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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)

The Ams Strike Back

The top of this year’s amateur class has wasted no time making an impact on the professional game. Adrien Dumont de Chassart started his professional career with a 1st and 2nd on the Korn Ferry Tour, and his runner-up finish came in a playoff against fellow newly-minted professional Ricky Castillo. Ludvig Aberg, who ended his amateur career 1st in the WAGR, 1st in the DG Rankings, and (most importantly) 1st in the PGA Tour University Rankings, has racked up two Top 25 finishes to begin his PGA Tour career. Lesser-known Rasmus Neergaard-Peterson was in contention last week on the DP World Tour before settling for a T7 finish.

Despite their early success, this year’s class still has a lot to prove. The plot below displays the average skill level of the top 5 amateurs that turned professional in each year since 2012:

Since 2020 there has been a relative lack of talent at the top of the amateur game. Ludvig Aberg is, by a pretty wide margin, the best new professional we’ve seen since 2019 when the trio of Hovland, Morikawa, and Wolff all turned pro. However even with Aberg, the top 5 players from the 2023 class have the 4th-lowest average skill since 2012. Fortunately, performance as an amateur only tells us so much about a future pro career: current world #1 Scottie Scheffler was just the 9th-best player in the class of 2018.


Digits Of The Week

+2.84

Scottie Scheffler’s current skill level, measured in strokes-gained per round relative to an average PGA Tour player. This puts Scheffler 4th on our all-time list, narrowly ahead of Jon Rahm and Ernie Els, and behind only Tiger, Vijay, and Duval.


Rankings Update

With a T4 finish at last week's Travelers Championship, Scottie Scheffler now has 6 straight Top 5 finishes. What was once a power struggle between Scottie, McIlroy, and Rahm is now a half-shot skill difference in favour of Scheffler—he's the player to beat as the 2023 season winds down.

Top 10 (see all)
Player DG OWGR
Scottie Scheffler 1 1
Rory McIlroy 2 1 3
Jon Rahm 3 1 2
Patrick Cantlay 4 1 4
Xander Schauffele 5 1 6
Viktor Hovland 6 5
Tyrrell Hatton 7 15
Wyndham Clark 8 11 2
Cameron Smith 9 7
Rickie Fowler 10 2 35
Notables
Denny McCarthy 14 4 33
Keegan Bradley 20 10 18 10
Justin Thomas 28 9 17 1
Ludvig Aberg 66 19 568 192
A. Dumont de Chassart 121 1 345 4
Zac Blair 177 91 99 352
Eugenio Chacarra 179 6
Sam Bennett 259 7 380 4

Keegan Bradley's Travelers win puts him at 20th in the DG rankings and squarely into the Ryder Cup conversation. Keegan has the 10th best strokes-gained average among Americans over the past 3 months and the 12th best OWGR ranking—our model currently gives him a 31% chance of making the team (and finally unpacking that cursed suitcase from Medinah).

A week after firing an 81 at LACC—his second-worst round as a pro—Justin Thomas rebounded with a T9 finish at Travelers; he's back to 28th in our rankings.


Player Feature


Perplexing Letzig

Here are the players with the most cumulative strokes-gained over or under baseline—our model’s prediction—in the last four weeks.

"ELITE" PLAYERS
Rising
Rickie Fowler: +16.2 SG in 3 events; Wyndham Clark: +15.6 SG in 3 events;

Falling
Cameron Young: -15.8 SG in 4 events; Jason Day: -13.2 SG in 3 events;

"SUB-ELITE" PLAYERS
Rising
Denny McCarthy: +20.0 SG in 3 events; Min Woo Lee: +19.3 SG in 2 events;

Falling
Hayden Buckley: -19.6 SG in 3 events; Matt Kuchar: -19.2 SG in 4 events;

"AVERAGE" PLAYERS
Rising
Keita Nakajima: +24.6 SG in 4 events; Austin Eckroat: +20.3 SG in 3 events;

Falling
Joel Dahmen: -19.9 SG in 3 events; Robby Shelton: -14.6 SG in 3 events;


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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)