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Past Issues
43. LIV Fever (2023-12-06)
42. Nothing Major (2023-11-15)
41. Driving Machine (2023-11-08)
40. How's Traffic? (2023-10-18)
39. Lucky Luke (2023-10-11)
38. Postmortem (2023-10-04)
37. Ryder Cup (2023-09-27)
36. Letzig Returns (2023-09-20)
35. That's a Wrap (2023-08-29)
34. Pick 6 (2023-08-23)
33. Tale of Two Glovers (2023-08-16)
32. Forecasting the FedEx (2023-08-09)
31. Postseason (2023-08-01)
30. Major Letdown (2023-07-25)
29. Underdogs (2023-07-19)
28. Up and Down (2023-07-11)
27. Validation for Rickie (2023-07-05)
26. The Ams Strike Back (2023-06-27)
25. Wyndham Rewarded (2023-06-20)
24. The Show Rolls On (2023-06-13)
23. Scottie's Scaries (2023-06-08)
22. Grillo, Mi Amigo (2023-05-30)
21. Major Koepka (2023-05-23)
20. Glory's Second Shot (2023-05-16)
19. We Meet Again.. (2023-05-09)
18. Big Tone (2023-05-01)
17. Health Check (2023-04-24)
16. Live From Harbour Town (2023-04-17)
15. Phil Thrills (2023-04-11)
14. Down Magnolia Lane We Go (2023-04-03)
13. Peaking for Augusta (2023-03-27)
12. Fall of The DeChambino (2023-03-21)
11. Top Scheff (2023-03-13)
10. Fore Right! (2023-03-06)
9. CH3.. Wins? (2023-02-28)
8. The Rahm Slam (2023-02-21)
7. Garbage Time (2023-02-14)
6. Little Misery (2023-02-07)
5. Rory Returns (2023-01-30)
4. Rahm Threat (2023-01-23)
3. Rising Maverick (2023-01-16)
2. Morikawa's Meltdown (2023-01-09)
1. Introducing Letzig (2023-01-02)

We Meet Again..

We looked at which players have been paired together most since 2017 on the PGA Tour (excluding the team event at the Zurich Classic). Some of these pairings are expected, while others might surprise you.

Superstars
1. McIlroy / Thomas: 41 rounds played together
2. Fowler / Rahm: 38
3. D. Johnson / Spieth: 33
4. D. Johnson / Thomas: 33
5. Thomas / Spieth: 32
6. Cantlay / Rahm: 29
7. Thomas / Rahm: 28
8. McIlroy / Schauffele: 28
9. Fowler / Matsuyama: 27
10. Rahm / Schauffele: 26

Fowler / Rahm was probably the main surprise here.

Non-Superstars
1. Horschel / Kisner: 25
2. Pan / Tway: 23
3. Armour / Garnett: 20
4. Z. Johnson / Snedeker: 20
5. Hughes / SW. Kim: 20
6. Kang / Frittelli: 19
7. Harman / Henley: 19
8. Walker / Dufner: 19
9. Kang / Tway: 19
10. Laird / Werenski: 18

Sung Kang had 4 appearances in the top 100 most common pairings, the most of any non-superstar. Not sure what the explanation is there...

Tiger Pairings
1. Thomas: 22 rounds played with Tiger
2. McIlroy: 17
3. Leishman: 11
4. Reed: 10
5. Spieth: 10
6. Koepka: 9
7. Matsuyama: 8
8. Fleetwood: 8
9. Rose: 8
10. Fowler: 7

Leishman feels like a misfit here, but back in 2018 the Tiger / Leish pairing was a PGA Tour staple: 9 of their 11 rounds played together were during that season.


Rankings Update

Wyndham Clark's win at the Wells Fargo Championship made him this week's big mover as he jumped 18 spots all the way into the DG Top 10. Not only did Clark win, but he did it against an elite field and in dominant fashion—finishing 4 strokes ahead of second place (Xander Schauffele) and 7 strokes ahead of third. This win comes after eight months of consistent play but only a handful of decent finishes to show for it—which is why his OWGR ranking was, and still is, relatively low.

Top 10 (see all)
Player DG OWGR
Jon Rahm 1 1
Scottie Scheffler 2 2
Xander Schauffele 3 3 5
Patrick Cantlay 4 1 4
Tony Finau 5 1 11
Rory McIlroy 6 1 3
Sungjae Im 7 18 1
Tyrrell Hatton 8 7 17 1
Justin Thomas 9 3 14 1
Wyndham Clark 10 18 31 49
Notables
Viktor Hovland 16 5 12
Rickie Fowler 18 6 50 3
Tommy Fleetwood 21 13 21 4
Adrian Meronk 61 43 46 17
Alex Noren 64 14 56 4
Harris English 68 46 36 9
Kurt Kitayama 98 26 20

Adrian Meronk won the Italian Open at Marco Simone, this year's Ryder Cup venue. He was already a strong candidate to make Luke Donald's squad, but this victory might make him impossible to pass up.

