June 5 2013
By PGATOUR.COM staff
What do some of the recent U.S. Open champions have in common? Well, we've researched some statistics that often come into play in U.S. Opens -- driving accuracy, greens in regulation, rough proximity, scrambling and strokes gained-putting -- and discovered some interesting correlations. All of the statistics are taken from the individual players' PGA TOUR ranking entering the week prior to that U.S. Open.
For starters, Webb Simpson, the reigning champ, entered his championship week with strong stats in greens hit, rough proximity and strokes gained-putting, as you see in the table below.
It the past three U.S. Opens, it appears that rough proximity -- how far a players' golf ball on approach shots from the rough lands near the hole -- is a major factor in U.S. Open success. The average ranking for Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell was 13th. Putting is always a major factor, too, and if not for McIlroy's low rank would have been an even better combined ranking than 61st.
|Year||Player||Driving accuracy||Greens||Rough Proximity||Scrambling||S.G. Putting|
|2012||Webb Simpson||57.14 (125)||67.68 (15)||39-3 (T11)||53.91 (156)||.508 (18)|
|2011||Rory McIlroy||62.30 (68)||66.05 (55)||40-3 (T26)||50.91 (175)||-.065 (114)|
|2010||Graeme McDowell||64.29 (T57)||63.89 (T127)||35-5 (2nd)||60.58 (60)||.279 (52)|
|Average||61.24 (83)||65.87 (66)||38-3 (13)||55.13 (130)||.241 (61)|
So by taking those stats into account, we compiled a list of players in the 2013 U.S. Open field who currently rank in the top 25 in rough proximity and strokes gained-putting.