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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the John Deere

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: John Deere Classic

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 Greenbrier Classic, and results from last year's John Deere Classic.

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 EAGLES 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
Memorial Woods -9 76.8 14 287.3 16 73.6 1 0.04 42 0 19 6 2
St. Jude D. Johnson -9 57.1 18 301.0 20 69.4 4 0.77 43 1 14 7 0
U.S. Open W. Simpson 55.4 13 278.9 53 58.3 16 NA NA 0 13 12 1
Travelers Leishman -14 76.8 15 301.5 12 70.8 28 0.05 48 1 21 7 1
AT&T Woods -8 53.6 46 298.6 34 66.7 17 1.46 9 1 11 5 0
Greenbrier Potter Jr. -16 P1 80.4 3 304.8 35 72.2 21 2.02 1 1 18 4 0
T. Kelly -16 P2 53.6 75 314.9 11 70.8 28 1.54 7 1 20 6 0
AVERAGE 64.2 28.5 288.6 36.4 72.0 16.4 1.38 15.2 0.7 19.0 6.1 0.4

Last Week's Greenbrier Classic

The two playoff contenders for their first PGA Tour win bolstered the desire of those who rank in deep triple digits in whatever measurement you might pick - PGA Tour, FedEx Cup points or Official World Golf Rankings.

Fantasy players alert - these guys can play.

Group One

This group appears positioned to earn 2013 cards in due time. Each golfer is doing well and gathering experience.

Seung-Yul Noh
Patrick Cantlay
John Huh
Sang-Moon Bae
Bud Cauley (Declared professional at the Travelers Championship)

Group Two

While this group is not as advanced as group one, Potter and Kelly tied for first at The Greenbrier with Potter edging out Kelly in three extra holes.

Brian Harmen
Edward Loar
Roberto Castro
Charlie Beltjan
Ted Potter Jr.
Troy Kelly

There are plenty of others in both groups to be sure - space doesn't allow a full listing.

In both groups, all took on a boost of self-confidence, increased desire and anticipation having seen the depth of success of their cohorts against a field that had Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk and others miss the cut while they soldiered on for 72 holes.

In two weeks, opposite of the British Open, is the True South Classic in Mississippi in which many of both groups will shoot once again for the moon. The Fall Series will see plenty of them as well as they better their final 2012 position or earn cards for 2013.

The younger players are coming on.

This Week's John Deere Classic

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 John Deere Stricker -22 64.3 58 318.0 12 73.6 33 1.55 1 25.0 1 1/25 3/1
K. Stanley -21 87.5 1 316.8 13 75.0 22 1.63 10 27.8 14 1/24 5/0
McQuillian -17 80.4 5 310.1 32 77.8 6 1.59 3 28.0 19 3/20 9/0
Z. Johnson -17 83.9 2 299.9 60 76.4 13 1.73 34 28.0 19 0/18 1/0
C. Howell -16 58.9 68 315.0 16 69.4 52 1.70 23 27.0 23 1/19 5/0
Reavie -16 76.8 18 311.5 28 77.8 6 1.61 5 27.5 11 1/22 8/0
Percy-15 69.6 41 299.6 62 73.6 33 1.62 7 27.5 11 0/23 8/0
De Jonge -15 66.1 53 309.8 33 75.0 22 1.59 4 27.5 11 0/24 5/2
AVERAGE 73.4 30.8 310.1 32 74.8 23.4 1.63 10.9 27.3 13.6

Sometimes this event is called the John Deere's annual contribution to the Steve Stricker Retirement Fund. He has won here in 2009, 2010 and 2011 earning $2,376,000. He tuned up at last week's Greenbrier Classic with a T-22, 8-under.

After a double bogey early in the 2011 closing round, he had two unbelievable putts at the 71st and 72nd holes last year to cop the win over Kyle Stanley.

At 45, Stricker's win at the 2012 season opening Tournament of Champions gave him nine of his 12 PGA Tour wins after age 40.

As our grid of the top-8 finishers in 2011 shows, birdies were abundant with an average of 21.7 per player - add seven eagles for good measure. The players you need have high stats in birdies, GIR, driving accuracy, proximity to hole and bogey avoidance. You will need leaders in strokes gained-putting stats.

Runner-up Kyle Stanley attributed his use of his "stinger" two-iron to rank first in driving accuracy with good enough distance to rank 13th, earning his best PGA Tour finish at that time - outstanding work and paycheck.

Tournament record: 2010 - Steve Stricker, 258
Course record: 2010 - Paul Goydos, 59 (Round one)

2011 Low Rounds

Round 1: 8-under 63, Kris Blanks
Round 2: 9-under 62, Chez Reavie
Round 3: 8-under 63, Steve Stricker, Brendon De Jonge
Round 4: 7-under 64, Matt McQuillan, Charles Howell III, Briny Baird

Last Five Winners and Runners-Up

2011 - Steve Stricker (20-under 262), Kyle Stanley (263)
2010 - Steve Stricker (26-under 258), Paul Goydos (260)
2009 - Steve Stricker (20-under 264), Zach Johnson, Brett Quigley, Brandt Snedeker (267)
2008 - Kenny Perry (16-under 268), Jay Williamson, Brad Adamonis (268)
2007 - Jonathon Byrd (18-under, 266), Tim Clark (267)
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