RotoWire Partners

PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Tournament of Champions

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: Tournament of Champions

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of the top finishers from last year's Tournament of Champions.

2012 full-season results
2011 full-season results

Last Year's Tournament of Champions

GOLFER DRIVE DRIVE GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/ STK GN/
%of56 RANK DIS RANK %of72 RANK Per GIR RANK RND RANK BIRDIE DBL PUTT RANK
Stricker -23 66.7 11 268.3 15 81.9 13 1.68 2 28.8 1 1/26 3/1 0.72 9
Laird -20 61.7 16 285.3 3 86.1 3 1.66 1 29.3 2 0/29 7/1 0.78 7
W. Simpson -19 55.0 25 263.8 20 87.5 1 1.73 7 30.3 12 2/19 4/0 0.64 20
Byrd -19 70.0 5 264.0 19 86.1 3 1.71 3 30.0 7 1/23 6/0 1.80 1
Choi -15 61.7 16 261.9 23 80.6 18 1.76 10 30.0 7 0/23 8/0 -0.05 17
Frazar -15 61.7 16 281.5 4 81.9 13 1.73 6 30.0 7 1/19 6/0 0.75 8
Kirk -14 73.3 4 264.6 18 83.3 10 1.78 12 29.8 4 1/20 8/0 0.17 14
Molder -14 68.3 6 262.0 22 81.9 13 1.75 9 30.0 7 2/18 6/1 0.95 5
Wagner -13 60.0 21 262.3 21 79.2 19 1.74 8 29.8 4 1/19 6/1 1.42 2
Sabbatni -13 66.7 11 265.9 17 79.2 10 1.72 4 29.5 3 1/23 9/0/1 1.16 4
Crane -13 65.0 13 273.0 10 79.2 19 1.72 4 29.8 4 1/24 8/1/1 0.56 11
AVG 64.6 13.1 268.4 15.6 82.4 11.1 1.75 6.0 29.8 5.3 0.81 8.9

Lucas Glover did not start because of Injury.

27 players finished. When checking the stats consider the number of players.

Johnson Wagner went on to win the following week at the Sony Open.

This Week's Tournament of Champions

The limited field of 30 2012 PGA Tour winners is reaping one of the perks that goes with the winner's check and his trophy. This event started in 1953 with Al Bessalink the winner. A bevy of prominent players have won here, including Gene Littler (1995,'96 '97), Sam Snead (1961), Arnold Palmer (1962, '65 '66), Jack Nicklaus (1963, '64, '71 '76) and Gary Player 1969 '78).

While some of today's standouts are missing this week, this year's TOC has winners of the Masters, the U.S. Open, The Players and eight Ryder Cuppers. With only 30 players the prize money will be strong for everybody. Last place in 2012 earned $64,000, which makes for a good start while shaking off the rust.

Interestingly, Australian Stuart Appleby won consecutive events in 2004, 2005 and 2006 followed by Australian Geoff Olgilvy in 2009 and 2010. Be alert to Mark Leishman, the only Aussie playing this week.

Ten golfers from last year's 27 are in the field this year:

Steve Stricker, 23-under, 1st
Webb Simpson, 19-under, 3rd
Johnson Wagner, 13-under 9th
Scot Piercy, 12-under, 12th
Nick Watney, 12-under, 12th
Keegan Bradley, 11-under, 16th
Bubba Watson, 8-under, 18th
Mark Wilson, 8-under, 18th
Bill Haas, 7-under, 20th
Scott Stallings, 5-under, 22nd

The par-73 course calls for good driving distance, second-shot expertise that supports GIR, birdies or better (see last year's stats grid) and bogey avoidance. Again, checking last year's top golfers you'll see plenty of birdies and, in some cases, the bogey was costly in the limited field. Putt well, as usual.

The Last Five Winners

2012 - Steve Stricker (23-under 269)
2011 - Jonathon Byrd (24-under 268)
2010 - Geoff Olgilvy (22-under 270)
2009 - Geoff Ogilvy (24-under 268)
2008 - Daniel Chopra (18-under 274, P1; Steve Stricker)
Top Fantasy Golf Player News