PGA Tour Stats Review: How to Play the Hot Hand
PGA Tour Stats Review: How to Play the Hot Hand

This article is part of our PGA Tour Stats Review series.

Fantasy golf leagues with daily roster changes present some challenges for fantasy owners. One of the challenges involves the deep under-par-round and its next round. Should you stick with the hot hand or sub him out?

What happens the day after a golfer posts a 5-, 6- or 7- (or more) under par score for the low of the round? Next-round possibilities are the player goes even lower, repeats the low score or shoots a higher score. But which is more likely? Does a golfer who gets hot one day carry it to the next day? Or was his deep low-round day more likely a fluke not to be repeated the following day?

We analyzed the results of 372 players, their 1,122 low rounds in every PGA Tour stroke-scored event in 2010 and 2011 for the low rounds of the day, as well as their scores in the next day's round. We compared round one with round two, two with three and three with four. We measured, and charted, the stroke difference between the low round and the next round. The differential ranged from 4-under to 17-over. For example, according to the chart below, 51 golfers had a stroke difference of plus-6 from their low round to their next day's round.

Number of Players127714312844425145332211141141211
Score Differential-4-2-10+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ed Cushing
Cushing covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire, bringing a sabermetric approach to golf stats. Retired and living in the mountains of North Carolina, Cushing is in the running for the Most Interesting Man in Fantasy Sports. He's golfed the Doral Blue Monster, Harbour Town GC, Hilton Head and Augusta National, among many other tough courses. A classically trained pianist, Cushing still plays professionally. He roots for the University of Virginia because the Cavaliers may lose the game, but they ALWAYS win the party. He also made a fortune off the '72 Dolphins.
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