It’s one of those obvious statements, but keeping the ball in the fairway and hitting the green is what a player needs to do at Sea Island to have success. Just look at the leaderboard with David Toms, currently leading at 12 under after a couple of birdies on his front nine, Heath Slocum, Troy Merritt and Joe Durant.
All are in the top 10 in the field in fairways, greens or both with Durant leading the field and both and not having missed a fairway or a green through his first eight holes today.
Through two rounds, Toms missed just one green in regulation on the front nine and three on the back 9 and today he hasn’t missed a green while missing just two fairways through eight holes.
As you can see by the numbers below, it’s a big part of why he’s leading right now. -- Brian Wacker
David Toms - This Week vs. 2010 Season vs. The Field
|Stat||This Week||2010 Season||Field Average|
|Driving accuracy||75 percent (T25)||72 percent (7)||68 percent|
|Greens in regulation||89 percent (T4)||67 percent (82)||74 percent|
|Proximity to hole||30 feet, 2 inches (T28)||32 feet, 8 inches (8)||33 feet, 9 inches|
|Putting average||1.594 (2)||1.757 (T34)||1.809|
|Putting inside 10 feet||28 of 29 (14)||88 percent (70)||88 percent|
|Putts made over 10 feet||8 (T2)||107 (T43)||4.17|
|Putting 10-15 feet||5 of 8 (11)||33 percent (52)||33 percent|
|Feet of putts made||114 feet, 8 inches (10)||73 feet, 2 inches (T69)||83 feet, 2 inches|
|Total birdies||14 (1)||298 (T35)||6.8|
So much for that. Todd Hamilton’s drive went in the water on the par-4 18th and as a result the one-time British Open champion dropped back to 3 under after a double bogey on the finishing hole.
Right next to the 18th hole, on No. 9, Troy Merritt had so such trouble. His tee shot split the fairway and two shots later he made par to finish with a career-best 64 that has him one off the lead.
Merritt entered this week just inside the proverbial bubble at No. 123 on the money list, so a strong performance here would all but lock up his PGA TOUR card for next season. If things ended right now, Merritt would jump 45 spots to No. 78 ( click here for our live projected money list).
It’s not as if Merritt has played all that well of late, however. He has just one finish in the top 50 since April, and that was a tie for 49th at the Wyndham Championship. Thursday, however, he hit 11 of 14 fairways and hit 16 greens. He also had just one miss from inside 10 feet with the putter. -- Brian Wacker
Troy Merritt birdied the 18th hole at Annandale GC, which moves him to 13 under and within one shot of leader Rickie Fowler.
Merritt nearly moved into a tie with Fowler, but his 82-footer for eagle on the par-5 finishing hole just missed.
Get the latest Kodak standings by clicking here . – Chuck Beeler
Troy Merritt just made a 15-inch birdie putt on the 15th hole at Sedgefield Country Club – which is the Kodak Challenge hole. With the putt, he moved into a tie for first place at 12 under with Rickie Fowler in the $1 million Kodak Challenge competition.