Workday Fantasy Stats

Workday Charity Open

July 9th – 12th, 2020

Muirfield Village G.C.

Dubin, OH

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,456

Purse: $6.2 million

with $1,116,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Patrick Cantlay

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

When the PGA Tour was planning its return to golf after being shut down for COVID-19, the original schedule for this week was the John Deere Classic. Last month the tournament decided that it couldn’t hold the event which opened up this date. The PGA Tour had a sponsor waiting in Workday, which delivers financial management, planning,weak and analytics applications for companies. In looking for another tournament site the idea was to be placed either in Detroit or Columbus so that it would give two straight weeks in one location. In the search, the Columbus, Ohio area was the best choice, first because Ohio is one of the states that has controlled the spread of Coronavirus and the number of courses available. In talking with different courses, Jack Nicklaus and the folks that run the Memorial felt they could host back to back events, which the PGA Tour agreed to do.
To preserve the course for the Memorial and to make it play differently, the PGA Tour and folks at Muirfield Village decided that he greens for the Workday would run at a speed of 11 on the Stimpmeter, while they will be between 13 and 14 for the Memorial. The course will also cut the rough before the Workday, basically the same schedule to get the course ready for the Memorial, so for the week before the rough will be lower than the Memorial.
So the difference for the players will be the speed of the greens in which putting will be easier for the Workday, thus a great ball striker who is weak in putting will have an advantage.
Weather will also play a factor, it usually is played at the end of May when they get more thunderstorms and historically they have had their fair share of poor weather. But with it played in July, it should play differently as the course will be fuller and with the lack of wind in July a lot easier. We have seen this the last four weeks, as with each tournament played later and into the summer, the courses have been plush and easier to play.
This week unfortunately weather may play a factor as storms are in the forecast or Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The big report coming out of Muirfield Village is the disappointing news that they will not allow fans for next week’s Memorial. Even with Ohio doing well in controlling the number of new cases of COVID-19, their numbers have gone up over the last week so everyone felt it’s best to play it safe with no fans.

So this is based on the most important stats for the Muirfield Village, based on data from last year’s Memorial and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2020.
Historically Muirfield Village had the reputation as a course to get ready for the U.S. Open. Many have said that the course could be a perfect Open venue. It has the length, tight fairways with three-inch-plus rough, tree line and fast undulating greens. Just about everything that you would see at a U.S. Open is at Muirfield Village. But the rough won’t be as hard and the greens will be easier so we have to make some changes in looking at what will be key to the course
Over the years the course has played differently. Muirfield has gone from a very feared course to one that is a layup. Between 2003 and 2013 the course played over par every year except in 2005 (71.93) and 2007 (71.49). After 2008 the course played hard, in 2008 it played to a scoring average of 74.40 ranking 5th hardest course for the year, in 2009 it was 73.42, ranking 6th. In 2012 it played to a 73.68 average and in 2013 it played to a 73.26 average with both years ranked 6th toughest. But then it dropped to 71.90 in 2014, ranked 29th and in 2015 it averaged 71.74 and ranked 23rd. In 2016 the course played to a 70.99 average, not only ranking 36th of the courses on the PGA Tour but more importantly the easiest the course has ever played in the 40-year history of the tournament. In 2017 the scoring average rose to 72.80 (rank 13th) mostly because of bad weather on Sunday with two delays and wins blowing between 15 and 25 mph. But with good, warm weather scoring was again down to 71.40 with the course ranking 30th on the PGA Tour. Last year the weather was good but each day the winds got worst, on Saturday it was between 10 to 18 mph while on Sunday it ranged from 12 to 22 mph. This made the course a lot tougher, it played to a 72.08 average, the 13th hardest course on tour. But for the workday look for par to be broken just with the lack of speed on the greens
It has to be said that Muirfield Village may be the victim like other courses on the PGA Tour have experienced, technology.
The shocking stats were what used to be it’s meat and potatoes, driving accuracy and greens in regulation is not the case anymore. In 2014 it ranked the 38th hardest in driving accuracy and 21st in greens in regulation. In 2015 it jumped to 42nd in driving accuracy and 18th in greens in regulation while in 2016 it was 42nd in driving accuracy and 25th in greens hit. In 2017 it ranked 29th in driving accuracy and 13th in greens hit. In 2018 it was 45th in driving accuracy and 26th in greens hit, while last year it was 43rd in driving accuracy and 14th in greens hit, probably because of the winds over the weekend last year So the course doesn’t have the bite it use to have. In a way it’s what happened at Colonial, for years it was one of the hardest courses on the PGA Tour until 20 years ago when players started overpowering the course. So is technology the problem?
There is a lot of reasons for this the last six years, between lots of wind to rain before the tournament that made the course play very soft and lack of wind during the championship rounds. Another oddity the winners the last six years, last year Patrick Cantlay and in 2018 with Bryson DeChambeau, both got his second PGA Tour victory. In 2017 Jason Dufner claimed his 5th career PGA Tour win but in the three years before, Hideki Matsuyama, David Lingmerth, and William McGirt were first-time winners on the PGA Tour. But it’s amazing that 3 out of the last 6 winners were first-timers, before that the last time the Memorial had a first time winner was in 1991 and before Matsuyama won in 2014 it only had two first time winners, Kenny Perry in 1991 and Keith Fergus in 1981. So it’s a freak of nature that in the first 38 years the event had only two first time winners and now has had three in the last 6 years. I’m not saying this is terribly bad, just that when conditions are easier it opens the course to more players winning, such as players that haven’t won before do well. So with that said and the course playing easier don’t be surprised too seeing another non-experience champion. That and the poor forecast for storms could create some weird things happening on this course.
In a way you would think that short, straight hitters would rule with wet conditions, they do in some cases but in the last 7 years, of the 39 players that finished in the top-five, only eight players were in the top-10 of driving accuracy, while 11 of those 39 players were in the top-ten of driving distance. So what does that tell us? That players don’t have to hit it straight to do well at the Memorial and with shorter rough this year this week could be a bombers delight.