Kurt Kitayama has been quietly struggling since his breakout win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. He managed to make the quarterfinals at the Match Play, but otherwise has missed 4 of 5 cuts—with the only made cut coming at the Zurich Classic.


Ryder Cup Watch

With the Italian Open behind us, the next time we see Marco Simone G&CC will be in late September when it plays host to the 2023 Ryder Cup. Here's an update on how the teams are shaping up according to our model:

Team Europe
Right now there are 6 virtual locks (all > 86% to make the team) in Rahm, McIlroy, Hovland, Hatton, Fitzpatrick, and Fleetwood. Lowry, and Rose—while not locks—are both likely to be on the squad given their overall skill and previous Ryder Cup experience. This leaves a pool of 9 players battling for the final 4 spots, all of whom have at least a 1 in 5 chance of making the team. Among them is last week's winner Adrian Meronk (50%), 6-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Stephan Jaeger (52%), Swedish amateur Ludvig Aberg (31%), and both Hojgaard brothers (Nicolai 34%; Rasmus 20%).

Team USA
Things are less open-ended on the American side as 8 players (can you name them without looking?) have over a 65% chance of making the team. The next group of players, each with a > 40% chance, includes Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, and newly-minted PGA Tour winner Wyndham Clark. These 12 players—at least for now—would be the (fairly) clear-cut selections if our model was in charge of picking the team. On the outside looking in we have Sahith Theegala, Keegan Bradley, Russell Henley, and Matt Kuchar, each with a 1 in 4 or better chance of making the team.

In terms of the matches themselves, our probabilities have moved from 61% USA, 32% Europe, 7% Tie to start the year to 64%, 29%, 7% currently. You can explore the full forecast here.


Player Feature


Week That Was

Winner Event True SG xWin
W. Clark PGA — Wells Fargo +5.18 0.996
C. Jung ASA — Maekyung Open +3.37 0.049
A. Meronk DPT — Italian Open +3.23 0.127
S. Ames SNR — Mitsubishi Electric +2.09 0.001
M. Rottluff CHA — UAE Challenge +1.51 0.0
Explainers: True SG, xWins


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Past Issues
43. LIV Fever (2023-12-06)
42. Nothing Major (2023-11-15)
41. Driving Machine (2023-11-08)
40. How's Traffic? (2023-10-18)
39. Lucky Luke (2023-10-11)
38. Postmortem (2023-10-04)
37. Ryder Cup (2023-09-27)
36. Letzig Returns (2023-09-20)
35. That's a Wrap (2023-08-29)
34. Pick 6 (2023-08-23)
33. Tale of Two Glovers (2023-08-16)
32. Forecasting the FedEx (2023-08-09)
31. Postseason (2023-08-01)
30. Major Letdown (2023-07-25)
29. Underdogs (2023-07-19)
28. Up and Down (2023-07-11)
27. Validation for Rickie (2023-07-05)
26. The Ams Strike Back (2023-06-27)
25. Wyndham Rewarded (2023-06-20)
24. The Show Rolls On (2023-06-13)
23. Scottie's Scaries (2023-06-08)
22. Grillo, Mi Amigo (2023-05-30)
21. Major Koepka (2023-05-23)
20. Glory's Second Shot (2023-05-16)
19. We Meet Again.. (2023-05-09)
18. Big Tone (2023-05-01)
17. Health Check (2023-04-24)
16. Live From Harbour Town (2023-04-17)
15. Phil Thrills (2023-04-11)
14. Down Magnolia Lane We Go (2023-04-03)
13. Peaking for Augusta (2023-03-27)
12. Fall of The DeChambino (2023-03-21)
11. Top Scheff (2023-03-13)
10. Fore Right! (2023-03-06)
9. CH3.. Wins? (2023-02-28)
8. The Rahm Slam (2023-02-21)
7. Garbage Time (2023-02-14)
6. Little Misery (2023-02-07)
5. Rory Returns (2023-01-30)
4. Rahm Threat (2023-01-23)
3. Rising Maverick (2023-01-16)
2. Morikawa's Meltdown (2023-01-09)
1. Introducing Letzig (2023-01-02)