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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering The Barclays

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.

PGA Tour Stats entering this week's FedEx Cup opening round at The Barclays


NOTICE: The results grid was reduced for easier reading, starting with the U.S. Open. However, the AVERAGE statistics at the bottom of the grid will continue to reflect the data from completed 2011 tournaments. For results from earlier events, go here.




EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK Per GIR RNK RND RNK BIRDIE DBL
U.S. Open R. McIlroy, -16 64.326 310.07 86.11 1.65 29.729 1/19 3/1
Travelers Champ. F. Jacobson, -20 85.7 9 274.6 46 72.2 34 1.67 11 26.5 3 0/21 1/0
AT&T National N. Watney -13 69.6 10 320.8 4 70.8 27 1.67 3 27.8 2 1/20 9/0
John Deere Classic S. Stricker -22 64.3 58 318.0 12 73.6 33 1.55 1 25 1 1/25 3/1
Viking Classic C. Kirk -22 64.3 43 292.0 12 79.2 12 1.63 10 27.3 12 1/24 4/0
British Open D. Clarke -5 41.0 311.7 70.829.7 2/14 11/1
Canadian Open S. O'Hair P1 -4 58.9 27 299.6 3 59.7 19 1.84 61 28.8 36 0/17 13/0
Canadian Open K. Blanks P2 -4 69.6 7 283.6 42 70.8 1 1.78 43 30 66 1/14 10/1
Greenbrier ClassicS. Stallings P1 62.5 54 323.5 5 79.2 2 1.72 19 30 53 0/19 9/0
BridgestoneA. Scott -17 64.3 15 319.6 6 70.8 9 1.63 4 26.54 0/21 4/0
PGA ChampionshipK. Bradley P1 -8 62.5 301.8 77.7 1.68 29.2 1/19 6/3
Wyndham Champ.W. Simpson -18 69.6 15 310.5 13 79.2 131.682 28.8 9 3/17 3/1
AVERAGE 65.126.3 300.3 21.3 73.0 14.6 1.67 14.1 27.9 15.6
2010 BarclaysM.Kuchar P1 -12 64.330 277.6 34 70.8 15 1.64 6 27.0 7 0/19 5/1
M. Laird P2 -12 46.4 69288.510 62.551 1.62426.32 0/19 5/1
S. Stricker -10 61.9 18 272.149 72.2 6 1.7525 28.5240/14 4/0
K. Streelman -1073.2 6 281.1 19 63.9 47 1.60227.072/0 10/0

Fourth round: Kuchar bogey-free 66; Laird five birdies; three bogeys and one double bogey.
Playoff: Kuchar wins with a birdie at first extra hole. Laird with a par.


WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP

After reading about Webb Simpson's scores, look down the leaderboard and check out the veterans who didn't win in 2011. They seized the opportunity to better their FedEx points position this week. Ernie Els moved up to 118th place, Padraig Harrington moved up to 124th, Jim Furyk improved to 60th and Vijay Singh finds himself in the 36th spot. Considering how the process works, being well up the ladder assures a starting time for more than the first event, second and maybe the third one, too.

The Wyndham seemingly manages to provide a surprise, or, comes close. Last year a Monday qualifier, Arjun Atwal, played his way in the field and won quite handily. Monday qualifiers hardly ever go on to win that week. This week Two-Gloves Tommy Gainey shared the lead for the first two rounds and hung in there at the end to finish a solo third. And years ago Sam Snead won this thing eight times!

Webb Simpson's stats, above, show a long driver who is accurate, which isn't seen often. Check out Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, Nick Watney and Bubba Watson in the grid to see how they fared in those somewhat overlooked stats. Also, note Simpson's rare three eagles. The others with three eagles are Bubba Watson at the Zurich Classic and Steve Stricker at The Memorial.

THE BARCLAYS

The FedEx playoffs begin this week with The Barclays at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J.

Subsequent playoff sites are the Deutsch Bank Championship in the Boston area next week, followed two weeks later by the BMW Championship in the Chicago area and then the FedEx playoff finale, the TOUR Championship, Sept. 15-18 in the Atlanta area.

Because Plainfield C.C. has not been in the rotation prior to this year, we posted results (above) of four players from last year. Past opening events in the FedEx Cup has had winners registering scores of 8-under in 2008 (Vijay Singh), 9-under in 2009 (Heath Slocum) and last year's 12-under (Matt Kuchar). Expect similar results in this range again this year.

Using last year's winner's statistics for The Barclays will only be helpful, not precise: Kuchar and Laird tied in regulation with widely spread stats in driving accuracy and distance and GIR. Things tighten in the putting numbers with the tie coming when Kuchar shot a bogey-free closing round while Laird went 1-over, costing him a clear win. Kuchar birdied the first playoff hole for the win.

You can't go wrong with a generic strong set of stats in GIR, putts saved, proximity to the hole and bogey avoidance, par-4 birdies or better and scrambling.