Phil Mickelson's par-4 performance was a big reason why he won his first Open Championship on Sunday.
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Phil Mickelson captured his first Open Championship with a brilliant 66 on Sunday at Muirfield, and his scrambling and par-4 scoring were the main reasons for it. We'll take a look at why Mickelson won and also dive into Woody Austin's first win at the Sanderson Farms Championship -- his first since 2007 -- which made him the eighth-oldest TOUR winner in history at age 49 by going inside the numbers ...
3.98 Mickelson’s par-4 scoring average at Muirfield, which ranked first in the field. … Mickelson was the only player in the field to finish under par on the par 4s. He was 1 under, compared to the field average of 9 over. Not bad. Mickelson made nine birdies, six bogeys and one double bogey on the week on par 4s.
9 feet, 11 inches Approach shot average distance from 125 to 150 yards for Austin at the Sanderson Farms. … That ranked first in the field at Annandale Golf Club and was almost 10 feet closer than the field average. Austin was also T5 in proximity to the hole and T7 in greens in regulation during his victory.
42 Number of PGA TOUR victories for Mickelson, which ranks ninth all-time. … Walter Hagen is next on the list for Mickelson to catch with 45. Mickelson also owns five major championship victories, which is tied for 14th all-time. Only a U.S. Open – which Mickelson has been runner-up in six times – stands in the way of Mickelson joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen as the only golfers in history to win the modern-day career Grand Slam. Bobby Jones won both Opens as well as the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur. Of course, he won them all in 1930 and is the only player in history to accomplish the Grand Slam.
65.38 percent Scrambling percentage for Mickelson at The Open, which led the field. … Mickelson made par or better on 17 of 26 missed greens in regulation over the tournament. That percentage is also the lowest percentage by an event leader in scrambling on TOUR since the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. Ian Poulter led the field that week at 62.50. Mickelson’s scrambling for 2013, by the way, might surprise you. Speaking of that …
73rd Scrambling rank on TOUR in 2013 for Mickelson at 58.62 percent. … This is a bit of a surprise, considering Mickelson has long been considered as owning one of the best short games on TOUR. His scrambling stats this season have taken a dip, even with his impressive showing at Muirfield. In 2012, Mickelson ranked T16 at 61.57 percent; he ranked 17th at 62.01 percent in 2011; and he ranked 31st at 61.84 percent in 2010.
272.0 yards Austin’s average driving distance at the Sanderson Farms Championship, which ranked 61st in the field. … This marks the second shortest average off the tee this season by a champion. Only Kevin Streelman averaged a shorter distance (270.8) while winning the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.
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
Week 24: U.S. Open
Week 25: Travelers Championship
Week 26: AT&T National
Week 27: The Greenbrier Classic
Week 28: John Deere Classic