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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Houston 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: Houston Open

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational and the top finishers from last year's Houston 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
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
Arnold Palmer Woods -13 64.3 29 294.6 11 79.2 1 1.45 4.0 0 20 5 1
AVERAGE 62.3 32.9 281.0 43.6 72.3 22.1 1.58 9.0 0.9 19.8 6.3 0.2


Last Week's Arnold Palmer Invitational

Wind and more wind took its tolls as expected with the closing round suffering the most. The top-30 players in the fourth round had 10 players under par, five at even par and 15 over par with six of the top 10 over par for the day.

Tiger Woods' course management paid off with only five bogeys and a double bogey out-of-bounds buried by 20 birdies. His overall shots gained-putting ranked fourth at 1.445, a somewhat low number reflecting the difficulty experienced by the entire field. Woods gave himself plenty of birdie looks, averaging 14.25 greens in regulation, which ranked first for the week.

This Week's Houston 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 Houston Mickelson -20 53.6 67 314.6 6 77.8 11 1.64 3 28.0 11 1/27 7/1
Kirk -17 60.7 41 301.6 18 87.5 1 1.70 16 29.5 35 0/23 4/1
Verplank -17 73.2 7 277.8 72 76.4 17 1.58 1 26.8 1 1/23 6/1
Stricker -13 62.5 35 288.5 52 76.4 17 1.71 20 28.8 17 0/20 7/0
Baddeley -13 53.6 67 316.8 5 68.1 59 1.69 14 27.5 6 0/22 9/0
AVERAGE 60.7 43.4 299.9 30.6 77.2 21.0 1.67 10.8 28.1 14.0


Birdies come easy here compared to the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While the Palmer favors the long-ball hitters, Redstone Golf Club in Houston favors mid-length hitters who are good ball strikers. Redstone has been used since 2003 with the TPC Woodlands used in 1973 through 2002 for the Houston Open.

Redstone offers some holes that resemble some of the holes at Augusta National. This move by management was instituted three years ago with players recognizing the opportunity to experience similarities to Augusta - the fields recently have been upgraded as a result. As one would expect, there are some difficult holes with the 17th and 18th being examples of tough closing holes.

Phil Mickelson's first two rounds last year were so-so, but his birdie machine was in high gear in rounds three and four when he shot the low rounds of the day. In his third-round 63 and closing-round 65, he nailed 18 birdies with only two bogeys. The 63 tied the course record. Look for the troops to go low.

Attributes needed this week: Total driving, GIR, keep ball in play, bogey avoidance, scrambling and taking advantage on the par-4s.
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