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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Crowne Plaza

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: Crowne Plaza Invitational

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of recent tournaments, including last week's Byron Nelson Championship, and the top finishers from last year's Crowne Plaza Invitational.

The results grid was reduced for easier reading, starting with the Masters. However, the AVERAGE statistics at the bottom of the grid reflect data from completed 2012 tournaments.

For results from earlier events, go here.

For last year's full-season results, go here.

2012 PGA Tour Events

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR STK GN PUTTS EAGLE BIRDIE BOGEY DBL BOG
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK /PUTT RNK
The Masters Watson -10 P1 66.0 48 290.4 4 73.6 4 1.67 37 0 19 0 0
Heritage Pettersson -14 66.1 39 279.1 31 69.4 1 1.24 10 0 22 6 1
Texas Curtis -9 73.2 2 289.1 74 68.1 1 2.06 3 0 17 4 2
Zurich Dufner -19 P1 64.3 31 291.0 35 72.2 25 1.53 6 1 21 4 0
Wells Fargo Fowler -14 P1 62.5 2 305.9 13 79.2 5 0.68 30 1 22 8 1
The Players Kuchar -13 62.5 37 280.6 47 73.6 3 2.09 2 0 22 9 0
Byron Nelson Dufner -11 75.0 2 316.6 9 80.6 1 -0.41 56 0 19 8 0
AVERAGE 64.2 29.5 285.2 39.3 73.5 15.3 1.46 12.9 0.7 19.9 5.8 0.4

Last Week's Byron Nelson Championship

It certainly wasn't a thing of beauty, but it was a win - and a win, is a win as we all have heard. Last year's winner won with a 3-under for 72 holes, not usual outside of a major tournament. Previous five winners here, except one, were in the low teens, like Jason Dufner on Sunday at -11.

Previously overlooked players drew attention in a big way by driving up the leaderboard and challenging the more recognized players. We used the PGA Tour-Yahoo Player Performance tool to analyze how many fantasy owners picked the top seven:

Jason Dufner - 35.55%, Group C
Dicky Pride - 12.65%, Group B
Joe Durant - 0.02%, Group C
Marc Leishman - 4.37%, Group B
Jonas Blixen - 1.87%, Group
J.J. Henry - 2.27%, Group B
Ken Duke - 14.03%, Group B

Winner Dufner is patient, deliberate, long off the tee (316/ninth), accurate in both fairways ( 10.5 of 14/second) and GIR (14.5 of 18/first) with putting ranked 54th in strokes gained. Two wins in thee weeks tells the tale.

Fantasy owners should make a written memo for next year that reminds to look for a few lesser lights along with the headliners.

This Week's Crowne Plaza 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 Crown Plaza Toms -15 67.9 4 299.1 28 72.2 4 1.58 1 27.3 9 1/20 5/1
Wi -14 57.1 22 289.8 52 66.7 23 1.63 3 26.3 1 0/20 6/0
VanPelt -10 44.6 64 294.1 42 69.4 11 1.60 2 27.5 15 1/20 10/1
Z. Johnson -9 57.1 22 289.9 51 65.3 28 1.70 16 27.5 15 0/18 9/0
Karlsson -8 62.5 10 293.6 43 70.8 7 1.77 44 28.3 25 1/14 2/3
Reavie -8 67.9 4 306.0 11 72.2 4 1.67 6 28.5 29 0/21 11/1
K. Stadler -7 64.3 2 296.6 34 77.8 1 1.75 36 29.5 61 0/16 7/1
B. Haas -6 57.1 22 304.3 16 75.0 3 1.76 43 30.0 67 0/13 7/0
Senden -6 55.4 28 298.6 29 68.1 19 1.76 39 28.5 29 0/16 10/0
AVERAGE 59.3 19.8 296.9 34 70.8 11.1 1.69 21.1 28.2 27.9

Last year this event was positioned after The Players where David Toms lost to K.J. Choi on the first extra hole.

Considering the size of the disappointment, it is easy to understand that some players might have carried negative thoughts going into the next week's event. However, Toms' positive attitude echoed, "Don't get mad, get even." His two 8-under 62s in the first two rounds exhibited a controlled positive confidence that carried him to a one-stroke win.

The Invitational format is seen at the Arnold Palmer, the Crowne Plaza and the WGC-Bridgestone along with all of the World Golf Championship (WGC) events. Fields usually are smaller than Opens and Championships. There are 123 players in the 2012 Crowne Plaza field with 10 players in the alternate category.

Some prominent rookies are in the field: Sang-Moon Bae, Bud Cauley, Harris English, John Huh and Seung-Yul Noh as well as grizzled, silver-haired veteran Corey Pavin, the two-time winner in 1985 and 1996, who will tee it up for his 29th start - every year since 1984.

In forming your roster you'll need some wind players. Wind-seasoned Australians and Texans get experience in their early teens. Attributes important here are the usual GIR and Strokes Gained-putting as well as scrambling and par-4 scoring.

Last year's Low Rounds of the Day:

Round 1 - 8-under 62, David Toms
Round 2 - 8-under 62, David Toms
Round 3 - 5-under 65, D.J. Trahan
Round 4 - 5-under 65, Zach Johnson, Bo Van Pelt

All are in the 2012 field.

Last Five Winners:

2011 - David Toms, 15-under
2010 - Zach Johnson, 21-under
2009 - Steve Stricker, 14-under
2008 - Phil Mickelson, 14-under
2007 - Rory Sabbatini, 14-under

Stricker and Mickelson are not in the field.
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