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PGA Tour Stats: What it Takes to Win

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.

Even only after 12 weeks of play, a relatively small sample period, statistics are starting to provide useful data.

For help in selecting players for your roster, we have listed the most important performance features in the order of importance.

The data supporting the features and their positions was complied from two years worth of PGA TOUR data, all rounds.

Tourney of Champ.Byrd8011273.42186.1101.6982931/253/0
Sony OpenM.Wilson732289.32475.1101.67527.5630/215/0
Bob Hope ClassicVegas7513308.7376.7191.652227.41631/349/0
Farmers Insur.OpenB.Watson5028316.6181.911.7326293232/208/0
Phoenix OpenM.Wilson6616290.36884.711.661128.83930/224/0
Pebble Bch,Pro-AmPoints807285.64069.4171.6127232/2310/1
Northern TrustBaddeley5057276.54272.231.835428.53531/153/1
MayakobaGolfClass. Wagner67.936277.95479.241.68728831/172/0
Honda ClassicSabbatini53.656286.32665.3211.77192720/156/0
Puerto Rico OpenM.Bradley64.324293.14281.921.752030492/186/0
Transitions Champ.Woodland57.754296.5770.8291.6552720/227/0
Arnold Palmer Inv.Laird71.423296.6568.1201.782228.8181/1810/1

In our data results of the above 12 winners you can see some correlations with the list.

1. Greens In Regulation (GIR)
2. Putts per GIR
3. 3-putt avoidance*
4. Scrambling
5. Goes for it
6. Putts per round
7. Driving Distance
8. Driving Accuracy

* 3-putt avoidance: The percent of time three or more putts were taken for a hole divided by total holes played (lower is better)

Goes for It: This means going for the green on the second shot on a par-5. Just getting close at a par-5 in two can lower a score, laying up raises the score.

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