts.
6: Scottie Scheffler
5: Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau
4: Cameron Smith, Max Homa, Sam Burns
3: Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele
2: Daniel Berger, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Fitzpatrick
💦 Drought SZN
If Jon Rahm doesn’t win the PGA Championship, he will enter his longest winning “drought” of 2023.
Days from …
January 1st to Win #1: 7
Win #1 to Win #2: 14
Win #2 to Win #3: 28
Win #3 to Win #4: 49
Win #4 to Next Opportunity: 50
🧭 Expectation Is Reality
One of my favorite things about the Showdown Cheat Sheet is being able to see how golfers are playing, in-tournament, compared to their baseline. It allows me to understand who is hot with their putter or who is struggling with the driver.
Warning — this is pretty nerdy.
Here are the final results from last week. You’ll note that Tony Finau was +3.01 strokes better per round in Mexico than his 100 round baseline. Now, he won by three strokes so he really only needed to be ~2.25 strokes per round better than expectation to still win.
Jon Rahm was “only” 2.12 strokes/rd better than his baseline and finished 2nd. Brandon Wu had to outpace his own baseline by 3.44 strokes per round to finish 3rd.
Clearly Rahm had an above average week but Wu had one of his ceiling weeks — and Rahm still prevailed.
Wyndham Clark and Gary Woodland played very close to their averages, finishing T24 and T39 respectively. Playing at the same rate, in a stronger field, you’d expect these finished to be worse.
Just a fun way to look at the outcomes.
There is only one golfer in this field who 1) has played at least 20 rounds at Quail Hollow since 2008 and 2) played in the 2022 Presidents Cup.
Hint: Despite gaining 0.83 strokes per round at QH, his best finish is a T16 in 2015. He went 3-1 at the ‘22 Presidents Cup.
(Answer at bottom of the email)
🏇 Coming Down The Home Stretch
There’s a stallion in the starting gate and his name is Rory McIlroy. And there’s no track he likes more than the friendly confines of Quail Hollow. Since 2008, McIlroy has gained 2.86 strokes per round at this golf course — the third best mark of any golfer at any course during that period.
*min 20 rounds
🪖 Weekend Warriors
We always hope that golfers can “find something” one week and carry it over to the next. That’s why I often keep an eye on the weekend results to see who could be building momentum.
For example, Patrick Rodgers finished T30 but had the 3rd best SG on the weekend.
Here are the best players from Saturday and Sunday last week:
🪙 Big Boppers Only
We are now eight events into the new “designated” schedule. Here are the best players in the designated events/majors this year:
Worth noting, there’s only one win accounted for on that chart — Fitzpatrick at Harbour Town.
🥵 The Best & The Hottest
I often keep track of who the “hottest” golfers are — those who are playing above their baseline. However, it doesn’t really matter how hot a golfer is if their baseline is really low. And if a golfer’s baseline is already high, it’s hard for them to get hot.
Introducing … SG Trend.
I simply combined the two concepts. A simple value assigned based on 1) a golfer’s baseline and 2) how they have been playing lately. Essentially — how they are “trending” represented by Strokes Gained. Here are the best players in the field in SG Trend:
How to read this — Rory McIlroy is actually playing 0.36 strokes per round below his baseline, but that baseline is so good that he’s still the second best SG Trend golfer in the field.
Another example — Eric Cole is playing way over his baseline but it’s still not as good as Justin Thomas who is slightly below his own.
⚠️ In Case You Missed It
📈The data and tools you see above are from my site, RickRunGood.com — a giant golf database designed for fantasy and betting.
🎽 The PGA of America posted betting content on their site and it was written by my friend Keith Stewart. This is a big win for the industry to continue to make this little niche much more mainstream.