Phil Mickelson is ranked first on the PGA TOUR in putting average. (Lyons/Getty Images)
By Krystyna Braxton, PGATOUR.COM
Phil Mickelson's career is nothing short of a success. He now has 42 PGA TOUR wins and five major championships on his resume. After Mickelson's first win at The Open Championship on Sunday, he said, "I'm putting better than I ever have in my life." Coming into The Open Championship, Mickelson felt that he found the secret to good putting, a secret that he was not willing to share.
On the 18th hole, Mickelson watched his final putt roll into the bottom of the cup at Muirfield, and it was then that Mickelson knew what he had just done. At Muirfield, Mickelson played some of the best golf of his career, which helped him earn the coveted Claret Jug. The Hall of Famer birdied four of the last six holes and was the only player to finish under par (3 under) at The Open.
At the age of 43 and with 20-plus years of career golf, the thought of winning the Claret Jug that was once a dream is now a reality for Mickelson. After Mickelson's victory, he said "this is just an amazing feeling winning this great championship. And to play probably the best round of my career and hit some of the best shots that I've ever hit. Certainly putt better than I've ever putted. I needed to show up and play some of my best golf. And I did."
In the table below, you will see Phil Mickelson's putting statistics from the past 10 years. The table shows some of his putting highs and his lows, check out his stat comparions from the past decade.
In the current 10-year span, Mickelson is putting near his best in strokes gained-putting, his best in putting average and from inside 10 feet. Take a look.
|Strokes Gained Putting||Putting Average||One Putt Percentage||Putting From Inside 10ft|
|2013||.606 (11)||1.709 (1)||42.70% (12)||88.12% (T27)|
|2012||.591 (10)||1.747 (T18)||42.76% (6)||88.30% (34)|
|2011||-.139 (134)||1.778 (T84)||39.47% (40)||87.85% (T62)|
|2010||-.148 (133)||1.762 (45)||39.91% (29)||87.13% (93)|
|2009||-.146 (130)||1.753 (T35)||40.30% (32)||86.25% (T135)|
|2008||.207 (57)||1.761 (T22)||40.60% (17)||87.31% (67)|
|2007||.169 (63)||1.751 (T15)||39.91% (T28)||88.08% (30)|
|2006||.280 (40)||1.731 (5)||39.94% (44)||87.21% (84)|
|2005||.263 (49)||1.740 (15)||41.97% (T12)||86.62% (T137)|
|2004||-.081 (125)||1.759 (T43)||40.58% (45)||86.22% (164)|
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
Phil Mickelson led the field in scrambling with a mark of 65.38 percent at The Open Championship.
|The Open Championship
|Driving Distance||275.0 (T63)||Gareth Wright (305.1 yards)||T71
|Driving Accuracy||60.71% (T37)||Henrik Stenson (45/56, 87.36%)||2
|Greens in Regulation||63.89% (T27)||Henrik Stenson (57/72, 79.17%)||2
|Proximity to the Hole||N/A
|Scrambling||65.38% (1)||Mickelson (17 of 26)
|Sanderson Farms Championship
|Driving Distance||272.0 (61)||Steven Bowditch (302.8 yards)||T17
|Driving Accuracy||75.00% (T9)||Joe Durant (47/56, 83.93%)||T54
|Strokes Gained-Putting||.913 (14)
||Chris Stroud (2.382)
|Greens in Regulation||77.78% (T7)||Kyle Reifers (60/72, 83.33%)||T5
|Proximity to the Hole||25'-3" (T5)
||Michael Bradley (23'-8")
|Scrambling||68.75% (33)||Kyle Reifers (91.67%, 11 of 12)
WEEKLY PERFORMANCE STATS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open in Hawaii
Week 4: Farmers Insurance Open
Week 5: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Week 7: Northern Trust Open
Week 8: The Honda Classic
Week 9: WGC Cadillac & Puerto Rico Open
Week 12: Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Valero Texas Open
Week 14: The Masters
Week 15: RBC Heritage
Week 16: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Week 17: Wells Fargo Championship
Week 18: THE PLAYERS Championship
Week 19: HP Byron Nelson Championship
Week 22: FedEx St. Jude Classic
Week 23: U.S. Open
Week 24: Travelers Championship
Week 25: AT&T National
Week 26: The Greenbrier Classic
Week 27: John Deere Classic
By Elias Sports Bureau
-- Lee Westwood will have a two-shot lead heading into the final day of The Open Championship. Westwood has only once before had the lead heading into the final round of play in his 61 previous major tournaments. He was unable to hang on to a one-shot advantage over Phil Mickelson in the 2010 Masters Tournament. Mickelson birdied the final hole for the win.
-- Tiger Woods is tied for second place, two strokes behind Westwood, heading into the final round of The Open Championship. None of the Woods’ 14 major victories have come without at least a share of first place after 54 holes. He has, however, won 22 times when trailing after three rounds in other official PGA TOUR events, the last coming at the 2012 AT&T National.
-- Despite standing only two strokes behind Westwood, Woods had a very mediocre third round at The Open Championship. Woods shot a 1-over 71, with only two birdies. The last time he had two or fewer birdies in a round at an Open Championship was in 2007, where he shot a 3-over- 74, finishing tied for 12th place.
-- Players have had a difficult time on Muirfield through the first three days of The Open Championship, as only three currently sport scores under par. The last time that fewer players were under par after three rounds of play at this tournament was in 1999, where the best score was an even-par by Jean Van De Velde. Van De Velde ended up blowing a three-stroke lead heading on to the final hole and lost in a playoff to Paul Lawrie.
