RotoWire Partners

PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Northern Trust Open

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: Northern Trust Open

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the top finishers from last year's Northern Trust Open. 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
Pebble Bch Mickelson -17 61.8 62 272.8 58 75.0 3 3.33 1 1 19 4 0
AVERAGE 60.5 30.6 278.1 54.5 76.3 10.8 1.56 5.6 1.3 21.3 5.7 .2

Last Week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Phil Mickelson had an outstanding week with the putter as shown by Strokes Gained and bogey avoidance -- only four bogeys for the week. It will be interesting to see how long Mickelson's 3.33 strokes-gained average remains tops among tour winners.

Overall, experienced players dominated at Pebble Beach, which is usual at the event.


This Week's Northern Trust Open


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 No. Trust Baddeley -12 50.0 57 276.5 42 72.2 3 1.8 54 28.5 35 1/15 3/1
Singh -10 55.4 45 277.5 38 59.7 38 1.6 2 26.3 1 0/20 10/0
Na -9 57.1 40 265.3 68 68.1 6 1.7 5 28.3 26 1/19 12/0
J. Walker -8 53.6 50 291.0 8 66.7 12 1.8 24 28.3 26 0/15 7/0
Allenby -8 60.7 29 287.4 14 76.4 1 1.8 59 30.0 66 1/14 8/0
R. Moore -8 73.2 4 280.4 33 63.9 23 1.8 37 28.0 17 0/14 6/0
AVERAGE 58.3 37.5 279.7 33.8 67.8 13.8 1.8 30.2 28.2 28.5


The first statistic hitting the eye is the winner's 12-under score, which isn't rare at this event. In 1985, Riviera Country Club gave up Lanny Wadkins' tournament-record 264, 20-under. Fred Couples had an 18-under in 1990, which is as close as anyone has come to Wadkins.

Couples, with two wins here, will make his 30th start this week, tying Gene Littler. Couples has made the cut at Riviera in 27 of his 29 starts with 14 top-10s.

Last year Aaron Baddeley's bogey avoidance carried him to the winners' circle even with a double bogey in the closing round. His putting stats are not the usual numbers registered by tournament winners, but Baddeley avoided trouble for the most part. The columns showing birdies and bogeys tell the story.

The last five winners:

2011 Aaron Baddeley, 12-under
2010 Steve Stricker, 16-under
2009 Phil Mickelson, 15-under
2008 Phil Mickelson, 12-under
2007 Charles Howell III, 16-under

Desirable attributes: Many pars coupled with occasional birdies, good GIR and scrambling and bogey avoidance. Getting par-5 birdies are a big help. Course management is vital.