By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Kevin Streelman put a lof of focus on the Masters only to come away disappointed following rounds of 77 and 76 to miss the cut.
"But I'm seeing the results of the fruits of that labor," he said at Harbour Town, where he enters the final round of the RBC Heritage just three strokes off the lead.
Streelman is looking for his second win of the season after capturing the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank last month.
"I don't have much to lose," he said. "I'm going to see what the course can give us. You're going to pick some battles to attack. And hopefully I have an opportunity on the last nine (Sunday)."
Given winds of 20-plus mph, with possible gusts as high as 40 or 45, opportunities to attack will be scarce.
Still, Streelman is happy with his progress and hopeful it will pay off with the second win of his career -- one that has spanned 156 starts.
"I really have a vision of where I want my swing to be, and a real plan of what we're doing," he said. "All of a sudden little pitfalls that you go through aren't that big a deal.
"I had a ton of good putts that didn't go in (Saturday), that was frustrating. But hopefully that's a little vision of what's going to happen (Sunday)."
In the second round of the 2013 RBC Heritage, Kevin Streelman hits his 53-foot eagle try to 5 feet on the par-5 second hole before sinking the putt for birdie. He shot 1-under 70 to get to 6 under entering the weekend.
Adam Scott ranks T13 in scrambling and T18 in sand saves in 2013. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Kevin Streelman picked up his first PGA TOUR victory at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank on Sunday with a rare climb from the back of the pack to win. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods will attempt to match Sam Snead's record for wins at a single event (8) at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Woods won last season with some impressive iron play and potent putting.
We'll take a look at Streelman's unusual feat, Woods and more this week by going Inside the Numbers ....
+1.222 The average strokes over par that the Copperhead Course played for the week at Tampa Bay, making the course the second most-difficult on TOUR in 2013. … The Copperhead Course is usually one of the tougher tracks on TOUR, sans the past two seasons when it actually played under par for the week. But this season the course showed its bite again, playing the hardest since 2008 when it played at 1.970 over par. At 1.222, Copperhead would have ranked as the 11th-toughest course at year-end last season.
+5.768 Number of strokes Woods picked up on the field average for the week in putting in winning at Bay Hill last season. … Woods ranked fourth in strokes gained-putting in winning for the seventh time at API, and combined with a T1 rank in greens in regulation (57 of 72) that’s a deadly combination. With Woods putting well again right now (6th in SGP this season), there’s no reason he won’t contend again.
8 Number of victories for Sam Snead at the Greater Greensboro Open, the PGA TOUR record for most wins at a single event. … Snead won Greensboro in 1938, ’46, ’49, ’50, ’55, ’56, ’60 and ’65. Woods has won two events seven times – the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, which is of course this week at Bay Hill. Woods, the defending champion who is 108 under par in 15 starts at API, surely will have his mind on making history this week.
11 No doubt, Shawn Stefani’s sand save streak was impressive despite ending at Tampa Bay. At 11 in a row, it’s tied with Lee Janzen for the longest on TOUR this season. … Stefani saved eight of 11 from the bunkers on the week, seventh in sand save percentage, leading to a career-best T7. Stefani is 32 of 47 in sand saves this season, which ranks third on TOUR.
18 Consecutive cuts made for Billy Horschel after a T56 at Tampa Bay to match Ian Poulter for the longest streak on TOUR. … Horschel last missed a cut at the 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship. In those 18 events, he’s tallied a trio of top-11 finishes, two this season. Horschel is currently 51st in FedExCup points.
21 Consecutive fairways hit between the third and fourth rounds for Justin Leonard, the longest streak of the tournament. … Keeping it in the short grass is vital at the Copperhead Course and Leonard split the second-most fairways on the week at 78.85 percent, up drastically from the 62.43 percent he was hitting entering the week. Driving accuracy led Leonard to a T4, his first top 5 in a traditional PGA TOUR event since the 2011 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
No. 27 Since 1983, there have been 1,312 stroke play champions on the PGA TOUR. Streelman is only the 27th champion who has been ranked 70th or worse after the first round. … Streelman carded a first-round 73 at Tampa Bay (T70) before moving up to T31 with a 2-under 69 in Round 2. He didn’t make a bogey or worse over his final 37 holes and the rest is history.
115 Number of spots Adam Scott has moved up in scrambling from year-end 2012 to 2013. … Scott spent extra time on his short game this offseason -- toss in some surfing, too -- and it shows. Scott ranks T13 in scrambling (67.50 percent), T18 in sand save percentage (62.50 percent) and even a modest 78th in strokes gained-putting (.090) this season. For 2012, he was 128th in scrambling (55.87 percent), T127 in sand saves (45.74 percent) and 148th in SGP (-.204). Could this be an indication that Scott just might break through in a major for the first time in 2013? We’ll have to wait and see.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge
Week 10: WGC-Cadillac/Tampa Bay Championship
Kevin Streelman jump-started his final round with this 85-foot chip on the third hole at Copperhead.