By Elias Sports Bureau
-- Miguel Angel Jimenez, 49, has never won a major or PGA TOUR event but has sole possession of the lead after two rounds of play at The Open Championship. In fact this is the latest in any such event of his career that he has been alone at the top of the leaderboard. Jimenez has tied for the lead in a second round or later in two previous PGA TOUR events; The second round of the 2001 Nissan Open (with Davis Love III) and the third round of the 1999 WGC-American Express Championship (with Chris Perry).
-- With two rounds completed at The Open Championship, Luke Donald has ended his streak of 15 cuts made. The last time Donald missed a cut was at the 2012 U.S. Open where he shot 11-over par in his first two rounds. Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar, however, both made the cut and have extended their current TOUR-leading active streak of cuts made to 19.
-- After one round of play at The Open Championship, 54-year-old Tom Lehman’s 3-under 68 was only 2 strokes behind the leader Zach Johnson. Friday, was a different story for the 1996 British Open champion, as he shot a 6-over 77. The nine-stroke change ties his worst performance at a major in consecutive rounds, the last such instance occurring at the 2006 British Open. So far this tournament is very reminiscent of his 2006 performance as he shot the exact same scores of 68 and 77 in rounds one and two respectively. However, unlike the 2006 British Open, Lehman has made the cut.
-- The Open Championship is the 16th major event that Martin Laird has participated in. Up until now he has failed to make the cut nine times and has a career best 20th place finish (2011 Masters). He is currently tied for sixth place at 1-under par in part due to a streak of four straight birdies in the second round that spanned the ninth through 12th holes. This is the longest streak of birdies or better of all players so far this week and is also the longest such streak for Laird in any major event. The second longest streak of three straight birdies occurred at the 2012 PGA Championship where he finished tied for 42nd place.
Jordan Spieth became the first golfer under age 20 to accomplish something quite rare on Thursday.
By Elias Sports Bureau
-- Jordan Spieth, 19, shot a 2-under 69 in the first round of The Open Championship on Thursday at Muirfield. Last year, Spieth, as an amateur, shot a 1-under 69 in the third round of the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Spieth, who turns 20 next Saturday, became just the third golfer over the last 30 years to record a round below par at both the U.S. and British Opens before turning the age of 20. The two previous teenagers to do so were Ryo Ishikawa (2009 and 2010 British Opens, 2010 and 2011 U.S. Opens) and Matteo Manassero (2009 British Open, 2012 U.S. Open).
-- There were four previous British Open champions who shot below par on Thursday (Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman, Todd Hamilton and Tiger Woods). However, one former winner was not so fortunate. The 1999 champion, Paul Lawrie, suffered five bogeys, one double bogey and a quadruple-bogey on the par-3 seventh hole to finish at 10 over on the day. This is the fourth time since winning 14 years ago that Lawrie has carded a double-digit above par round at The Open, previously doing so in the first round in 2003 (+10), second round in 2010 (+10) and third round in 2011 (+11). Only two other champions over the last 60 years had even three such rounds within 15 years of their title: Bill Rogers (1981 champion) and Ian Baker-Finch (1991 champion) who famously retired from competitive golf after his third such round in 1997 (a 21-over par 92 in the first round at Royal Troon).
-- 1998 champion Mark O’Meara (age 56) shot a 4-under 67 and 1996 champion Tom Lehman (age 54) shot a 3-under 68 today at Muirfield. That is the third time each golfer shot a round of 3 under or better at The Open since turning 50. O’Meara carded two other 3-unders in 2009 (age 52) and 2010 (53) and Lehman shot a 4-under in 2010 (51) and 3-under in 2011 (52). That is the most such rounds (3-under or better) by anyone in their 50s in the last 60 years of The Open Championship.
-- Steve Stricker is skipping this week’s British Open to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary, thereby ending two of the longer streaks in golf. Stricker has made 14 consecutive cuts in major tournaments, last missing the cut in the 2009 PGA Championship. The next longest streaks belong to Adam Scott (8) and Jason Dufner (7). Stricker has also made the cut at the British Open the last six years, tied with Zach Johnson for the longest such streak.
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Comparing the paths of winners of The Open Championship can be like judging who hits the most efficient home runs in baseball. The result is the same but the execution varies. Some years, hitting fairways is critical (e.g. Carnoustie). Other times, the race to the Claret Jug can resemble a putting contest (e.g. Turnberry in 2009). And let's not forget about the impact of the weather (e.g. take your pick).
Ernie Els won the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes by one stroke over Adam Scott. Somewhat lost in the Aussie's bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey finish was that Els came home in bogey-free 4-under after a birdie-free, 2-over 36 on his outward nine. The Big Easy simply put himself into position to pounce on the Claret Jug should Scott stumble. Lo and behold. Els led the field last year in greens in regulation and posted 7-under 273 despite ranking 43rd in putting and 61st in scrambling.
Darren Clarke actually took a similar route to success at Royal St. George's in 2011, finishing second in greens hit, but he ranked fifth in putting. Louis Oosthuizen turned St. Andrews into his personal playground in 2010 en route to his seven-stroke romp (thanks in part to a plum spot in the late-early draw). The South African placed fourth in distance off the tee, first in fairways hit, T12 in GIR, first in putting and fifth in scrambling.
If we can connect one thread between these three, it's that they did their heavy lifting on the par 4s. Loyal readers of this weekly feature are not surprised as it's been the recurring theme for months.
Oosthuizen and Els led their fields in par-4 scoring average; Clarke finished T2. In fact, you have to go back to Padraig Harrington's first Open at Carnoustie in 2007 to find the last champion that didn't rank first or second in par-4 scoring average.