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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering The Players 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: The Players 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 Wells Fargo Championship, and a look ahead to this week's event, The Players Championship.

The results grid was reduced for easier reading, starting with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. However, the AVERAGE statistics at the bottom of the grid reflect data from completed 2013 tournaments.

For results from earlier events, go here.

2012 full-season results
2011 full-season results

2013 PGA Tour Events

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RNK DIS RNK %of72 RNK PER GIR RNK PER RND RNK BIRDIE DBL
AT&T Snedeker -19 78.2 14 277.4 41 77.8 6 1.64 6 28.0 15 NA NA
NorTrust Merrick -11 53.6 27 298.6 20 63.9 23 1.67 8 27.5 10 2/17 10/0
Honda M.Thompson -9 71.4 9 279.7 53 66.6 5 1.71 8 27.8 10 1/18 11/0
Cadillac Woods -19 53.6 30 296.5 21 69.4 7 1.52 1 25.0 2 0/27 8/0
Tampa Streelman -10 69.2 11 270.8 48 68.1 11 1.67 4 27.8 6 0/19 9/0
A.Palmer Woods -13 53.6 71 279.1 49 63.9 34 1.63 1 27.5 4 3/17 10/0
Houston Points -16 64.3 31 284.1 60 80.3 9 1.72 20 28.4 16 0/19 3/0
Texas Laird -14 66.1 8 298.3 20 69.4 7 1.60 4 27.0 10 1/22 10/0
Masters Scott -9 57.1 49 293.8 18 76.4 1 NA NA 30.6 39 0/15 6/0
Heritage McDowell -9 P1 75.0 5 274.5 51 66.7 7 1.75 25 27.5 24 0/14 5/0
Zurich Horschel -20 55.4 63 288.3 27 81.9 2 1.56 1 27.5 17 0/15 4/1
Wells Fargo Ernst -8 P1 58.9 13 285.4 11 75.0 3 1.82 43 30.0 34 0/18 10/0
Lynn -8 P2 51.8 31 269.3 59 56.9 70 1.71 2 26.5 1 0/18 10/0
TOUR AVG 62.7 25.9 287.3 32.9 74.4 10.0 1.65 10.5 27.9 15.7 0.7/20.7 5.9/0.3



Last Week's Wells Fargo Championship

GOLFER DRIVE DRIVE GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RNK DIS RNK %of72 RNK PER GIR RNK PER RND RNK BIRDIE DBL
Ernst -8 P1 52.9 13 285.4 11 75.0 3 1.82 43 30.0 34 0/18 10/0
Lynn -8 P2 51.8 31 269.3 59 56.9 70 1.71 2 26.5 1 0/18 10/0
Mickelson -7 46.4 53 279.7 21 58.3 64 1.62 1 26.5 1 0/17 8/1
Westwood -6 62.5 4 279.4 23 69.4 19 1.78 18 29.8 29 0/16 10/0
Karlsson -6 41.1 64 277.9 29 70.8 14 1.78 22 29.5 23 0/14 8/0
Stanley -5 41.1 64 291.2 6 66.7 28 1.75 7 29.0 9 1/14 11/0
Van Pelt -5 58.9 13 275.9 35 70.8 14 1.86 56 30.0 34 1/14 9/1
Streelman -5 57.1 20 271.4 52 70.8 14 1.80 35 29.8 29 0/14 7/1
R. Moore -5 60.7 7 269.4 58 68.1 23 1.78 16 29.0 9 0/16 9/1
R. Fisher -4 60.7 7 274.6 39 76.4 2 1.84 50 31.0 61 0/14 10/0
C. Howell -4 42.9 62 289.7 8 75.0 3 1.83 48 30.8 58 0/18 12/1
Taylor -4 57.1 20 271.8 49 68.1 23 1.78 16 29.3 14 0/15 11/0
McIlroy -4 62.5 4 291.8 5 77.8 1 1.77 12 31.5 68 1/16 10/2
Harman -4 64.3 3 271.8 49 63.9 43 1.74 5 28.8 6 0/14 10/0
Watney -4 48.2 43 286.2 10 68.1 23 1.80 31 29.8 29 0/14 8/1
AVG 53.88 27.2 279.0 30.3 69.1 22.9 1.78 24.1 29.4 27.0 0.2/15.4 9.5/0.5



