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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the WGC-Cadillac

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: WGC-Cadillac Championship

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's Honda Classic and the top finishers from last year's the WGC-Cadillac Championship. For last year's full-season results, go here.

2012 PGA Tour Events

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR STK GN PUTTS EAGLES BIRDIE BOGEY DBL BOG
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK /PUTT RNK
TOC Stricker -23 66.7 11 268.3 15 81.9 13 1.25 3 1 26 3 1
Sony Wagner -13 41.1 56 276.4 68 70.8 10 1.58 3 2 17 8 0
Humana M. Wilson -24 74.1 18 279.3 69 80.6 73 1.04 4 2 24 4 0
Farmers Snedeker -16 P1 58.9 13 284.8 47 70.8 33 1.03 12 0 24 8 0
Phoenix K. Stanley -15 60.7 24 287.5 70 79.2 3 1.14 11 2 18 7 0
Pebble Bch Mickelson -17 61.8 62 272.8 58 75.0 3 3.33 1 1 19 4 0
Nor. Trust Haas -7 P1 55.4 50 279.8 30 50.0 58 2.25 3 1 15 10 0
Mayakoba Huh -13 P1 73.2 8 279.3 44 81.9 1 N/A 28 1 18 5 1
Honda McIlroy -12 60.7 37 297.6 8 66.7 10 1.57 5 0 17 5 0
AVERAGE 61.4 31.0 280.6 45.4 73.0 22.7 1.65 7.8 1.1 19.8 6.5 0.2

Last Week's Honda Classic

PGA National is no pushover. Rory McIlroy's low bogey count was a key stat in his win.

Birdies were hard to come by - Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood not withstanding - so the fewer the bogeys meant fewer birdies were needed to offset the dreaded bogey.

This Week's WGC-Cadillac Championship

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK Per GIR RNK RND RNK BIRDIE DBL
WGC Cadillac Watney -16 58.9 12 297.6 14 68.1 12 1.57 2 26.3 9 1/22 6/0
D. Johnson -14 64.3 7 309 2 69.4 11 1.72 32 27.3 22 0/18 9/0
A. Hansen -13 67.9 3 284.9 41 76.4 1 1.71 28 28 36 0/21 8/0
F. Molinari -13 71.4 2 278.4 57 76.4 1 1.73 35 28.5 48 0/18 5/0
Kuchar -12 53.6 36 278.8 54 61.1 21 1.71 24 26.8 16 1/18 8/0
AVERAGE 63.2 12.0 289.7 33.6 70.3 9.2 1.69 24.2 27.4 26.2
Note: All six are in the WGC-Cadillac Championship this week.

Doral Golf Resort in Miami, home of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, features the demanding Blue Monster, a course that has deservedly earned the moniker, "monster." The par-4 18th hole is famous for the challenge presented by the lake in play on the players' left from the tee through the green.

The challenge is especially in play late in round four.

Tiger Woods won the Ford Championship at Doral in 2005 (24-under), 2006 Ford Championship (20-under) and the 2007 WGC-Cadillac Championship (10-under).

The 2011 statistics for the top-5 and ties shows Nick Watney's dominant putting as well as Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari's No. 1 ranking in greens-in-regulation. Watney's putts-per-GIR, 1.571, is somewhat rare inasmuch as most winners score in the 1.600-plus area. Watney's rankings in putts-per-GIR and total putts per round over the competition is highlight reel stuff.

Clearly, golfers must have high GIR and putting stats along with bogey avoidance. Taking advantage of the par-5s is important, starting with the first hole being the easiest of the group. Wind usually is a factor.

The Cadillac field includes:

Luke Donald
Dustin Johnson
Steve Stricker
Martin Kaymer
Hunter Mahan
Adam Scott
Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson
Nick Watney
Charl Schwartzel
Webb Simpson
Tiger Woods

Previous Winners:

2011 Nick Watney, -16
2010 Ernie Els, -18
2009 Phil Mickelson, -19
2008 Geoff Ogilvy, -17
2007 Tiger Woods, -10
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