February 15, 2016

Northern Trust Open - Course Analysis

We witnessed putting be incredibly important last week, giving Vaughn Taylor the win on clutch putts while giving Mickelson a second place finish after rimming out his last one to send it to a playoff...

That is the opposite of how important putting is this week.

At Riviera Country Club, measuring a little shorter than last year's by 20-30 yards, the 7,322 yard course is going to be a challenge primarily for those who can approach the green and get the spin and bounce they need to stop it short.

Why is that the case?

Ranking 1st in:
Lowest greens-in-regulation percentage (51.38%)
Lowest putts made within 4-8' percentage (63.67%)
Total distance of putts made (67' 9")

This course is supremely difficult from getting to the green to holing a putt even from a couple of yards.

Just for reference, Total distance of putts made averages out to making a 3'9" putt per hole for each round. That means PGA tour pros can't even make most of the six or seven footers on these greens without screwing up half the time. Insane.

Also ranking 6th in driving accuracy percentage (51.52%) and 2nd in strokes gained tee to green (-.016), getting to that point where you're taking the short stick is hard enough. A course like this mimics some of the difficult scoring conditions we saw from courses like Firestone CC, East Lake GC, and Augusta (we know who won the last 2 tournaments).

Coming up tomorrow will be a breakdown of the top 10 players to target at Riviera.

February 14, 2016

AT&T Pebble Beach Results

Congratulations to Vaughn Taylor for winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Some important stat takeaways from his win:

(Only on Pebble Beach course, his first and fourth rounds):
Ranked T2 in Greens in Regulation
Ranked 3rd in Approach shot distance from Pin
Cumulatively gained 7.367 and 5.183 strokes Tee-to-green in rounds one and four respectively.
Gained 1.92 strokes putting in his final round, sinking a close to 29 footer on the 16th hole finishing one stroke better than runner-up Phil Mickelson.

Could you have predicted him winning? Probably not. Although he is ranked 31st in strokes gained tee-to-green and 15th in driving accuracy percentage in his past 15 events prior to this tournament.

Check back in a couple days for my detailed analysis on the Northern Trust Open. I'm going to bring out all the guns on this one*.

*Since I came in second place in a single entry tournament: only one good pick away from winning a trip to Las Vegas for Tiger Jam. So sad :( Lost out because of Phil Mickelson's runner up finish.
I had R. Castro / B. Haas / J. Walker / D. Lee / W. Wilcox / P. Reed as my lineup.