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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering Pebble Beach

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: Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's Phoenix Open and the top finishers from last year's Pebble Beach Pro-Am. For last year's full-season results, go here.

2012 PGA Tour Events


EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR STK GN PUTTS EAGLES BIRDIE BOGEY DBL BOG
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK /PUTT RNK
TOC Stricker -23 66.7 11 268.3 15 81.9 13 1.25 3 1 26 3 1
Sony Wagner -13 41.1 56 276.4 68 70.8 10 1.58 3 2 17 8 0
Humana M. Wilson -24 74.1 18 279.3 69 80.6 73 1.04 4 2 24 4 0
Farmers Snedeker -16 P1 58.9 13 284.8 47 70.8 33 1.03 12 0 24 8 0
Phoenix K. Stanley -15 60.7 24 287.5 70 79.2 3 1.14 11 2 18 7 0
AVERAGE 60.3 24.4 279.2 53.8 76.6 26.4 1.21 6.6 1.4 21.8 6 .2
Farmers K. Stanley -16 P2 51.8 39 314.4 2 79.2 3 0.43 32 1 25 6 1


Last Week's Phoenix Open

Stanley's stats at the Torrey Pines, where he lost in a playoff, can be compared with his stats at last week's comeback victory at the Phoenix Open. Stanley got back on the horse with improved putting and a bogey-free closing round.

Spencer Levin was saving par with 12-15-foot putts as he neared the turn. Then he made two bogeys, birdie and double bogey that backed him down to 13-under.

Stanley out-scored Levin in the closing round by 10 shots.

Levin missed the cut at the Phoenix Open last year but went on to Pebble beach where he tied for fourth, at 10-under.

This Week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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 Pebble Points -18 80.0 7 285.6 40 69.4 17 1.6 1 27 2 2/23 10/1
Mahan -13 72.7 26 283.3 46 73.6 4 1.6 3 29 32 1/21 8/1
Gillis -11 81.8 2 284.6 41 77.8 1 1.7 11 29 35 0/20 7/1
Levin -10 69.1 37 293.5 22 73.6 4 1.6 2 29 35 0/23 11/1
Marino -10 81.8 2 296.4 15 75.0 3 1.7 13 29 27 1/19 8/1
AVERAGE 77.1 14.8 288.7 32.8 73.9 5.8 1.6 6 28.5 26.2


At last year's Pebble Beach, Steve Marino tied or led the first three rounds. His closing 74, with a triple bogey at the 18th, pushed him to a tie for fifth. He didn't have problems getting to the greens, but once there he struggled as can be seen in putts-per-GIR and low birdie count.

D.A. Points won this one with his putter. Both putting stats jump out as compared with the other top finishers. Of note is the quantity of bogeys all around. The next seven finishers averaged 8.7 bogeys, which is very close to the top fives' 8.8.

This year, the event will use three courses: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and the Monterey Peninsula Shore Course. The 2011 score averages again confirmed that the Monterey course is the easiest. Check out the stats and plan your strategy:

Monterey Shore Course - 68.98 (three rounds) Spyglass Hill - 71.603 (three rounds) Pebble Beach - 71.504 (four rounds)

Players rotate three rounds using the three courses and Pebble Beach is used for the closing round. Pebble's closing-round average score in 2011 was 73.217.

The cut is exercised after the third round. Last year, the three-round cut was at 212 and took out some notables: Johnson Wagner and Gary Woodland (213), Brandt Snedeker (215), Mark Wilson and Brenden DeJonge (216), John Rollins (217), Justin Leonard, David Toms, Jim Furyk (218) and Jason Dufner (219).

Veteran players with good track records usually do better than rookies here. Last year, Spencer Levin, hardly a veteran, was an exception. Greens in regulation, scrambling and sharp putting are highly important as is taking advantage of par-5s where birdies (or better) are needed. Wind has caused havoc in the past look for players who regularly do well in the wind. If you struggle in picking a player look for an Australian or a Texan, they usually play well on windy days.