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PGA Tour Stats: What it Takes to Win

Ed Cushing

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.

EVENT PLAYER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 Per GIR RNK RND RNK BIRDIE DBL
Tourney of Champ. Byrd -24 80 11 273.4 21 86.1 1.69 8 29 3 1/25 3/0
Sony Open M.Wilson -16 73 2 289.3 24 75.1 1.67 5 27.5 6 0/21 5/0
Bob Hope - Five Rds Vegas -27 75 13 308.7 3 76.7 1.65 22 27.4 16 1/34 9/0
Farmers Insur.Open B.Watson -16 50 28 316.6 1 81.9 1.73 26 29 32 2/20 8/0
Phoenix Open M.Wilson -18 66 16 290.3 68 84.7 1.66 11 28.8 39 0/22 4/0
Pebble Bch,Pro-Am Points -15 80 7 285.6 40 69.4 1.6 1 27 2 2/23 10/1
Northern Trust Baddeley -12 50 57 276.5 42 72.2 1.83 54 28.5 35 1/15 3/1
MayakobaGolfClass. Wagner -17 67.9 36 277.9 54 79.2 1.68 7 28 8 1/17 2/0
Honda Classic Sabbatini -9 53.6 56 286.3 26 65.3 1.77 19 27 2 0/15 6/0
WGC-Cadillac(Doral) Watney -16 58.9 12 297.6 14 68.1 1.57 2 26.3 9 1/22 6/1
Puerto Rico Open M.Bradley -16 64.3 24 293.1 42 81.9 1.75 20 30 49 2/18 6/0
Transitions Champ. Woodland -15 57.7 54 296.5 7 70.8 1.65 5 27 2 0/22 7/0
Arnold Palmer Inv. Laird -8 71.4 23 296.6 5 68.1 1.78 22 28.8 18 1/18 10/1
Houston Open Mickelson -20 53.6 67 314.6 6 77.8 1.64 3 28 11 1/27 7/1
Masters Schwartzel -14 66.1 31 278.4 44 68 26.75 2 2/17 7/0
Texas Open Steele -8 64.3 7 303 10 58.3 1.69 13 26 2 0/17 7/1
The Heritage Snedeker -12 80.4 3 271 59 61.1 1.59 2 25.8 4 0/21 9/0
Zurich Classic B. Watson -15 71.4 13 331.4 1 80.6 1.74 41 29.3 57 3/16 5/0
AVERAGE 65.76 26.29 291.49 25.94 73.63 1.69 15.35 27.79 16.5



Bubba Watson's second 2011 win in New Orleans brought some interesting data.

Watson is the only winner to be No. 1 in both driving distance and GIR - and he's done it twice.

Only five winners were more accurate off the tee. Coupling high rankings in distance, accuracy and GIR comes close to a guaranteed winning formula. Watson had three eagles last week - distance at the par-5s is a potent weapon when chasing both eagles and birdies.

Watson's distance off the tee AND also from the fairway is a major component of Watson's game. His improvement in GIR has been recognized as his major step toward better consistency.

His putting also recorded some interesting stats - his ranking of 41st in putts-per-GIR this week is second only to Aaron Baddeley's 54th at the Northern Trust Open - his average putts per round ranking, 57th, is the highest to date.

It's no stretch to expect Watson to win at least once again this year. His apparent problem is smoothing out his putting.

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