And just like that, a new PGA TOUR schedule is upon us. It was only three weeks ago when Henrik Stenson ended the 2013 season in style by winning the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup.
Beginning the 2013-14 slate at the Frys.com Open is but a formality in accounting. More relevant to the field of 132 at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., is that FedExCup points are on the table, as is a berth into the Masters for the winner. These perks apply to all six events in the fall for the first time.
CordeValle is a par 35-36=71 topping out at 7,379 yards. The Frys.com Open is in its seventh year, but CordeValle has been on board only since 2010. The nines are reversed for the touring professionals and the sixth hole is played as a 480-yard par 4 instead of the par 5 of the same length the members try to tackle. The only official change in yardage over the last three years affects the par-4 13th hole, now listed at 418 yards, a bump of nine yards.
The field at the 2012 Frys.com Open averaged 70.256, lowest in its three stops at CordeValle and third-easiest of all par 71s that season. The course is set up for ball-strikers as distance averages are always among the shortest (281.8 yards in 2012) while hitting fairways is among the more challenging factors (60.12 percent in 2012; 19th-lowest on TOUR). CordeValle's greens-in-regulation percentage in 2012 was 68.72, a beefy number thanks to targets that average 8,300 square feet. Its par-4 scoring average checked in at 3.99 last year, one of only seven (of 49 courses played) under par.
This week's winner will not be defending at CordeValle in 2014 as Silverado Resort will assume host duties. The tournament's migration will allow CordeValle to prepare for the 2016 U.S. Women's Open.
After a season in which Mother Nature held the PGA TOUR hostage, the forecast for the 2013-14 lid-lifter is favorable. Dry and sunny conditions with high temperatures in the upper 60s to upper 70s are expected. Winds could play a role at times as they sweep in and out of the Santa Clara Valley.
NOTE: For similar characteristics among all three winners of the Frys.com Open at CordeValle, please look for "Stats Suggest" in the Stats Report on Wednesday.
|Power Rankings: Frys.com Open|