Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PGA The Quicken Loans National #1 - The Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Gainesville, VA

Let’s talk about the Quicken Loans National event starting July 30, 2015 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Gainesville, VA (yes I thought about Florida too…). 

Draftkings is running a $3 entry PGA contest with a top prize of $100,000. If you don’t have a DraftKings account sign up here.

Notes on the event:
  • The court is 7,385 total yards, a fairly decently long course. Logically, longer courses favor players more skilled with drivers and irons relatively less than strong putters.
  • Par 71
  • Last year’s winner was Justin Rose
Hole Breakdown
  • 4 Par 3s
  • 11 Par 4s
  • 3 Par 5s
What I’ll be looking out for:
  • Golfers that perform well on longer Par 3s (the par 3s on this course are all over 190 yards vs a more typical 175)
  • Golfers that perform well on Par 4s
  • Key Stats
    • Strokes Gained Tee to Green. A bit more on this below.
    • Par 4 performance
One way we will be refining our model is by incorporating Strokes Gained statistics.  For a detailed description of the topic, see this article. Strokes Gained breaks out a golfer's outperformance into two components: 1) Strokes Gained - Tee-to-Green (SG:T2G) and 2) Strokes Gained - Putting (SG:P). For example, let's say the field at Rob-usta National Golf Course has a par 4 hole #1. Let's say the field averages exactly 4 strokes on hole #1 (I know unlikely but it simplifies the example). Let's say those 4 strokes break down into 2 puts and 2 "other" strokes, meaning the drive and any shots from the fairway, rough, and/or bunkers.

Let's see how example player Tiger Gilmore's sequence breaks down. Stroke 1 = drive on to fairway. Stroke 2 = iron shot from fairway on to green. Stroke 3 = sinks the put.

In this example, Gilmore's SG:T2G = 0 (meaning in line with the field) and his SG:P = +1. Note that a stroke gained against the field is denoted as +1 rather than -1. The two stats sum to an SG:T of +1.

Earlier we noted that Robert Trent Jones Golf Course is a longer than average golf course. As a result, we will be looking for players with strong SG:T2G statistics. You can find SG statistics here.

I’ll be crunching the numbers this week so stay tuned for some results.  Feel free to hit us up if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to here from you.

Always Be Innovating,


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