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
One of the biggest shots of Kevin Streelman’s life was his short pitch shot on the third hole Sunday at the Tampa Bay Championship. After a perfectly executed golf shot, Streelman got some much-needed fortune when the ball found the bottom of the cup. This short game shot from the greenside rough is a shot we see a lot on the PGA TOUR, and over the last couple of years, has adopted the name "Hinge and Hold."
However, what’s interesting is this particular "Hinge and Hold" technique has got some mixed press on what it may (or may not) be suggesting. Therefore, let’s see if we can clean it up a bit and explain exactly how Streelman hit the shot in Tampa.
“Hinge” defines the key movements of the backswing. A good hinge allows the clubhead to work up the line of the lead forearm, creating a needed angle between the forearm and clubshaft. Streelman did a great job of hinging the lead wrist this way. Even though the clubhead was moving up the plane, the lead forearm and clubshaft still remained in its inline relationship. As a result, the clubface can rotate slightly open, so when the clubshaft reaches halfway back, the toe of the club is pointing to the sky.
One of the most common errors in the backswing is this: A player will hinge the lead wrist where the lead hand becomes bowed. This movement sends the clubshaft quickly out of line with the lead forearm, allowing the clubhead to move behind the hands. This technique doesn’t promote the clubface to rotate open, but rather. stay closed and off plane, leading to needed compensation on the downswing.
“Hold” suggests the movements of the downswing thru impact. What’s critical here is that as you turn through impact with the body to maintain the bend in the trail wrist. When done properly, the inline relationship between the lead forearm and club shaft will stay inline well after impact. Even though the lead wrist is un-hinging, the clubshaft alignment to the lead forearm stays intact, allowing the clubface to square up thru impact.
The term “Hold” can be misinterpreted sometimes because it suggests that you don’t unhinge the lead wrist and/or allow the clubface to square up. Rather, “Hold” originated from the fact that most amateurs release the trail wrist too soon, sending the clubhead well past the lead wrist thru impact.
Therefore, “hold” is a term to help decrease this from happening, and keep the hands more passive so the alignment of the lead forearm and clubshaft can be met and sustained through impact just like Kevin Streelman demonstrated on Sunday.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.
By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
TPC Blue Monster last week, the Copperhead Course this week. The past two events of the “Florida Swing” on the PGA TOUR have had the competitors testing their skills on golf courses with reptilian leanings. Both venues certainly have a fair amount of bite but the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort is perennially more vicious thanks to a stretch of the three homeward holes known as the “Snake Pit.”
At 460 yards, No. 16 (The Moccasin) is a bruiser of a dogleg-right par 4. It is flanked by trees on the left and a water hazard on the right that stretches all the way to the green. Sneak past No. 16 unscathed and an uphill 215-yard par 3 (The Rattler) with a narrow green surrounded by deep bunkers awaits golfers. After navigating The Rattler safely, competitors are faced with the tough par-4 18th (The Copperhead). A tight, uphill hole with an unforgiving green, No. 18 measures 445 yards and is as daunting a closing hole as any on TOUR.
So to win the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank, the contenders not only have to outwit and outplay their competitors, they have to survive the gauntlet that the Snake Pit presents. Its challenge is best qualified by 2011 champion, Gary Woodland: “If you’re two back and have signed your scorecard and the leaders are still out there, you’re definitely hanging around to see what happens.”
After posting a 63 and an 8 under total for the championship, Boo Weekley had to hang around to see how the leaders would navigate the Snake Pit and I am sure that he liked his chances. All manner of challengers came up short but in the end Kevin Streelman played the Snake Pit in 1 under and in doing so he doubled his one-stroke lead and recorded his first win on the PGA TOUR.
So what can we learn from Streelman’s trip to the winner’s circle at Innisbrook? In my opinion, there are a few things and once again, proficient putting is one of them -- Streelman ranked third in the all-important strokes gained-putting statistic. So go and work on your putting.
