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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the BMW

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 third round at the BMW Championship

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
Barclays-54 holesD.Johnson -19 59.5 44 311.7 2 83.3 9 1.627 28 8 1/21 2/1
Deutsche BankW. Simpson P1 -15 62.544 299.440 65.3 351.62 26.5 3 2/17 6/0
C. Reavie P2 -15 69.6 19298.3 4373.6 3 1.7222 27.618 0/20 5/0
Note: Only Simpson is included in the average stats below.
AVERAGE64.927.3 300.6 21.3 73.1 15.0 1.67 13.6 27.8 15.1
 
2010 BMW Champ.D. Johnson -9 60.7 35 318.1 2 63.9 17 1.652 5 27.5 9 0/189/0
P.Casey -8 58.9 41 308.9 4 73.6 1 1.69 16 29.3 53 0/17 9/0
KJ Choi -6 71.47 298.420 56.9 37 1.666 276 0/17 11/0
K. Na -6 69.6 11 284.958 65.3 12 1.77 39 29.8 39 0/15 9/0
M. Kuchar -6 71.47 296.127 66.7 7 1.7325 28.3 28 1/17 13/0
R. Moore -6 58.941 302.811 72.2 2 1.7327 28.839 0/16 6/2

DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP

The significant stats for Webb Simpson and Chez Reavie, shown above, are the Putts-per-Greens In Regulation (GIR) and Total putts per round.

Simpson clearly won the putting battle despite Reavie having more birdie looks with his better GIR performance. Simpson had two eagles and 17 birdies for a sum of 21 strokes. With six bogeys, he had a net of 15 strokes.

Reavie also had a net of 15, but one of Reavie's bogeys came at the 72nd hole while one of Simpson's birdies came there for a two-stroke swing.

In this case, it's not just what you do, it's when you do it.

If you were impressed with Simpson's 15-28 footers this year be aware that his putting this year is not as good as 2010 and 2009:

Strokes Gained:

2009 - 15th
2010 - 32nd
2011 - 46th (through Deutsche Bank)

BMW CHAMPIONSHIP

Scoring at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club (par-71) won't see the galaxy of below-par rounds like last week at TPC Boston. If the course setup is like recent times, plenty of bogeys await.

In 2009, Tiger Woods won with 68-67-62-68-265 for 19-under; 62 a new course record. Jim Furyk and Marc Leishman tied for second at 11-under.

Start with checking the 2010 top six players' birdies and bogeys stats to get a bit of what to expect. You'll see how bogeys reduced chances for the win. Paul Casey is an excellent example. In the final round he was 5-under through 12. He then bogied the 13th, 14th and 15th, dooming his victory chances.

Of the six players shown, only Casey and Na are not in the BMW field.

Attributes for the BMW: With birdies scarce, bogey avoidance is a key stat - see grid again. GIR is key - five of the six players in 2010 were first, second, seventh, 12th, 17th and 37th. Sand saves will be important and, as always, a very good putting week is vital.
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