Brian Gay had 93 putts at WGC-Cadillac, the lowest number on TOUR since 2005. (How/Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods had a record putting week, rolling it a career-low 100 times to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on Sunday. But shockingly, he didn't have close to the best week on the greens, total putts-wise. That would belong to Brian Gay, who put up an impressive 93 putts.
We'll dive into putting and offer a taste of the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank in our weekly edition of Inside the Numbers ...
.995 Strokes gained-putting average for Woods this season. … That ranks seventh on TOUR. Woods was ranked as high as second in this category at year-end in 2009 and 2004. By picking up nearly a full stroke per round on the field average in 2013, Woods is on his way to a monster season. When Woods was last rolling, it was his putter leading the way. In 2009, he won six times and ranked second in SGP; in 2008 he picked up four wins and his last major (3rd in SGP); and he won seven times in 2007 (3rd in SGP).
2.598 Strokes gained-putting average for Luke Donald in winning last season at The Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank. Donald, who will defend his title this week at Copperhead, had a simple recipe for success in 2012: The short game. Donald not only ranked first in strokes gained-putting – picking up some 10 shots on the field average for the week – he also ranked sixth in scrambling. He was also T9 in driving accuracy on the narrow and demanding layout at Copperhead.
8 Number of triple bogeys or higher made on the par-4 18th hole at TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral during the Cadillac Championship. That’s tied for the highest “other” total this season with the par-4 11th hole at PGA National during The Honda Classic. ... Perhaps the Blue Monster isn’t what it used to be, but the home hole still offers plenty of bite. It’s currently the third most-difficult hole on the PGA TOUR this season, with a stroke average of 4.381. Only the par-4 10th at PGA National (+.403) and the par-4 seventh at Torrey Pines South (+3.93) currently rank as more difficult.
43 Number of one-putts recorded by Woods at Cadillac, a career-high. … Woods topped his previous bests of 41 at the 1997 HP Byron Nelson (won) and 39 at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2004 (T16). Click here for more on Woods’ impressive putting at Cadillac
T61 Greens in regulation rank for Scott Brown, who won the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com this week. … That’s by far the lowest rank in GIR by a champion this season. Other than Woods’ rank of T34 during the Farmers Insurance Open and John Merrick’s rank of 23rd in his win at the Northern Trust Open, no other 2013 champion has ranked outside the top 7 in greens in regulation for that respective event. Brown hit 68.06 percent of the greens (49 of 72). So how did he pull off his first PGA TOUR win? How about putting? Brown ranked first in putting average for the week, totaling just 101 putts.
93 Number of putts Brian Gay had in four rounds at the Cadillac Championship, the lowest in a four-round event on TOUR since 2005. … Much was made about Tiger Woods’ career-low 100 putts -- aided by a lesson from buddy Steve Stricker -- but lost in the shuffle was Gay’s uncanny ability to roll the rock. Gay, who won this year’s Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, averaged 23.25 putts per round at Cadillac, the lowest average in a tournament since David Frost at the 2005 RBC Heritage (23.00, 92 putts). Gay was third in strokes gained-putting (trailing only Stricker and Woods) and finished T35 at Cadillac.
450 yards Drive by Phil Mickelson, on the 17th hole in the first round at Cadillac, the longest registered drive of the season. … Sure, Mickelson used a bounce or two from the cart path, but his drive at Trump Doral goes down as No. 1 this season, besting the 428-yard bomb by Kyle Stanley at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Mickelson proceeded to play the ball off the cart path, getting up-and-down for a birdie 3. "You hit the ball in as much trouble as I do off the tee, you learn to hit those kind of shots and have enough practice at it,” Mickelson told reporters.
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Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge