Since the Mickelson thread has been hijacked and has become a Higgo thread, I thought I might as well start his own thread. This one could get interesting.
As you know, one thing a lot of Datagolf users have noticed is that the model is slow to adjust to rapidly improving (or declining) players compared to the bookies. As a result it’s easy to get caught off-guard and lose a ton of money on guys like Spieth, Leishman, Higgo, and possibly Fowler (in the upcoming weeks).
The goal is to help prevent Datagolf users from losing money by betting its selections blindly.
So with that goal in mind, how do we handle Garrick Higgo?
The eye test says he’s been playing like one of the top players in the world for the last couple of months. He’s like a human cheat code. His last 6 results are T4, 1, T8, 1, T64, 1. He’s 22 and he’s been visibly improving in every aspect of his game at a very rapid pace, so there is a real possibility that he’s simply a genius who is blossoming into a superstar. You can lose a lot of money by discounting this possibility. Not certain whether he can sustain this level of play but if you erased the name “Garrick Higgo” and penciled in the name “Viktor Hovland” he would be perceived very differently.
There have been many young players who rose up quickly then disappointed. Ishikawa, Manassero, Keegan Bradley, Garcia, Jason Day, and Chris Wood are a few that come to mind. Then again you have players like Rory and Spieth too. And even the relative disappointments mostly became very solid pros so I think Higgo’s changes of becoming a solid PGA Tour pro are very good.
As for winning, he just doesn’t seem to have trouble closing out tournaments. He just has the eye of the tiger. It’s a rare trait, especially for a young player.
Once again, the future is never guaranteed but when you look at the records of all-time legends early in their career it looks awfully similar to what Higgo is doing, so the possibility is there. Sure, he’s much more likely to miss the cut in the US Open than he is to win or even finish in the top 10. But I think there is at least a 1 in 10 chance that he becomes a Hall of Fame golfer with 20+ wins and multiple majors.
He opened at 90-1 this week and my guess is that this will be the last time in a while he goes off at anywhere near that odds to win a golf tournament. If he wins he probably goes off at like 9-1 in the Open Championship and will be treated as one of the top 5-10 players in the world by the bookies and the press.
Again, nothing is guaranteed, this is golf after all. He could fall off over the next few months and struggle to make cuts on the PGA Tour or he could win 10+ majors before it’s all said and done. Neither outcome would surprise me based on what I’ve seen from him so far.