August 13 2013
Bud Cauley ranks 176th in strokes gained-putting and 173rd in scrambling in 2013. (Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM staff
What's wrong with Bud Cauley?
The 23-year-old former Alabama star had a breakout campaign in the fall of 2011. He earned his PGA TOUR card behind a pair of top-five finishes and followed it up with an impressive 2012 by finishing 35th in FedExCup points.
Unfortunately for Cauley and his fans, 2013 has been a nightmare of sorts.
In fact, Cauley will be fighting for his PGA TOUR card and a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs at this week's Wyndham Championship, which beings Thursday in Greensboro, N.C. He's made just 10 of 23 cuts this season, with three top-25 fiinishes and ranks 130th in FedExCup points. Cauley's best finish was a T14 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He's made just four of nine cuts since.
Cauley needs to crack the top 125 in order to reach The Barclays, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
So what's gone wrong in 2013? Start with his short game. Cauley ranked a marginal 84th in strokes gained-putting in 2012 but ranks 176th in 2013. He's losing .575 strokes per round to the field average. That's an incredible two full shots in a four-round event -- just to the field average.
He's also struggling around the greens. Cauley was amazing with his wedges last season, ranking eighth on TOUR by saving par or better at a 62.42-percent clip. In 2013, his scrambling percentage is down to 52.63 percent. That's 171st on TOUR.
Here's a look at some of the biggest categories where Cauley is struggling in 2013 compared to 2012.
|Total driving||224 (149th)||186 (89th)|
|Greens in regulation||63.66% (134th)||66.55% (51st)|
|Ball-striking (Total driving, GIR)||283 (149th)||140 (66th)|
|Scrambling||52.63% (171st)||62.42% (8th)|
|Strokes gained-putting||-.575 (176th)||.078 (84th)|
|Putting from inside 10 feet
||84.84% (178rd)||88.33% (31st)|