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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the TOC

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: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of each PGA Tour event. Below are the results of the top finishers from last year's Tournament of Champions. For last year's full-season results, 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
2011 TOC Byrd, 24 P1 80.0 11 273.4 21 86.1 10 1.69 8 29.0 3 1/25 3/0
Garrigus, 24 P2 65.0 29 286.0 9 91.7 T-1 1.70 11 30.5 14 2/26 4/1
McDowell, 23 78.3 15 286.6 7 91.7 T-1 1.67 2 29.5 8 0/27 4/0
Pettersson, -20 75.0 23 276.5 16 83.3 T-17 1.65 1 28.8 2 1/25 7/0
Stricker, -20 83.3 5 267.8 27 86.1 T-10 1.68 3 29.3 T-5 0/24 4/0
Poulter, -18 76.7 19 272.6 22 86.1 T-10 1.69 8 30.5 14 1/24 8/0
Kuchar, -18 78.3 15 278.3 14 83.3 T-17 1.68 4 29.3 T-5 0/24 6/0
Crane, -9 T-21 86.7 2 266.3 30 87.5 6 1.83 26 32.3 28 0/19 8/1
B. Watson, -7 T-25 81.7 7 291.0 4 83.3 T-17 1.70 12 30.3 9 1/23 6/6

2011 Tournament of Champions Notes:


Jonathon Byrd, Steve Stricker, Ben Crane and Bubba Watson are retuning this year to the Tournament of Champions.

Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Adam Scott qualified for 2012's tournament but withdrew.

Byrd closed with a bogey-free 6-under 67 in last year's tournament. In the playoff, Byrd had pars at both holes, while Garrigus had a par and bogey.

McDowell's closing 11-under 62 was the low round of the week.

Pettersson's putting in round one and two, 1.563 and 1.573, was followed by 1.733 and 1.733 in rounds three and four.

2012 Tournament of Champions:

The 2012 season-opening Tournament of Champions runs Friday through Monday.

The Plantation Course, at Kapalua, Hawaii, favors the long hitter and many players will hit the very big greens in GIR only to be challenged to avoid three-putting. So, proximity to hole and strong putting are primary. See Bubba Watson's six bogeys and six double-bogeys in the scoring recap above. Winds are forecasted to be friendly - a following wind for most holes.

In 2011, the two top finishers, Jonathon Byrd and Robert Garrigus both earned their spot in the field with wins in the Fall Series events. Give careful consideration in making your player selection because this year's winner could very well surprise.

This year's event was reduced to 28 players after withdrawals by Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Frederic Jacobson, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel, Darren Clarke and Jason Dufner. Only seven players from 2011 qualified again this year: Johnson, Rose, Scott, Jonathon Byrd, Ben Crane, Steve Stricker and Bubba Watson.

Thus, the Tournament of Champions (TOC) will be without the winner of the Masters, the U.S. Open and British Open amongst the prominent players. The TOC has enjoyed strong ticket sales in past years and hopefully that will continue this year, considering the circumstances.

Meanwhile, The European Tour has initiated its first Tournament of Champions to be played in South Africa, January 19-22, at the Links at Fancourt.

The winners of the 2011 European Tour International Schedule, plus any current European Tour member with 10 or more European Tour wins have been invited. Several PGA Tour regulars qualify. Official World Golf Ranking points will be awarded giving additional attraction to the field.

In the past, ideas to enlarge the field for PGA Tour Tournament of Champions have been tossed about but nothing firm has surfaced. It's an opportunity to improve. tournament.