Lou Riccio’s Predictions for THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Posted on May 7th, 2018 by Herb Rubenstein
Lou’s model picked Jason Day to win the Wells Fargo Tournament and everyone one is his top ten list made the cut.
Here are Lou Riccio’s picks for the Players Championship and a comment on Tiger’s chances.
This Championship poses a bit of a problem for the Model. The Model usually does well in the Majors (3 out of 4 winners last year with runner-up Rose in the Masters) where the “cream usually rises to the top” because the course filters out most players. The Model does worse in the lesser events where its an open field for any well-playing pro without the course being as much of a factor.
The Players seems to be in the middle. It is very much like a major, but the track is not quite like the grand slam courses. The Players is a difficult one to pick in that virtually all of the great players are there and they are all pretty suited to the course. The Model for the most part picks the chalk but doesn’t give anyone of them a substantial lead on the others. Usually there are 3 or 4 with substantially higher win probabilities, but with this field on this course, the picks are very bunched together. That also means although the winner will most likely be a “star”, there are more than 10 players with a solid shot at the trophy.
Having said that, Rahm comes out on top in all runs whether the emphasis is placed on the course, recent play, or career stats. Unsurprisingly DJ, Day and Spieth form a bunch right behind Rahm, with Fowler, McIlroy and Matsuyama right behind them. Luke List and Thomas are next, List because his game suits the course better than most and Thomas because of his career stats (although he hasn’t shown much recently.)
The tenth pick from the Model is always a risk. In this case Cook and Mickelson both appear in the top ten depending on which emphasis is considered most important. I’m going with Phil mainly because his game seems to be coming together right now and with any luck he will play this course well.
How about Tiger? The Model was spot on about Tiger at the Wells. It indicated he had a 50-50 chance of making the cut and essentially no chance at the top ten. Tiger needed a putt on Friday the make the cut and then had a good but not spectacular weekend.
But this week the Model gives him more hope. He should easily make the cut but his chances of winning are still too low to think he has any real chance at all. He has a slight chance at a top ten, but most likely he will be in the 20 to 40 range on Sunday.
- D. Johnson