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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Greenbrier Classic

Jeremy Schilling

Schilling covers golf for RotoWire, focusing on young and up-and-coming players. He was a finalist for the FSWA's Golf Writer of the Year award. He also contributes to PGA Magazine and hosts the popular podcast "Teeing It Up" on BlogTalkRadio.

This week on the PGA Tour it is the Greenbrier Classic, where players will continue to try to qualify for The Open Championship. But you have two more weeks to figure out those picks.

Here's our stats picks for this week:

History Lesson

The defending champion is Jonas Blixt, who beat Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones, Johnson Wagner and Jimmy Walker by two shots. In 2012, Ted Potter Jr. beat Troy Kelly in a playoff, in 2011 Scott Stallings beat Bob Estes and Bill Haas in a playoff, and in the inaugural playing of the event in 2010 Stuart Appleby shot a Sunday 59 to beat Jeff Overton by one.

Our pick this week is Walker who, although he hasn't played well recently, is the most consistent player of any of those names on that list. He ranks fourth in strokes gained-putting, second in birdie average and eighth in scoring average.

Who is Playing

The field includes Nick Faldo and Tom Watson. The likelihood of either winning is rather small. Those who do have a shot of winning include Steve Stricker, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, K.J. Choi, Angel Cabrera, Bubba Watson, Bill Haas, Patrick Reed and more.

Among those, our first pick is Bubba Watson. Besides the fact that he has two wins this year - including the Masters, of course - he also has a house at Greenbrier and absolutely loves the place. Statistically, he (shockingly) leads the tour in driving distance (313.1 yards), but is also 11th in greens in regulation and is sixth in scoring average.

Another strong pick is Simpson, who very quietly has had a solid couple weeks. He finished T3 in Memphis, tied for 45th at the U.S. Open and picked up a T30 last week at Congressional. He's ninth in strokes gained-putting.

Sunday Surgers

Roberto Castro -
Castro leaped 32 spots on the final day of the Quicken Loans National with a 1-under 70 that gave him a T30 finish. For the week he finished third in strokes gained-putting.

Tyrone Van Aswegen -
Van Aswegen, who has shown up on leaderboards several times in the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, shot a final-round 71 to jump 20 spots into a tie for 21st. For the week he ranked seventh in strokes gained-putting.

Greg Chalmers -
Chalmers, who had a hot first round but shot 78 on Friday, rallied back over the course of the week, shooting a Sunday 72 to move up 18 spots into a tie for 30th. He ranked third for the week in putts per green in regulation.

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