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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Transitions

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: Transitions Championship

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's WGC-Cadillac Championship and the top finishers from last year's Transitions Championship. 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
Nor. Trust Haas -7 P1 55.4 50 279.8 30 50.0 58 2.25 3 1 15 10 0
Mayakoba Huh -13 P1 73.2 8 279.3 44 81.9 1 N/A 28 1 18 5 1
Honda McIlroy -12 60.7 37 297.6 8 66.7 10 1.57 5 0 17 5 0
WGC-Cad. Rose -16 57.1 78 290.0 28 65.3 17 0.11 33 0 23 7 0
AVERAGE 61.0 35.7 281.6 43.7 72.2 22.1 1.48 10.3 1.0 20.1 6.6 0.1


Last Week's WGC-Cadillac Championship

Justin Rose's Strokes Gained-Putting might hold up as the lowest metric/highest rank (0.11/33).

Rose's 23 birdies ranked first. His low stat in SG-P didn't reflect on his fine bogey collection (seven).

The stats are beginning to smooth out; they will continue to be helpful as the number of winners' stats grow.


This Week's Transitions Championship

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 Trans. Woodland -15 57.7 54 296.5 7 70.8 29 1.65 5 27.0 2 0/22 7/0
W. Simpson -14 65.4 31 286.3 17 65.3 52 1.60 1 26.3 1 0/21 7/0
Stallings -12 73.1 12 278.5 32 73.6 11 1.62 2 28.5 23 1/22 10/1
Snedeker -11 55.8 64 276.6 38 63.9 60 1.63 4 27.0 2 2/15 8/0
Turnesa -10 57.7 54 278.3 35 69.4 36 1.72 21 28.0 12 0/20 10/0
Laird -10 61.5 45 300.8 3 69.4 36 1.76 35 28.5 23 1/15 7/0
Thatcher -10 57.7 54 272.6 50 75.0 8 1.74 28 28.8 31 0/16 4/1
Couch -10 71.2 18 287.5 13 70.6 18 1.71 18 28.3 17 1/18 8/1
Rose -10 76.9 3 276.8 49 80.6 2 1.72 22 29.8 49 0/18 8/0
De Jonge -10 65.4 31 274.4 46 72.2 20 1.69 28 28.3 19 0/18 6/1
AVERAGE 64.2 36.6 282.8 29.0 71.1 27.2 1.68 16.4 28.1 17.9


As it has since its inception 11 years ago, this tournament will play on the Copperhead course once again at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla. The course is demanding, doesn't give up many low scores and rewards consistency. Last year's winner, Gary Woodland, shot three 67s and one 68, runner-up Webb Simpson shot three 67s and one 69. Of the 10 players shown, only Mark Turnesa and Roland Thatcher are not in the 2012 field.

In the Florida swing, Doral (Miami) is the easiest course by far, giving up winning scores in the 20-under area. Bay Hill (Orlando), PGA National (Palm Beach area) and Copperhead (Tampa area) are the tough tracks The best score here, 18-under, was scored in 2004 by Vijay Singh. K.J. Choi was the winner in 2002 at 17-under and again in 2006 at 13-under. Here are the last five winners:

2011 Gary Woodland, -15
2010 Jim Furyk, -13
2009 Retief Goosen, -8
2008 Sean O'Hair, -4
2007 Mark Calcavecchia, -10

Calcavecchia is the only of the last five winners not in 2012 field.

Looking at the 2011 stats, the top-four golfers were the best in taking advantage of their birdie looks, as measured by putts per GIR. Further, Webb Simpson and Brent Snedeker had the putting talent to finish higher maybe a winning score - had they hit more greens.

The usual three most important statistical attributes, GIR, putts-per GIR and scrambling, will provide the birdies and squelch the bogeys needed for good scores. Total driving will be important this weekn as will three-putt avoidance. Woodland broke the line of veteran players winning here, but you should still put a vet or two on your roster inasmuch as experience and patience is needed at Copperhead.
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