The American Express | Stats, Trends & Things You Don’t Need To Know

Courses: Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta Country Club
R1) Stadium | R2) La Quinta | R3) Nicklaus
R1) La Quinta | R2) Nicklaus | R3) Stadium
R1) Nicklaus | R2) Stadium | R3) La Quinta
54-Hole Cut, then all remaining golfers finish on Stadium Course

Different Courses, Different Days

The whole course rotation thing is always a little weird. You have 144 golfers spread out over three different courses, playing at the same time and we really only know who’s actually winning after three rounds. It’s unique for the viewers and even more unique for the players. This is one of three PGA TOUR stops that feature either a two or three course rotation. Here are the best players in those events:

Truly Boom Or Bust

I tweeted this out, but it’s too good not to include here.

Rickie Has Been Better Than You Remember

I get it, (2) Top 10 finishes in the last 39 events isn’t great for the 5-time TOUR winner. However, we are starting to see signs of life. In his last 11 starts alone, he has a T8 at the PGA Championship, a T11 at the Memorial and battled Rory in Vegas before finishing T3 at the CJ Cup. Those starts really improve his Weighted Strokes Gained numbers and over the last 50 rounds, he’s actually the 12th best player in this field.

PIVOT! … To Matthew Wolff

There still appears to be hesitancy in rostering Wolff for DFS purposes. There are only two golfers priced $9,000+ in this field that have been owned, on average, under 10% for the last year. One is Seamus Power (8.2% average ownership) and the other is Wolff (8.8%).

Even during his resurgence in the fall, with four straight Top 17 finishes, his ownership never got higher than 15.2%. Over those four starts he gained a total of 210 fantasy points on the field. Massive.

Easy Does It!

2020 was the last time we saw all three courses in action and they played super easy. All three ranked in the top six of easiest courses on the schedule for that year. Here are the golfers who are best on the easiest courses.

  1. Patrick Cantlay +1.94
  2. Jon Rahm +1.83
  3. Jason Day +1.36
  4. Alex Noren +1.18
  5. Sungjae Im +1.17

Putting Poppers

This might be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done. Over and over again, the industry (myself included) tells you that putting is volatile. From day-to-day or week-to-week and it’s true. The idea is to find great ball-strikers and hope they putt well. The problem is that sometimes the bad putters just NEVER PUTT WELL! So I went on a quest to find the best Putting Popper — the golfer who actually does putt well occasionally.

I narrowed it down to the Top 100 players in my current wStrokes Gained Power Rankings. I then took the 20 worst putters and analyzed their last 100 rounds. I counted a “POP!” as a golfer gaining one standard deviation more than their baseline. Hang with me here… This is important. You can’t really use the same benchmark for every golfer, so I used their own mean and their own standard deviation to determine if the round was a POP! for them. For example, Patrick Cantlay would need to gain 2.17 strokes putting for it to be considered a POP while Luke List would only need to gain 1.12 strokes putting.

When I was done with all that silliness, I determined the Ultimate Popping Popper to be… DOUG GHIM!

Despite being a poor putter, Ghim popped with the flat-stick in 19.23% of his rounds. Tony Finau, on the other hand, only popped in 12.99% of his rounds. That a huge difference! The Top 5:

  1. Doug Ghim 19.23%
  2. Shane Lowry 18.18%
  3. Collin Morikawa 17.81%
  4. Aaron Wise 17.65%
  5. Bubba Watson 17.20%

I realize not all of these guys are playing this week, but I couldn’t resist posting.

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Good Luck