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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the WGC-Bridgestone

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: WGC-Bridgestone 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 Canadian Open, and results from last year's Bridgestone Invitational.

The results grid was reduced for easier reading, starting with the U.S Open. 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
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
John Deere Z. Johnson -20 P1 73.2 31 293.3 48 75.0 26 2.14 2 0 24 4 0
British Open Els -7 62.5 43 298.1 13 79.2 1 NA NA 0 16 9 0
Canadian Piercy -17 62.5 30 311.3 9 66.7 58 1.79 4 2.0 20.0 7 0
AVERAGE 64.7 27.6 288.9 35.9 72.2 17.2 1.41 14.6 0.7 19.1 6.1 0.4

Last Week's Canadian Open

Scott Piercy's 17-under earned a tee time at this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as well as the PGA Championship the following week. His first PGA Tour win was the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Championship, an opposite event where the winner didn't qualify for the Masters, but he'll be there next year.

Piercy doesn't have any problem for this year's FedEx Cup status, but many are sweating. The top-125 in the FedEx Cup race will earn a spot at The Barclays, the first of three tournaments prior to the Tour Championship, after the Wyndham Championship. The five players above the 125 line must defend their current standing or better it:

No. 120 - Jhonattan Vegas
No. 121 - Boo Weekley
No. 122 - Rod Pampling
No. 123 - Tim Clark
No. 124 - Jason Bohn
No. 125 - Trevor Immelman

Those below 125 will be hustling at the Reno-Tahoe, as well as the Wyndham Championship to get into 125 or better.

No. 126 - Heath Slocum
No. 127 - Chris DiMarco
No. 128 - Vaughn Taylor
No. 129 - Chez Reavie
No. 130 - David Mathis

Fantasy owners in the PGA Tour.com and Yahoo! games, now is time to plan your choices for all of the events for the PGA Championship and beyond.

This Week's WGC-Bridgestone 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 Bridgestone Scott -17 64.3 15 319.6 6 70.8 9 1.63 4 26.5 4 0/21 4/0
Fowler -13 64.3 15 298.6 34 59.7 47 1.51 1 25.0 1 2/20 11/0
Donald -13 66.1 11 292 48 77.8 1 1.73 22 28.8 36 0/16 3/0
J. Day -12 51.8 56 312.6 11 75.0 2 1.70 14 29.0 39 1/17 7/0
Ishikawa -12 51.8 56 300.8 29 59.7 47 1.61 2 25.3 7 1/17 7/0
K.T. Kim -10 73.2 3 283.3 67 66.7 22 1.73 20 27.3 8 1/14 6/0
Z. Johnson -10 73.2 3 285.1 63 73.6 4 1.68 8 28.0 21 0/20 8/1
McIlroy -10 64.3 15 315.5 10 73.6 4 1.79 41 29.5 48 1/14 6/0
Westwood -9 60.7 24 312.5 12 70.8 9 1.75 26 28.5 30 0/16 7/0
Toms -9 58.9 28 276.1 76 69.4 13 1.62 3 27.5 13 0/22 11/1
AVERAGE 62.86 22.6 299.61 35.6 69.7 15.8 1.68 14.1 27.5 20.7

Tiger Woods must have the all-time earnings at the Firestone Country Club's South Course with wins in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and a second place in 2004. The two sets of three consecutive wins are truly unique, probably never to be matched. Woods is truly "the horse for the course."

In 2011, Woods signed for a T37, 1-over 281. Clearly, much has improved since, and Woods is already the favorite with the oddsmakers because of his heritage here.

Something to note: Adam Scott, last year's winner, came out of the blocks with an 8-under 62. At this year's British Open he opened with a 6-under 64 - both the best round of the day. He gets off with a bang. However, seldom does the golfer with low opening round go on for the win. Scott earned a minor record with his 62 the lowest start by a winner at the Bridgestone Invitational.

This event never has been a birdie-blast, rather the effective scores come about in rounds with very few bogeys. Rickie Fowler averaged 25 putts-per-round and scored 20 birdies, but he also had 11 bogeys that diluted his talented hard work. Short-hitter David Toms gathered up 22 birdies, but he too took on 11 bogeys plus a double; T9 as a result.

For success, assemble a roster of players who do well in total driving (distance and accuracy) to handle the corridor-like fairways. GIR is vital here, as is scoring at the par-4 holes. The long hitters do well. Five players under 30 finished in the top-10 last year, so act accordingly.

Last year's Low Rounds of the Day:

Round 1 - 8-under 62, Adam Scott
Round 2 - 6-under 64, Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari
Round 3 - 6-under 64, Ryo Ishikawa, Luke Donald, Zach Johnson
Round 4 - 5-under 65, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, Aaron Baddeley

Last Five Winners and Runners-Up:

2011 - Adam Scott, 17-under 263 (Rickie Fowler, Luke Donald, 11-under)
2010 - Hunter Mahan, 12-under 268 (Ryan Palmer, 10-under)
2009 - Tiger Woods, 12-under 268 (Robert Allenby, Padraig Harrington, 8-under)
2008 - Vijay Singh, 10-under 270 (Stuart Appleby, Lee Westwood 9-under)
2007 - Tiger Woods, 8-under 272 (Justin Rose, Rory Sabbatini, even par)