The 18th hole at Merion Golf Club ranked as one of the most difficult in recent time. (Hallowell/Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
The 113th U.S. Open told us a number of things. For starters, hitting fairways and greens is a must. Champion Justin Rose ranked inside the top 10 in driving accuracy and greens in regulation. It also showed that the 521-yard 18th hole was one of the most difficult in recent memory. Not just at a U.S. Open. But of any golf hole on the PGA TOUR in a long time. Let's take a look at this and more by going inside the numbers ...
0 Number of birdies at the 521-yard 18th hole in Rounds 3 and 4 at the U.S. Open. … The difficult 18th surrendered just 11 birdies all week, the fewest of any hole at Merion.
4.7068 Stroke average for the week for the 18th hole at Merion, making it the most difficult hole for the week. … Get this: Not only does the hole rank as the most difficult of the season on the PGA TOUR, it’s the most difficult hole since the 2008 British Open, when the 499-yard sixth hole at Royal Birkdale played to a stroke average of 4.764. There were 208 bogeys, 54 double bogeys and six "others" for the week at No. 18. Also, the 18th, fifth, 15th, sixth and 14th holes at Merion now rank as the top-five most difficult holes this season on TOUR.
7 Number of international players to win the U.S. Open in the past 10 years. … They are Retief Goosen (2004), Michael Campbell (2005), Geoff Ogilvy (2006), Angel Cabrera (2007), Graeme McDowell (2010) and Rory McIlroy (2011).
13 over Tiger Woods’ score at the U.S. Open, where he tied for 32nd place. … That’s Woods’ highest score in relation to par in his U.S. Open career as a professional. He was 14 over as an amateur in 1996 at Oakland Hills.
18 The number of players to win the past 19 major championships. … Only Rory McIlroy has doubled up during that time, winning the 2012 PGA Championship and 2011 U.S. Open.
24.7 percent The almost surreal percentage of players to hit the 18th green in regulation for the entire week at Merion. … That made the 18th green the most difficult to hit for the week, just beating out the fifth hole (25.2 percent).
29 That’s the number of runner-up finishes for Phil Mickelson on the PGA TOUR, highest among active players. Tiger Woods owns 28. … Mickelson also owns eight second-place finishes in majors and six in the U.S. Open. Only Jack Nicklaus has more seconds at one major, with seven at the British Open. Nicklaus owns 19 runner-up finishes in majors.
49 Number of fairways Hunter Mahan hit in 56 attempts at the U.S. Open. … That’s good enough for 87.5 percent to lead the field. It’s also the third-best driving accuracy percentage of the season on the PGA TOUR – which is saying something considering the venue at Merion Golf Club. Mahan’s driving has been solid the past few seasons. He ranks T24 this season in accuracy at 66.53 percent and was 17th in 2012 at 67.74 percent.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge
Week 10: WGC-Cadillac/Tampa Bay Championship
Week 12: Arnold Palmer/Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Shell Houston/Valero Texas Open
Week 14: Valero/The Masters
Week 15: The Masters/RBC Heritage
Week 18: Wells Fargo/THE PLAYERS Championship
Week 20: HP Byron Nelson Championship
Week 23: FedEx St. Jude Classic