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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Memorial

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: The Memorial Tournament

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 Crowne Plaza Invitational, and the top finishers from last year's Memorial Tournament.

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
Crowne Plaza Z. Johnson -12 58.9 26 289.3 52 62.5 37 2.09 3 1 19 7 1
AVERAGE 64.0 29.3 285.4 39.9 73.0 16.3 1.50 12.4 0.7 19.9 5.8 0.4

Last Week's Crowne Plaza Invitational

Things got interesting in the fourth round at the 18th hole where winner Zach Johnson failed to correctly replace his ball that had been marked a lateral club head distance to clear the putting lane for Jason Dufner. Johnson was advised about the gaffe by his caddy and correctly responded when the PGA Tour rules official asked Johnson if he had forgotten to replace his ball. Johnson then signed for a double bogey avoiding a disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Saturday's duel of pairing Zach Johnson (65) and Jason Dufner (66) resulted in a bulge of seven strokes from second to third place. Good theater and good golf. Sunday's version of match play was also good despite a bit of Dufner's being a bit loose.

Dufner had driving problems off and on, and some approach shots didn't go as planned. This contrast from his high quality tee-to-green playing in the past weeks was an obvious tip-off that all wasn't well with Dufner. His wins in New Orleans and Dallas and this second place still is quite a performance.

This Week's Memorial Tournament

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 Memorial Stricker -16 80.4 3 295.6 35 65.3 30 1.60 5 26.5 3 3/19 9/0
Kuchar -15 78.6 5 281.1 69 70.8 6 1.63 10 27.3 13 1/22 7/1
Jobe -15 83.9 2 293.5 41 65.3 30 1.66 18 26.3 3 0/21 6/0
D. Johnson -12 64.3 45 309.0 5 69.4 10 1.68 24 27.8 24 0/23 11/0
McIlroy -11 73.2 16 305.4 15 66.7 20 1.58 3 26.8 7 1/23 10/2
Woodland -10 76.8 8 309.0 5 69.4 10 1.74 42 28.5 44 1/18 8/1
Streelman -8 73.2 16 289.8 54 62.5 44 1.71 30 27.5 18 0/20 10/1
Donald -8 85.7 1 294.3 39 69.4 10 1.64 15 28.0 30 0/21 11/1
Senden -8 75.0 9 296.0 31 66.7 20 1.77 54 28.3 35 1/18 10/1
W.Simpson -8 62.5 53 300.4 27 65.3 30 1.72 34 27.8 24 1/20 10/2
M. Wilson -8 73.2 16 292.5 47 59.7 54 1.63 11 27.0 11 2/18 14/0
Byrd -8 71.4 23 291.0 50 63.9 41 1.63 13 27.5 18 1/19 9/2
AVERAGE 74.9 16.4 296.5 34.8 66.2 25.4 1.67 21.6 27.4 19.2

They call it Jack's place, and it is well named. In 1967, Jack Nicklaus, using his own money, started to design a course that would be worthy of major-like events. Due to several delays, the Muirfield Village course was finally ready for competition-level play in 1974.

Nicklaus wanted to emulate several features of the Augusta National course - water strategically placed, many bunkers and challenging greens. Significant competitions were played here: the 1987 Ryder Cup, the 1992 U.S. Amateur and the Solheim Cup.

Two other Nicklaus-designed courses, Dove Mountain, where the WGC Match play is held, and PGA National, where the Honda Classic is played, are later designs in the Nicklaus manner. You will see another tough Nicklaus course again this week.

Driving accuracy is important and distance is not at Muirfield Village Golf Course in Dublin, Ohion. Experience and course management usually pay off. Ball placements have to be in the right place on the green - just like Augusta. Out of position leads to three-putts or more.

The greens are tough with undulation similar to Dove Mountain. Players have to avoid both three-putts and bogeys because neutralizing bogeys with birdies is tough. See the 12-player statistical report to compare bogeys to birdies. Last year's winner, Steve Stricker, was 16-under with three eagles and 19 birdies offset somewhat with nine bogeys. Farther down you can see 23 birdies but having 10 or 11 bogeys.

A rookie has never won here, and regularly getting into the 60s on this par 72 is tough. Stricker's 68-67-69-68 was the only four-round 60 score last year.

Last year's Low Rounds of the Day:

Round 1 - 6-under 66, Rory McIlroy
Round 2 - 6-under 66, Rod Pampling
Round 3 - 6-under 66, Mark Wilson, Marc Leishman
Round 4 - 7-under 65, Vijay Singh, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Jobe, Dustin Johnson

Kuchar is not in the 2012 field. Pampling is on the Alternate List.

Last Five Winners:

2011 - Steve Stricker, 16-under
2010 - Justin Rose, 18-under
2009 - Tiger Woods, 12-under
2008 - Kenny Perry, 8-under
2007 - K. J. Choi, 17-under

Perry is not in the 2012 field.

The field includes players who competed at the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship last week. Making the cut were Winner Luke Donald, -15; Justin Rose, -11 T2; Ernie Els, -5 T7; Charl Schwartzel -2, T-18; Ben Curtis +10 T68. Those missing the BMW cut who are in the field: Nicolas Colsaerts, Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey.
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