Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Projected Tour Players on the Rise & Decline

With 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis out ( and the 2013 PGA Tour season coming up, here are my top-10 players on the rise for the 2013 season (in no order).

Seung-Yul Noh

Noh is a high clubhead speed player (119 mph) that hits it effectively off the tee and chips and putts well. He had some struggles with his irons, but was only slightly below average from the Danger Zone. Young players with high clubhead speeds and drove the ball well trend towards improving their DZ play. Noh played in quite a few tournaments (28) and finished 49th on the Money List. That gets him an exemption to all of the Invitational tournaments (besides the Masters). He’s 95th in the OWGR. If he can get into the top-64 with some good play early on, he can qualify for the Accenture Match Play (huge money event) and possibly the Masters.

Roberto Castro

Finished 119th on the Money List, but played in very low Purse Size per Event (139th). He played in 27 events (a good amount). Drove it very well (30th) and was just decimal points of accomplishing ‘The Big Four’ (discussed in the essay The Power of Being Average in Pro Golf Synopsis).

Daniel Summerhays

Summerhays almost accomplished ‘The Big Four’ as well. His putting lagged behind the entire year. However, he was one of the better drivers on Tour from the last 6 months of the season and was in the top-25 in the Danger Zone for almost the entire year. This was done all while making some drastic swing changes. He plays in a good amount of event s (26) and was very good on the par-4’s and in avoiding Bogeys.

Luke List

List finished 2nd on the Tour Money List. I modified the algorithm for the Tour since they do not have the Average Distance to the Edge of the Fairway. What I found was that the (formerly Nationwide) Tour players that usually have the most immediate success on the PGA Tour finished in the top-15 on the modified Driving Effectiveness formula. List was #1 in the ranking. He’s very long off the tee, so he may be better suited for the West Coast swing if you’re picking for Fantasy Golf Leagues. Midway thru the season he will likely have some growing pains. I would take him in the smaller events like the Mayakoba Classic.

Cameron Tringale

Tringale accomplished The Big Four. He had some weak metrics, like par-4 scoring average and Adjusted Scoring Average. But I think the all-around talent is there and the age to have a big 2013 season. Brendon de Jonge De Jonge consistently plays in a ton of events. He played in 31 events and was the most picked golfer by me in my weekly rankings because of his all-around play. He generates 115 mph of clubhead speed. He has the best chance of winning 2 events of any smaller time player out there given his skill and frequency of play.

Bill Haas

Haas had an off year and his iron play is a bit scary. But, he plays in big purse events (27th) and is typically a very good driver of the ball with a great Short Game. Not known for his putting, but he finished well on the par-4’s and 18th in putts from 3-4 feet, the best indicator of a golfer’s potential as a putter.

Charl Schwartzel

For Fantasy Golf League owners, the possible problem with Schwartzel is his lack of tournaments. But, he accomplished the Big Four and was great in all of the other key metrics like Adjusted Par-4 Scoring Average and Bogey Avoidance. He doesn’t play in a lot of events, but they are big purse events.

Charlie Beljan

Beljan ranked 4th in Driving Effectiveness and 5th in Danger Zone play while averaging 122.8 mph of clubhead speed. He will get in the Tournament of Champions and invited to the bigger events, so his Purse Size per Event should increase dramatically from 2012 (184th).

Nicolas Colsaerts

The big hitting European had the metrics on the European Tour that looked favorable for a big 2013 season on Tour. He may have to get used to the courses and play in the US, but I think once he starts to adapt, he’s got Tour winner all over him.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Overton, Jonas Blixt, John Huh, Bud Cauley, John Merrick and Kevin Stadler


Here are the top-5 projected declines:

Webb Simpson

Big declines tend to happen to players coming off their first Major. Simpson had driver struggles, lost distance, accuracy and precision off the tee. He also benefited from a high money events that had weak fields.

Ben Crane

Crane accomplished ‘The Big Four’, but nobody benefited more from a weaker schedule in 2012 than Crane. He also relied a bit on making long putts to help his Putts Gained ranking. Long putts have no real tend as to make percentage.

Scott Piercy

Another player that benefited from an easier schedule that relied on making longer putts to do well in Putts Gained.

Sang Moon Bae

Didn’t do much well in 2012 and relied on a favorable schedule. Likely will not make the Accenture Match Play and I do not think he qualifies for the Masters again. One of the worst ballstrikers on Tour in 2012.

Steve Stricker

Cutting his schedule to 10-12 events to spend more time with his family. Saw a dropoff in play in the 2nd half of the season that was encapsulated in the Ryder Cup. He’s also 43 years old.


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