A look at the key stats model, a matchup bet, TPC Sawgrass preview and more

I’m not so sure on the capitalization, but seeing lots of folks doing all CAPS for the name, I’m going to go with the flow here. THE PLAYERS.

I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds on the bastardization of the upper tier of tournaments caused by the “signature" events, this is, was, and will always be the fifth major. Purses matter, but prestige matters more and the way golfers talk about winning this one is different.

It’s a great tournament and the best field we’ll see before Augusta, plus there’s a ton of basketball and we’ll roll right into selection Sunday afterward. Enjoy

Ron has done a ton of work for the week, but I especially love looking at the Floor/Ceiling stats like he’s done here. Some guys excel when they have to hit certain shots on these challenging Water Danger holes at Sawgrass.

It's a nasty Pete Dye course with lots of trouble to be found, but that’s half the fun with this one. A deeper look, from Ron’s Preview:

TPC Sawgrass

“Volatile” and “unpredictable” are definitely the words of the week. Golf is already the sport with the most variance, and this week the competition is being played on perhaps golf’s most volatile course, TPC Sawgrass. Penalty hazards on almost every hole create unpredictability. Throw in some potential wind and rain as we saw in previous PLAYERS Championships and carnage becomes likely. Sawgrass has been in the top three for most penalty strokes taken in each of the last three seasons.

All of this unpredictability leads to highly volatile leaderboards, as well. Past performance at TPC Sawgrass ranks as the 24th most predictive in regards to correlation to future success. There has never been a back-to-back winner here. In fact, over the last 30 years, Tiger Woods and Davis Love III are the only repeat winners. Since 2005, not a single returning winner has even posted a top-10 finish. “That just goes to show you how hard it is to come back and play this golf course,” past winner Jason Day said. “Because it does test every aspect of your game, not only the physical part, but the mental part as well.”

All of the trademark characteristics of a Pete Dye course are found at TPC Sawgrass. From the railroad ties to the slithering dogleg fairways to strategically placed water and sand, Dye was one of a kind. But at Sawgrass, he took visual deception and the ability to make golfers nervous while standing over their shot to an entirely new level. Dye was a risk-taker in his younger years and a paratrooper during World War II. Similarly, he wanted golfers to feel sweaty palms and butterflies in their stomachs while standing over certain shots. Risk/reward golf was the name of his game. This course, for example, has numerous tee shots where it is highly beneficial for players to hit toward the hazards because it allows for the least obstructed approach into the green. In Dye’s mind, either you take on the risk and hit the correct shot, or you suffer the consequence.

Patrick Cantlay encapsulated Dye’s approach perfectly when he stated, “Dye fools you and challenges you at the same time. I feel like he will show you one side with trouble and you almost have to ignore the big flashy trouble but still hug it, because the worst side will be the bailout side, and once you bail out to that side, then the troubles start mounting. Pete Dye kind of does that all day, and if you have enough guts to hit quality shots all the way around, you can shoot good numbers.”

Measuring out at 7,275 yards, TPC Sawgrass is a shorter, positional, “less than driver” course. Beman instructed designer Pete Dye to build a true test that would not favor one type of player. So Dye did what he does best. He crafted a balanced course that forces strategic positional tee shots and approaches around complex bunkers and numerous water hazards. There are dog-leg holes that turn both ways and overall, the course is routed so that no two consecutive holes play in the same direction. On some holes, players must hit their targets on fairways and greens by shaping the ball in both directions on the very same hole. The course is so equitable and yet full of variance that every single hole has at least an 8% Birdie or Better rate and an 8% Bogey rate.


On the Betting Live Stream with Noonan, we put together a mixed stat model for what we think matters the most this week, and wouldn’t you know it, Scottie is at the top (as he should be).

  • Tee-to-Green, 2024: Trying to get a baseline of form by using just rounds over the past 12 weeks

  • SG:Total, difficult scoring conditions: Another way to separate wheat/chaff. We looked at a two-year sample

  • Distance from Edge of Fairway: a bit in the weeds (ha!), but maybe a better way to look at driving accuracy than just the yes/no

  • SG:Approach, Last Two years: Just good old fashioned 2nd shots. Matters here, matters everywhere.

  • SG:BOB% on Par 5s: Need to score on the easy fives to compete here

  • Bogey Avoidance: Wanted one scoring stat, this is a shortcut to “staying out of the water”

See the whole thing at


Looks nice enough, with a few chances for some weekend showers. Friday afternoon winds could create a small bump for the PM/AM wave seeing how nice Thursday looks. There’s a chance of some morning fog the first couple of days as well, not sure if we’ll see slight delays or not.


If you have an hour and need to catch up: we went over the course, the field, and the key stats and built the model you saw above.

Tried to take some value on a world-class golfer last week against another world-class golfer who can’t putt all that well sometimes. Scottie ended up sinking a million putts, winning by five and making me look stupid.

Rory > Scottie ❌ YTD 7-4 (+2.71u)

Shane Lowry > Wyndham Clark -125 (FanDuel)

Just a bad price, this should/could be -150 pretty easily and is at other places. I love Wyndham, but the difference in driving accuracy between these two is pretty big. Clark clubbing down a bunch isn’t something that should excite anyone.

News and Notes from Twitter

As is customary, we start with your standard Justin Ray tweet:

first off, I should be able to bet on this

It’s the same videos every year and I don’t care, I like this one more than most.

That said, this is the best PLAYERS video ever taken

As always, bet responsibly, have fun, enjoy the golf, and enjoy 17.