Andrea Pavan: Proceed with caution

Andrea Pavan shot -5 today, good for a true SG performance +4.7 or so. He also played well last week, averaging +0.8 true SG over 4 rounds. Prior to 2022 Pavan last had a positive true SG event on Nov 10, 2019! In that stretch it looks like he had about 5 positive true SG rounds.

It seems like Pavan has potentially turned a corner in a big way during the offseason, and it’s possible our model is way off on him now. To start this week’s Dubai event we had his predicted skill at -4.81 strokes/round, and now that’s up to -4.2 after this R1 performance, but I still feel like that might not be close to a large enough update. It would be useful to have SG category performance data to make even larger updates if this over-performance is due to ball-striking, but we haven’t added that for the European Tour as the live data is too unreliable.

We are almost certainly going to show massive ‘edges’ betting against Pavan, but his current skill level is very uncertain so I’m not sure those are good bets to make.


Thank you for the heads up! This was exactly what I was looking for!

Data Golf model is great but like any model, it only predicts the past. It cannot predict the future!

There are one-offs (Martin Trainer comes to mind) but there is a good chance Pavan has gotten a lot better. We’ll see!

FYI, I’ve noticed that the model tweaks are making a difference, I’m no longer seeing the model edges going against Wolff and Leishman every week.

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I should add that the other key thing here is that Pavan used to be pretty good, averaging ~+0.2 true SG in 2018 and 2019 and progressing up to that in earlier years. He completely lost his ball-striking in 2020 and 2021 which I attribute to something resembling full-swing yips (I have personal experience with this in my own golf), and it’s possible this offseason he had a mental awakening of sorts.

Just wanted to clarify because I wouldn’t react this way to a player who was a career -3/-4 SG guy who had 5 good rounds to start a new season.

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On a lesser note Nick Watney, Luke Donald, and Henrik Stenson showed some signs of improvement and I see that the model is much quicker to adjust.

Maybe that means there is hope for Smylie Kaufman, LOL.

Yeah I was going to make a post about Pavan. Got absolutely buried by him the past two weeks haha.

Wondering if there is any way to model a quicker recovery for people that were good and then completely lost it. Do you think this is testable using historic data?