2022 ZOZO Championship Third Round: Analyzing the Field Without Stat Tracker After Second Round
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.
Without a proper computation of statistics at the ZOZO Championship, finding value on this board will be easier said than done.* We will do our best to discuss golfers that appear to be playing well from the limited data we have on hand, and I will provide a sortable file of the information I have for the week if you want to dive into the metrics yourself in the section below.
If you aren't doing so already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There, I will provide my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom rankings for golf. That sheet is free and released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.
(*Editor's note: For those who might be unaware, the PGA Tour uses something called “Stat Tracker” for measuring data. The tournament is in Japan this week, and their system doesn't travel outside the country. So essentially, we can see the tournament scores, but we can't see how someone is accomplishing their results from a statistical perspective.)
Statistical Data After Round 2
The common theme you will see when talking about these specific data points (of the limited ones we have available) is that no category shows a ton of direct impact on success.
I would venture to say distance looks more impactful than accuracy when getting technical, since more mid-to-high-end names are showing up on the board, but we can wrap this all into one thought at the bottom when we combine each section.
Nine players who were ranked in the top 15 for distance were inside the first 25 names on the leaderboard, whereas we slipped down to five when looking at accuracy.
That could certainly change if the venue speeds up over the weekend and doesn't play as soft, but with the data and the projections that we have in store for the future, I think we have to change some of our thoughts from a pre-event perspective and now favor length over anything else off the tee.
Total Driving (Geared Towards Distance)
This list probably does a better job of coming up with some semblance of what to expect over the weekend.
Golfers like Hayden Buckley, Aaron Rai, Beau Hossler, K.H. Lee, Tyrrell Hatton and Si Woo Kim are grading extremely bullishly when I combine my pre-tournament research and mix it with this metric, so whether that is a head-to-head wager, showdown option for DFS or an outright add in a spot that could make more sense than another, those are a few golfers I am trying to gain exposure to this weekend.
If we are getting technical here and trying to project the future, some combination of high-end distance or accuracy mixed with GIR percentage looks to be the preferred route.
The golfers that rank inside both the top 25 when individually merging distance with GIR and accuracy with GIR and are inside the top half of my model for projected rank would be the following names:
Collin Morikawa, Aaron Rai, Emiliano Grillo, Adam Svensson, Taylor Moore, Hayden Buckley, Keegan Bradley, K.H. Lee, Sepp Straka and J.J. Spaun.