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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Humana Challenge

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: Humana Challenge

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 Sony Open, and results from last year's Humana Challenge.

2012 full-season results
2011 full-season results

2013 PGA Tour Events

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RANK DIS RANK %of72 RANK PER GIR RANK PER RND RANK BIRDIE DBL BOGEY
TOC D. Johnson -16 57.8 28 278.3 2 82.0 14 1.63 2 28.4 2 2/17 4/1
Sony Henley -24 55.4 8 293.1 51 83.3 2 1.62 4 27.7 17 0/26 2/0
TOUR AVG 56.6 18 285.7 26.5 82.7 8.0 1.63 3.0 28.1 9.5 1/21.5 3/0.5

Last Week's Sony Open

Well-earned superlatives showered on rookie Russell Henley don’t seem enough if you watched him run off five consecutive birdies on holes 14 through 18 in racking up his first PGA Tour win in his first PGA Tour start at the Sony Open last week. Forty-five words in a run-on sentence is permissible when magic is being described.

The closing 7-under 63 joined his two other 63s in rounds one and two and contributed to a Sony-record, 256, 24-under, along with several other significant records.

This 23-year old has built a solid personal confidence that endured his admitted nervousness. Particularly, the confidence was evident when he drove into the left rough at the 16th - he brashly zoomed over a cluster of trees that blocked his path to the green and birdied once again.

As a University of Georgia junior he tied for 16th at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Others who tied at 8-over were Charl Schwartzel, Jim Furyk, Lee Westwood, Peter Hanson and running mate Scott Langley, also an amateur.

As an amateur he won the 2011 Nationwide Tour’s Stadion Classic, the second amateur to do so.

The 2010 Players winner, Tim Clark, holder of 11 runners-up finishes, also closed with a 7-under 63, finishing second. In the post-event interview, Clark gave genuine heart-felt praise to Henley’s extraordinary playing.

Tied for third at 17-under, Scott Langley, a very close friend of Henley, stumbled briefly near the end to share with Charles Howell III. Langley’s outstanding performance stat in the 2010 U.S. Open was his earning a rank of No. 1 in putts-per-round, which must be a "first" for an amateur.

Fantasy-wise, both Henley, Langley, in their early 20s, have shown very sizeable talents that will fit well with the current under-30 gang. And, in his mid-30s, Clark’s banging on the door will be answered.

This Week's Humana Challenge

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
M. Wilson -24 74.1 18 279.3 69 80.6 3 1.57 7 26.8 8 2/24 4/0 2.07 4
Wagner -22 79.6 6 285.5 57 69.4 49 1.58 8 25.0 1 0/26 2/1 2.39 1
Mallinger -22 74.1 18 283.0 62 79.2 5 1.63 15 27.5 21 1/23 3/0 0.42 29
Garrigus -22 66.7 45 309.6 3 76.4 3 1.58 9 27.8 28 1/30 6/2 -1.57 72
Maggert -21 81.5 2 287.9 50 75.0 20 1.56 3 26.8 8 1/26 7/0 1.27 17
Senden -20 83.3 1 295.8 25 81.9 2 1.63 12 28.5 45 0/28 8/0 0.27 33
Toms -20 74.1 18 281.9 66 76.4 14 1.56 6 26.8 8 1/25 5/1 1.31 15
Gates -19 72.2 27 305.6 7 77.8 8 1.70 46 28.8 53 2/19 4/0 0.01 39
Crane -19 55.6 68 288.6 46 72.3 30 1.67 30 27.0 14 3/21 6/1 1.67 9
Snedeker -19 68.5 35 288.8 45 69.4 49 1.56 4 26.0 4 1/23 4/1 -0.41 51
Z. Johnson -19 77.8 10 285.3 58 79.2 5 1.68 38 28.5 45 1/23 6/0 -0.13 43
AVG 73.4 22.5 290.1 44.4 76.1 17.1 1.61 16.2 27.2 21.4 1.2/24.3 5/0.5 0.66 28.5


This event has a long history that started as the Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic in 1960 with Arnold Palmer the first winner. There are significant changes from what was the former Bob Hope Classic but the pro-am format remains.

Among the changes: the four courses will be three; instead of three amateurs with one pro, there will be two pros with two amateurs; the historic five rounds have been scrapped.

The 2011 winner, Jhonattan Vegas, became the first rookie to win in the 52-year history of the Bob Hope Classic. Garrett Willis (2001), Ben Crenshaw (1973) and Robert Gamez (1990) won their first start as a PGA Tour member.

Last Five Winners & Runners-Up:

2012 - Mark Wilson, -24; Johnson Wagner, John Mallinger, Robert Garrigus, -22
2011 - Jhonattan Vegas P1, -27; Bill Haas, Gary Woodland P2, -27
2009 - Pat Perez, -33; John Merrick, -30
2008 - D.J. Trahan, -26; Justin Leonard, -23
2007 - Charley Hoffman P1, -17; John Rollins P2, -17

2012 Low Rounds

Round 1: 9-under 63, Camillo Villegas, David Toms
Round 2: 11-under 61, Ryan Moore
Round 3: 11-under 61, Robert Garrigus
Round 4: 9-under 63, Pat Perez

Lots of birdies are needed here - proximity to the hole will help. Driving distance is important - take advantage of the par-5s. Course management along with sharp putting will be important.
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