Top-10 Ranks at the Wells Fargo Championship

FAIRWAYS GREENS/ PER STK GN/
RANK HIT RANK REGULATION RANK GIR RANK PUTT
McNeill 1 66.1 McIlroy 1 77.8 Mickelson 1 1.62 1 2.53
Weekley 1 66.1 R. Fisher 2 76.4 Lynn 2 1.71 4 2.02
Harman 3 64.3 Ernst 3 75.0 Woodland 3 1.71 26 0.64
Westwood 4 62.5 C. Howell 3 75.0 List 4 1.72 5 2.01
McIlroy 4 62.5 D.H. Lee 3 75.0 Harman 5 1.74 19 0.77
W. Claxton 4 62.5 Perez 3 75.0 D.H. Lee 6 1.74 20 0.77
R. Moore 7 60.7 Gardiner 7 73.6 Stanley 7 1.75 16 0.95
R. Fisher 7 60.7 Tomasulo 7 73.6 Garragus 7 1.75 63 -0.52
Speith 7 60.7 Points 9 72.2 Ogilvy 9 1.76 13 1.16
Teater 7 60.7 Merrick 9 72.2 W. Simpson 10 1.77 41 0.24
Appleby 7 60.7 Garrigus 9 72.2
Castro 7 60.7 Teater 9 72.2
Castro 9 72.2



This Week's Players Championship

The PGA Tour's marquee event offers the richest purse in all golf, $9.5 million with $1.71 million to the winner. This year's 144-player field has the deepest talent to date.

The field has 45 of the top-50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, lacking only No. 35 Jamie Donaldson, No. 40 Paul Lawrie, No. 42 Nicolas Colsaerts, No. 45 George Coetzee and No. 50 Richard Sterne.

The TPC-Sawgrass Stadium Course is a Pete Dye design that emphasizes shot making. Example: working the ball both ways starts at the tee where a draw is needed then a fade into the green, or vice versa. The premium is on precision, not power. Tiger Woods has won here and so has Fred Funk; Phil Mickelson has won as has Tim Clark.

Bob Estes, T-15 last year, said, "The rough is usually thick, greens are usually very firm and the areas around the greens are very difficult to handle." Missing the fairways leads to missing the greens.

In forming a roster, pick golfers experienced here and who can use course management. They have to be accurate off the tee and capable to work the ball. The usual standards - GIR, scrambling and controlled putting - are vital. Check out the PGA Tour.com stat for Proximity to hole and bogey avoidance. Not controllable, but probably present at times, is the wind that comes from the Atlantic Ocean across the street from the course.

Again this week there are three tough closing holes: the reachable par-5 16th with water present; the world-famous, par-3, water-surrounded 17th; and the water-on-the-entire-left, from-tee-to-green 18th.

However, the par-4 14th ranked 46th in the top-50 most difficult holes in 2012:

Average score: 4.3
Birdies: 35 birdies
Bogeys: 117
Doubles: 19
Triples: 3

Course record: 9-under 63, Fred Couples, 1999; Greg Norman, 1994
Tournament record: 264, Greg Norman, 1994 - This will stand for a long time.

No winner has repeated the following year.

Last Five Winners and Runners-Up:

2012 - Matt Kuchar, 13-under 275; Ben Curtis, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Martin Laird, 277
2011 - K.J. Choi, 13-under 275 (P1); David Toms, 275
2010 - Tim Clark, 16-under 272; Robert Allenby, 273
2009 - Henrik Stenson, 12-under, 276; Ian Poulter, 280
2008 - Sergio Garcia, 5-under, 283 (P1); Paul Goydos, 283

2012 Low Rounds:

Round 1: 7-under 65, Ian Poulter, Martin Laird
Round 2: 6-under 66, Zach Johnson John Huh
Round 3: 6-under 66, Rickie Fowler
Round 4: 7-under 65, David Toms, Bob Estes
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