GOLF

Gdula's Golf Simulations and Betting Picks: Sanderson Farms Championship

Which golfers are betting values in this week's PGA Tour field at the Country Club of Jackson, according to thousands of simulations?

Volatility is the name of the game in golf, and picking winners isn't easy. With fields of 150-plus golfers sometimes being separated by how a putt or two falls each week, predicting golf can be absurdly tough.

We'll never be able to capture everything that goes into a golfer's expectations for a week, but we can try to account for that by simulating out the weekend and seeing what happens.

The Process

Over the years, I have made plenty of tweaks to my original golf model, which uses a combination of the OWGR's field strength numbers and datagolf's field strength numbers to adjust each golfer's score relative to the field (on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Korn Ferry Tour).

The ultimate goal is to place a score from the Waste Management Open, the BMW International Open, and the Knoxville Open on level playing fields. This adjusted strokes metric lets me see how golfers are performing across all tours. From there, a golfer's adjusted stroke data is combined with their round-to-round variance to see how the field is likely to perform when playing out the event thousands of times.

In addition to that long-term adjusted form, I factor in course-level adjustments for course fit.

I run a second model that uses more granular strokes gained data, which allows me to very easily adjust for course fit. The results are averaged out.

I let the data do the talking and don't make many tweaks -- if any. Golfers with a small sample get regressed to a low-end PGA Tour player to round out their samples. Data points are weighted more heavily toward recent performance.

Here are the most likely winners for the Sanderson Farms Championship, according to the models.

Golfer FanDuel
Salary
Win% Top-
10%
Made
Cut%
FanDuel
Sportsbook
Win
Odds
Corey Conners $11,500 4.8% 27.2% 75.3% +2400
Sam Burns $11,900 4.2% 24.9% 72.9% +1800
Will Zalatoris $11,800 3.9% 24.4% 72.9% +1800
Sergio Garcia $11,600 3.7% 24.6% 72.9% +2000
Cameron Tringale $11,000 3.3% 20.8% 70.2% +3600
Sungjae Im $11,700 3.2% 22.7% 71.6% +2000
Charley Hoffman $11,200 3.0% 20.2% 69.8% +3600
Keegan Bradley $10,800 2.2% 17.1% 66.5% +3200
Kevin Streelman $10,500 2.0% 14.9% 64.1% +4500
Chris Kirk $9,100 1.8% 13.6% 62.8% +9000
Emiliano Grillo $9,800 1.8% 14.3% 62.9% +6000
Aaron Wise $9,900 1.7% 14.4% 63.6% +6000
Patton Kizzire $9,700 1.6% 13.8% 63.0% +7000
Taylor Moore $7,000 1.5% 14.1% 63.5% +10000
Carlos Ortiz $10,100 1.5% 13.3% 62.1% +3300
Doug Ghim $9,300 1.5% 12.1% 60.4% +7500
Harold Varner III $10,600 1.4% 14.8% 64.5% +3500
Siwoo Kim $11,100 1.4% 14.4% 62.9% +2800
Lanto Griffin $8,900 1.4% 11.6% 59.9% +13000
Cameron Davis $10,700 1.4% 12.8% 61.0% +3300
Chad Ramey $8,800 1.4% 11.6% 60.7% +11000
Seamus Power $10,400 1.4% 13.7% 62.8% +4500
Zach Johnson $9,100 1.1% 9.2% 56.6% +7500
Kyoung-hoon Lee $9,000 1.1% 11.2% 59.5% +8500
Gary Woodland $9,900 1.0% 10.3% 57.7% +4500
Brendon Todd $9,800 1.0% 9.5% 56.4% +9500
Guillermo Mito Pereira $10,900 1.0% 10.8% 58.5% +3200
Mackenzie Hughes $9,400 1.0% 9.8% 57.3% +8000
Matt Wallace $9,000 1.0% 10.1% 57.4% +7500
Luke List $8,900 1.0% 10.9% 59.0% +7500
Lucas Glover $8,700 1.0% 9.6% 57.1% +10000
Stephan Jaeger $8,800 1.0% 9.7% 56.9% +15000
Alex Smalley $7,900 1.0% 8.7% 54.3% +15000
Lucas Herbert $8,700 0.9% 10.4% 57.8% +8000
Taylor Pendrith $9,700 0.8% 10.9% 58.1% +6000
Joel Dahmen $9,000 0.8% 8.7% 55.7% +10000
Sebastian J Munoz $10,200 0.8% 10.5% 58.9% +4500
Adam Hadwin $8,500 0.8% 8.5% 54.5% +15000
Matthias Schwab $9,500 0.8% 8.2% 54.4% +6000
Patrick Rodgers $9,600 0.8% 9.6% 56.5% +6500
Joseph Bramlett $9,200 0.7% 9.7% 56.3% +7000
Dylan Frittelli $8,400 0.7% 7.8% 53.6% +15000
Michael Thompson $7,000 0.7% 6.4% 51.2% +20000
Sahith Theegala $8,400 0.7% 8.0% 54.0% +13000
Brandt Snedeker $9,600 0.7% 6.7% 51.4% +13000
Aaron Rai $8,600 0.7% 7.4% 53.7% +9500
Nick Taylor $8,600 0.6% 6.9% 52.2% +10000
C.T. Pan $9,300 0.6% 8.3% 55.3% +7500
Roger Sloan $8,400 0.6% 7.1% 52.1% +20000
Adam Schenk $8,400 0.6% 7.7% 54.1% +16000
Ryan Armour $8,500 0.6% 6.4% 50.8% +13000
Vincent Whaley $8,000 0.6% 7.4% 52.7% +20000
Tom Hoge $8,300 0.6% 6.7% 51.5% +15000
Nick Hardy $7,800 0.6% 6.9% 52.3% +15000
Matthew Wolff $10,000 0.6% 6.6% 50.5% +4500
Scott Stallings $9,500 0.6% 8.4% 54.6% +6500
Russell Knox $8,000 0.6% 6.3% 50.8% +15000
Brendan Steele $8,300 0.6% 6.3% 50.2% +13000
Martin Laird $7,900 0.6% 5.9% 50.2% +15000


A lot of variance should be expected this week (i.e. cut odds for the favorites are relatively low), and the win odds are low for just about everyone.

Corey Conners (+2400 on FanDuel Sportsbook) rates out as a positive expected value. Conners has concerns putting on bermuda greens, but he has concerns putting everywhere. Conners has a runner-up and a 17th here in the past three years. Conners is first in my combo model, which accounts for recent stats and form.

Charley Hoffman (+3200) is part of the trio I like between 24/1 and 36/1. Hoffman rates out seventh in my stats and form model for the week and also outperforms his win odds in the simulations. He has finished 23rd and 6th here the past two years.

I can't quit Cameron Tringale (+3600). He's better than the odds indicate, and he has made four straight cuts here. Tringale rates out fourth in the combo model.

As for some sleeper-level picks, ones that pop are Aaron Wise (+6000), Patton Kizzire (+7000), Chris Kirk (+9000), and Taylor Moore (+10000). We can also lump in Lanto Griffin (+13000) and Chad Ramey (+11000) on that list.