Our not-so-advanced A.I. "Letzig" helps us summarize the current landscape of professional golf
With his win at the Dubai Desert Classic, Rory McIlroy grabbed the #1 spot in the DG rankings after losing it to Jon Rahm last week.
This is yet another impressive performance from Rory in a torrid run that began at last year's Masters.
McIlroy's current skill index—our model's estimate of how good a player is in strokes-gained per round—is now +2.7.
This is the highest index he's ever achieved and puts him 8th on our all-time list, one spot ahead of Rahm (again).
Max Homa makes his debut inside the top 10 after gaining 4.2 strokes per round en route to winning the Farmers Insurance Open.
Like McIlroy, Homa also reached a new skill index high this week at +1.74, good for 114th best all-time.
Looking Ahead to Marco Simone
With the 2023 Ryder Cup slowly creeping into view, we thought it was a good time to publicize our model's forecast of the upcoming matches.
Our probabilities are 58% USA win, 34.5% Europe win, and 7.5% Tie, which is roughly in line with the current betting odds.
Despite the European team having (by far) the two best players in the world in Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, the depth of the U.S. team overwhelms the Europeans.
Currently we are projecting USA’s 8th man to be better than Europe's 3rd.
For more insight into the 2023 Ryder Cup, including match histories and our predictions of who will make each team, visit our dedicated hub.
In 2021 Reed lost about 4 yards of driving distance, and in 2022 he lost 4 more. Because he hasn’t made up for this distance decrease with an accuracy increase, Reed is now a solidly negative SG player off the tee. Of the top 100 players in the DG rankings, nobody has a worse SG:OTT skill rating than Reed.
1Relative to an average PGA Tour field.
2Similarity scores are uniformly distributed from 0 (least similar) to 100 (most similar). Similarity is based on overall skill and playing style over the previous 3 seasons and a measure of career-long performance. Comps are restricted to players of the same age.
In the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open—where the field’s average score was just over 74—Max Homa dissected Torrey Pines (South) in 66 shots to win.
He beat the field on all but two holes, and hit 7 great shots and no poor ones.
This all added up to a strokes-gained total of +8.4 (after adjusting for field strength).
While impressive, we rate Homa's 66 as only the 32nd best final round performance to win since 2004 (right behind Smylie Kaufman's 61 to win the Shriners in 2016 ).
Here are the top 10:
Ryo Ishikawa, 2010 The Crowns (Japan Tour) — Shot 58 (+12.1 true strokes-gained) 2.
Rory McIlroy, 2010 Quail Hollow Champ — 62 (+11.1) 3.
Henrik Stenson, 2016 Open Championship — 63 (+10.3) 4.
Chris Couch, 2005 Rheem Classic (Korn Ferry) — 60 (+10.3) 5.
Rickie Fowler, 2018 Hero World Challenge — 61 (+10.2) 6.
Vijay Singh, 2008 Deutsche Bank Champ — 63 (+9.8) 7.
Charley Hoffman, 2010 Deutsche Bank Champ — 62 (+9.6) 8.
Tiger Woods, 2006 Deutsche Bank Champ — 63 (+9.4) 9.
Tommy Gainey, 2012 McGladrey Classic — 60 (+9.3) 10.
Hideki Matsuyama, 2017 WGC-Bridgestone — 61 (+9.1)