This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.
We're now just a month out from the rescheduled Masters as the PGA Tour's makeshift Las Vegas Swing ensues at the immaculate Shadow Creek Golf Course for the CJ Cup. A handful of veterans such as Stewart Cink, Hudson Swafford, Sergio Garcia and Martin Laird have all returned to the winner's circle throughout the fall series, but we'll take a look at additional trends as the field strength heats up in the desert.
A four-shot victory back home in England last week at the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship propelled Hatton to a career-best 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking. It's been quite an impressive 2020 calendar year for Hatton, highlighted by a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in early March before ultimately finishing seventh at the TOUR Championship in September, despite only making 11 total starts throughout the 2019-20 campaign. His 29th birthday celebration this Wednesday preceded a brilliant Thursday performance at Shadow Creek, earning first-round leader honors at the CJ Cup. After one round, he's leading the field in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green.
Oosthuizen has gained an average of 4.5 strokes from tee to green per event over his last six starts, dating back to a T6 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. During this span, he posted only one result outside the top-25 and collected a top-3 finish at the U.S. Open. Quality ball-striking continued in Round 1 at the CJ Cup, where he's