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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Arnold Palmer

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: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's Transitions Championship and the top finishers from last year's Arnold Palmer Invitational. 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
Transitions Donald -13 P1 73.1 9 261.1 75 66.7 43 2.59 1 1 17 6 0
Furyk -13 P2 71.2 14 265.5 73 76.4 4 0.32 30 1 18 7 0
Garrgus -13 P2 55.8 64 311.9 2 75.0 5 -0.34 60 1 20 9 0
Bae -13 P2 67.3 24 291.5 19 62.5 59 2.48 2 0 21 5 1
AVERAGE 62.7 33.4 281.84 43.3 71.6 23.7 1.41 14.0 0.9 19.8 6.6 0.2


This Week's Arnold Palmer Invitational


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 Arnold Palmer Laird -8 71.4 22 296.6 5 68.1 20 1.78 22 28.8 18 1/18 10/1
Marino -7 67.9 37 285.5 29 69.4 16 1.72 5 28.5 16 1/16 9/1
Leishman -6 62.5 54 288.5 18 63.9 34 1.70 1 27.0 1 1/15 5/2
Rose -6 76.8 7 282.0 41 75.0 1 1.78 23 30.0 43 2/14 12/0
Toms -6 69.6 32 282.0 41 66.7 25 1.77 19 28.3 13 0/15 '5/2
Choi -6 64.3 49 292.5 13 63.9 34 1.74 9 28.5 16 1/15 10/1
Levin -6 57.1 63 281.8 43 61.1 48 1.77 20 27.3 2 0/16 11/0
AVERAGE 67.1 37.7 287.0 27.1 66.9 25.4 1.75 14.1 28.3 15.6


Martin Laird's final-round 75 last year was the highest finish by a PGA Tour winner since Trevor Immelman won the 2008 Masters with a 3-over 75.

Like many events, the fourth round had overall higher scores than the first three.

Marc Leishman's outstanding putting stands out. A putts-per-GIR stat in the 1.60 area usually is a winner, but it's not a sure thing, as you can see.

Steve Marino's only double bogey for the week happened in round four at the 17th hole, probably denying him his first PGA Tour win.

Two years ago Bay Hill had a tune-up that included shaving the area around the greens and bringing fairway bunkers closer to the fairways. Coupling those adjustments with the slick greens contributed to higher scores.

Attributes needed to win at Bay Hill: Total driving, GIR, scrambling, par-5 birdies or better, cautious putting. Players who do well in winds will flourish.

Tigers Woods' Bay Hill wins:

2000 - 270, 18-under
2001 - 273, 15-under
2002 - 275, 13-under
2003 - 269, 19-under
2008 - 270, 10-under
2009 - 275, 5-under

Coincidental with the 2007 re-naming of the event to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, par changed from 72 to 70; in 2010 this was reversed back to par 72.

The last five winners:

2007 - Vijay Singh 271, 8-under
2008 - Tiger Woods 270, 10-under
2009 - Tiger Woods 275, 5-under
2010 - Ernie Els 277, 11-under
2011 - Martin Laird 280, 8-under
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