Secondly, you must keep a positive attitude and never give up no matter the circumstances. In 2007, Streelman was battling the odds at the first stage of q-school. For all intents and purposes, with about six holes to play, it looked as if he was going to miss advancing to the second stage. Well, we all know that in golf things can change in an instant -- such is the nature of our great game. All of a sudden the momentum swung and Streelman birdied four of his last five holes to qualify. Now, six short years later he is a PGA TOUR champion. Oftentimes, it appears as if the odds are stacked against you and failure is imminent. At that time, remind yourself to stick to your guns, stay positive and keep swinging with conviction and self-belief as you never know when the tide can turn. As the great Jim Valvano once said: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”
Thirdly, it is crucial to trust yourself and your game when the chips are down. Streelman hit one of the shots of the tournament when he “held” a faded 5-iron up against the right-to-left breeze on the par-3 13th hole. The super-gutsy (the hole was cut close to the water on the right of the green) and impressive shot was one that Streelman had been working on and by his own admission his trust and belief in the things he and his coach were working on were key to him attempting and pulling off the shot. For the record, the iron shot translated into a birdie 2, which served as a platform to him closing out the win.
So learn from the likeable Duke graduate. … Always stay positive, never give up and trust your technique. After all, what good is it to work hard at something and then not trust it and attempt it under pressure? As Streelman’s coach, Darren, said to him: “When you pull it off on Sunday it will be a good shot.”
Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.
Check out the shots of the week from the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank and the Toshiba Classic, featuring Luke Donald, Mark O'Meara, Dicky Pride, Kevin Streelman and Webb Simpson.
Kevin Streelman focused on the process of winning, not winning itself. (Greenwood/Getty Images)
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Kevin Streelman stated that his mental strategy for this past week was to not think about winning and let go of results. This ironic approach worked as Streelman won the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank by not worrying about winning.
Thinking about outcome, such as your score or winning a tournament, creates higher levels of anxiety in our games. Take the analogy of a construction worker who works 1,000 feet in the air and must walk across a plank to get from one site to the next. If the construction worker looked down and thought about how high he was (the outcome), he would get extremely nervous and be more inclined to fall. However by focusing on placing one foot in front of the other (the process), the worker wouldn’t get nervous and could easily walk the beam.
Streelman stated that his focus on the process and not the outcome gave him a sense of peace on the course. His mental approach allowed him to navigate the Copperhead course and the “Snake Pit” with a calm state of mind. A sense of peace and a calm demeanor are essential ingredients to performing your best under pressure.
While you may never be in the hunt in a PGA TOUR event, this “letting go of results” strategy can apply to your golf game. How many times has your score affected your emotions on the course? When your score was terrible did you get upset or frustrated? Or, on the contrary, when you were playing amazingly, did you begin to get nervous because you were thinking about your best round ever?
Like Streelman, you will find peace on the course and gain greater control over your emotions when you let go of results. Here is my mental game recommendation in this regard:
Play a round of golf without keeping your score. Your task is to think only about the shot at hand, not to be concerned with how many over or under par you are at the time during the round. At the completion of the round, you would then recall your score on each hole. Or better yet, play with a friend who keeps your score.
You will find that this approach helped you to keep your emotions and your game under better control. Once you have tried it once, begin to incorporate this approach as a regular strategy.
Yes, it is very difficult to not think about your score. Yes, it is fun to play for a score. But if results-oriented thinking is giving you too much anxiety and frustration, then this is the approach to implement into your game. When this happens, you will begin to find your peace on the course as well as your best game.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf. He is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. Dr. Gregg is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players. You can see more about him at www.drgreggsteinberg.com, and you can e-mail him at email@example.com for any comments or questions about your mental game.
Ben Kohles hit 43 of 52 fairways to lead the field in driving accuracy at the Tampa Bay Championship.
||Winner: Kevin Streelman
|Driving Distance||270.8 (48th)||Robert Garrigus (301.4 yards)||T56|
|Driving Accuracy||69.23% (T11)||Ben Kohles (82.69%)||T7
|Strokes Gained-Putting||1.819 (3rd)||Cameron Tringale (2.098)
|Greens in Regulation||68.06% (T11)||E. Compton, J.J. Henry (73.61%)||T30/T51|
|Proximity to Hole||35' 5" (39th)
||Jim Furyk (28' 9")||T7|
|Scrambling||65.22% (T28)||Tag Ridings (82.76%)||T17
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
With his victory today at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank, Kevin Streelman …
-- Earns his first career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 34 years, 4 months and 13 days in his 153rd career start on TOUR.
-- Extends exempt status through 2015.
-- Becomes the fifth first-time winner in 2013.
-- Previous best finishes were T3 at the 2009 Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, the 2010 Puerto Rico Open & the 2010 The Barclays.
-- Becomes the third player to make the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank his first career PGA TOUR win, joining Carl Pettersson (2005) and Gary Woodland (2011) with that distinction.
-- Becomes the 5th player to win in his 30s in 2013.
-- 2013 starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 8-5-2-1