In looking at our four categories and taking into account that there will be less rough and slower greens, our first for Muirfield Village is strokes gained tee-to-green. Last year the course ranked T-21st while last year’s champion Patrick Cantlay ranked 2nd, 2018 champion Bryson DeChambeau ranked 12th, 2017 champion Jason Dufner ranked 1st, 2016 winner William McGirt ranked 7th and 2015 champion David Lingmerth ranked 9th. Next important is putting inside 10 feet, Muirfield Village has some great greens, they are only 5,000 square feet but have a lot of undulation, and the bentgrass is easy to read. Still, with the greens running at 11 on the stipmeter if you make a lot of putts in this distance, you will do very well. Last year the course ranked 12th in this category while Patrick Cantlay was 19th making 64 of 71 putts. In 2018 Muirfield ranked 12th, 8th in 2017, 10th in 2016 and 4th in 2015 while in 2018 champion DeChambeau ranked T-19th, 2017 winner Dufner ranked T-38th, 2016 winner McGirt ranked T-23rd and 2015 winner Lingmerth ranked 5th. You have to putt well to score well at Muirfield Village, last year the field made 87.24% of the putts in that distance, so look for players that make lots of putts.
Our third important stat is scrambling, players will miss greens and have to get it up and down. The course ranked 7th last year, 11th in 2018, 2nd in 2017, 14th in 2016, and 13th in 2015 while Cantlay ranked 5th last year, DeChambeau ranked 1st in 2018, Dufner in 2017 was 30th, McGirt was 6th in 2016 and Lingmerth was T-9th. Our last category is birdie average, last year it ranked T-28th while in 2018 it ranked 42nd, in 2017 it ranked 29th, in 2016 it ranked 48th and in 2015 was 43rd which means a lot of birdies were made with the average number of birdies by players being 3.77 average last year, in 2018 it was 4.02, in 2017 it was 3.61 and 4.24 per round in 2016. So how did our winners do, Cantlay was 1st last year making 25 birdies, in 2018 DeChambeau was T-7th, Dufner was T-2nd in 2017, averaging 5.25, McGirt was at 5.00 which ranked T-16th and Lingmerth averaged 5.50 and ranked T-6th.
The big question, will the course play the same this year, especially with all of the changes and weather? Probably and with a stellar field of 23 of the top-fifty in the world rankings.

*Strokes Gained tee-to-green: The per round average of the number of strokes the player was better or worse than the field average on the same course & event minus the players’ strokes gained putting value.

*Putting inside 10 feet: Very easy, counts every putt from ten feet in to see who makes the most.

*Scrambling: The percent of time a player misses the green in regulation, but still makes par or better.

*Birdie Average: Average number of birdies made over the course of a round

The 149 of the 157 players from this year’s field with stats from 2020:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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