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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the BMW Championship

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: BMW Championship

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 Deutsche Bank Championship.

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 20 7 0
Bridgestone K. Bradley -13 62.5 6 320.0 23 68.1 11 3.00 1 0 23 8 1
PGA Champ. McIlroy -13 66.1 42 311.5 1 66.7 13 NA NA 0 20 7 0
Wyndham Garcia -18 73.2 12 302.0 26 72.2 26 0.81 21 1 20 4 0
Barclays Watney -10 69.6 15 299.3 29 75.0 2 0.96 16 1 23 13 1
Deutsche McIlroy -20 55.4 69 310.3 5 66.7 35 1.67 2 1 25 7 0
AVERAGE 64.8 27.8 291.8 33.2 71.8 17.2 1.44 14.0 0.7 19.5 6.4 0.4

Last Week's Deutsche Bank Championship

Rory McIlroy putted well enough to edge Louis Oosthuizen and a charging Tiger Woods with a shaky 20-under in the second FedEx Cup playoff. Birdies came alive after Nick Watney's last week 10-under at The Barclays.

Driving accuracy, or lack thereof, was good for some and tough for others. After round two, Dustin Johnson, who had a real good day with loooonnnng drives that were splitting the fairways, said golf is far more enjoyable when you are playing your second shot off the short grass. Note that long tee-ball Johnson didn't comment about distance. We saw some expeditions that generated hateful three-putting.

Our season-long winners' stats display the rankings of the performance statistics. The lower the ranking number tells the importance of that stat. Distance is a definite weapon when tamed, and Bubba Watson as well as Dustin Johnson can attest to that and their stats speak for them, but accuracy, a somewhat ignored number, is more important than distance for the overall player.

In a somewhat loose week, Rory McIlroy averaged 1.521 putts per GIR, which is a very strong number when winners are usually in the 1.60-1.68 area. He ranked No. 1 in total putts per round at 25.8. His Strokes Gained-Putting was 1.670, ranking second.

Louis Oosthuizen had one of low scores of the week, 63, in his third round that featured seven birdies on his front nine. The record for nine birdies in a row is held by Mark Calcavecchia at the Glen Abbey GC in his second-round 65 at the 2009 Canadian Open.

The 70 players advancing to the BMW Championship will have a short week with only two days, to prepare to go to work on a strange course. While rookies do this regularly, the entire field will take on an unknown challenge.

This Week's BMW Championship

This week, we're taking a look at Crooked Stick GC, where the only medal play that included the PGA Tour players took place in the 1991 PGA Championship. Here, John Daly got his first PGA Tour win. Daly's coming from Alternate category to the win has become legion.

Along with his wife Alice (more later about her) Pete Dye toured St. Andrews, Muirfield, Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch and some other courses in Great Britain that guided him in the design of Crooked Stick in 1964, which was completed in 1967.

Crooked Stick was where Dye introduced railroad ties, strip bunkers, sand and grass pot bunkers, mounds. Typical of course designers, he since has continued to tinker with bunkers, added mounds and false fronts and lengthened the course.

Crooked Stick calls for flexible course management as no consecutive holes are laid out in the same direction calling for adjusting to wind from different directions. Long holes are followed by short holes and shots calling for right-to-left are followed by requiring a left-to-right ball flight. Your roster needs players who can hit fairways and whose approach shots can be shaped, scrambling well, avoid bunkers and bogeys and the usual high-level putting.

Wife Alice was, and still is, a strong player. She played on the 1970 Curtis Cup team and later won the 1978 and 1979 U. S. Senior Women's Golf Championships. She brought about the 17th hole island green at the TPC Sawgrass course, home of The Players. Additionally, she instituted the raising several feet of the Ocean Course at Kiawah, most lately prominent at this year's PGA Championship

For years Pete played a strong stick in amateur events. He was very active in North & South Championships, won the Indiana Men's Amateur Championship and in the 1957 U.S. Open he finished with a better score than Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer

Performance statistics are not available from the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick, thus the following round-by-round results only.

1991 PGA Championship top finishers and scores, played with persimmon woods:

GOLFER PLACE SCORE FIRST RND SECOND RND THIRD RND FOURTH RND TOTAL
John Daly 1 -12 69 67 69 71 276
Bruce Lietzke 2 -9 68 68 72 70 279
Jim Gallagher Jr. 3 -7 70 72 72 67 281
Kenny Knox 4 -6 67 71 70 74 282
Bob Gilder T5 -5 73 70 67 73 283
Steven Richardson T5 -5 70 72 71 69 283
David Feherty T7 -4 71 74 71 68 284
Raymond Floyd T7 -4 69 74 72 69 284
John Huston T7 -4 70 72 70 72 284
Steve Pate T7 -4 70 75 70 69 284
Craig Stadler T7 -4 68 71 69 76 284
Hal Sutton T7 -4 74 67 72 71 284

Others:

Rocco Mediate 286/T16
Jack Nicklaus 287/T23;
Fred Couples 288/T27
Davis Love III 289/T32 (four-72s)
Arnold Palmer 77-78=Missed Cut
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