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July 3 2013

1:16 PM

Stats Suggest: The Greenbrier Classic

By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

The Old White TPC will play as it did for only the last two editions of The Greenbrier Classic. While it would be fun to contrast Stuart Appleby's victory in 2010 to Scott Stallings (2011) and Ted Potter, Jr. (2012), it wouldn't be relevant since the course underwent a litany of changes after he put the finishing touch on his closing 59. The modifications included length on the scorecard (an increase of 243 yards), tighter fairways and a switch to Bentgrass greens.

But if we were compare only the last two champions, it's what they don't share in common that suggests that we're in for another surprising final leaderboard. While Stallings ranked inside the top five in both distance off the tee and greens in regulation -- stats that Potter Jr. sat outside the top 20 -- the lefty placed T3 in fairways hit and first in strokes gained-putting. Stallings checked in at T54 and 39th, respectively.

Both finished T7 in par-3 scoring, but the similarities end there. Potter Jr. co-led his field in par-4 scoring and ranked T22 in par-5 scoring while Stallings placed a respective T14 and T8.

Stallings and Potter Jr. emerged in playoffs, so it would be reckless to ignore that both Bob Estes (2011) and Troy Kelly (2012) cracked the top 10 in strokes gained-putting during the weeks when they posted the P2. All three playoff losers, including Bill Haas in 2011, ranked inside the top seven in par-4 scoring.

So, the moral of this analysis is that we probably don't have enough data yet to emphasize a specific angle, but you can't rule out that The Old White TPC may evolve into a track that cannot be quantified.

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