Tiger Woods has finished in the top 10 in more than 60 percent of his career starts. (Cannon/Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods regained the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings and the Official World Golf Ranking with his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
Woods tied Sam Snead's record for most wins at a single event with eight. So how did he get there? We take a look at that and more by going Inside the Numbers ...
-.400 Strokes gained-putting this season for Bo Van Pelt, which ranks 145th on the PGA TOUR. … Translation: Van Pelt is giving away almost two shots to the field average each week. Van Pelt ranked 11th in this category last season, a big reason why he carded an impressive 10 T10s. In 2013, Van Pelt has only two T25s in seven attempts and a major reason is his putting. He switched back to an old putter at Bay Hill with the hope of turning things around.
2.798 Strokes gained-putting mark for Tiger Woods at Bay Hill. … Just to refresh your memory, that means Woods picked up nearly three shots on the field average per round. That’s 11.192 strokes on the field average for the week. So in theory, if Woods would have putted the field average (0.000), he would have finished T27 instead of first. The 2.798 stat is the best SGP number at Bay Hill since Aaron Baddeley in 2005. Woods is also first in SGP on TOUR in 2013 at 1.476.
53.57 percent Woods hit just 30 of 56 fairways this week, ranking T71 in the field out of 77 players remaining. This is the lowest percentage by a champion at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard (since 1980). Since 1980, the lowest driving accuracy percentage by an Arnold Palmer Invitational champion came back in 1993 by Ben Crenshaw, who hit just 54 percent of his fairways for the week en route to victory.
60 Weeks Woods has spent atop the FedExCup standings since 2007. … That’s by far the most of any player, as Ernie Els is second with 22, followed by Vijay Singh (15), Geoff Ogilvy (14) and Mark Wilson (12).
60.4 percent That’s the career top-10 percentage for Woods. … There’s been plenty of talk about Woods’ rate of winning in his career. He’s won 77 of 298 events or 25.8 percent of the time he’s teed it up on the PGA TOUR. But he’s also finished in the top 10 in 180 of 298 events or more than 60 percent of the time. Woods has also finished in the top three 124 times or a rate of 41.6 percent.
86.11 percent Greens in regulation percentage at the Shell Houston Open last season for champion Hunter Mahan. … Mahan hit 62 of 72 greens, tying for first in that category with Bud Cauley. Mahan also was fifth in strokes gained-putting (1.605) and fifth in scrambling (80 percent) at Redstone. Look for him to contend again if he makes some putts again this week.
1,605 FedExCup points for leader Woods, which leads second-place Brandt Snedeker (1,282). … For comparison, the 2012 leader (Johnson Wagner) had 1,017 points through the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge
Week 10: WGC-Cadillac/Tampa Bay Championship
MARANA, Ariz. -- England's Ian Poulter, who won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010, looks in terrific form again at Dove Mountain after dispatching American Bo Van Pelt, 3 and 1, in the second round.
Poulter, a No. 3 seed, had a bogey-free round with six birdies and another birdie putt conceded.
"I played the type of golf that's going to be tough to beat," Poulter said. "Very pleased how I took some mistakes from yesterday and kept a very clean round."
Having taken the last six weeks off prior to this week, Poulter said he "couldn't feel any fresher or fitter."
Van Pelt, a No. 6 seed, grabbed the early lead with his second birdie of the day at the par-4 fourth. But he suffered consecutive bogeys at the sixth and seventh holes to fall 1 down.
Poulter pulled away from there. He birdied three of the next four holes to move to 4 up. Van Pelt responded by winning the next two holes, including the par-5 13th when Poulter settled for par after just coming up short of the green in two.
"Only mistake I made was I 3-putted from 100 feet," Poulter said before adding, "Shucks."
Both players birdied the par-4 15th, then Van Pelt conceded the 17th hole and the match after missing his 12-foot birdie putt.
SCORECARD STATS: Poulter carded six birdies, had another birdie putt conceded and no bogeys. Van Pelt carded six birdies and three bogeys.
HOLES WON: Poulter won six holes. Van Pelt won three holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Poulter plays Tim Clark in the third round of the Snead bracket.
MARANA, Ariz. -- American Bo Van Pelt, a sixth seed, defeated 11th-seeded John Senden of Australia, 6 and 5, in the first round.
Van Pelt now takes on Ian Poulter in the second round of the Snead bracket.
Van Pelt needed just one hole after Thursday's restart to end his match. He won the par-5 13th with a par, as Senden bogeyed the hole after an errant tee shot left him scrambling from the native area.
Senden did not record a birdie while suffering five bogeys on his card. He was 1 up through six holes but lost the last seven holes.
"We were kind of trading back and forth," Van Pelt said, "and (I) got on a little run right around the turn."
Van Pelt advances to the second round for the second time in three appearances here.
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton offers his Power Rankings for the weekly TOUR event as well as his Sleeper picks. But what about the players who don't make the Power Rankings but who can't really be considered Sleepers? Bolton will make one "wild card" selection from the large group of players who fall into that middle range but might rise up to claim the title. This week's pick is ...
BO VAN PELT
Didn't crack the Power Rankings because he failed to post a top 15 in any of his first three starts this season. That's a drought that he experienced just once all of last year. However, he's recorded four top 15s in his last eight appearances at Riviera Country Club. Last year's T8 was his best finish in 11 career starts. Not surprisingly, the birdie machine led last year's field in par breakers (one eagle; 19 birdies).
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bo Van Pelt shot a course-record 59 in Wednesday's pro-am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Van Pelt, who had 10 birdies and one eagle in his round, played his last seven holes in 7 under. He hit the pin on the 17th hole, a 332-yard par 4, and nearly made an ace.
Since the score was shot during the pro-am and not in competition, though, it will not go down in the PGA TOUR record books. There have been five 59s in TOUR history, most recently in 2010 when Stuart Appleby fired one in the final round to win the Greenbrier Classic.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- When Bo Van Pelt was a student at Oklahoma State, he hit the gym with regularity. Mike Holder, who led the Cowboys to nine NCAA titles, wouldn't have it any other way.
Once he graduated, though, and played his way onto the PGA TOUR, Van Pelt admits he wasn't always so diligent. That is, until about three years ago, when the Indiana native, who is now 37, realized he'd been pretty darn lucky not to have had any serious physical problems interrupt his career.
"I was smart enough to realize that as you get older if you just keep doing the same stuff it's probably just going to regress," Van Pelt said. "So I got together with a group of guys that train some guys out here and just kind of made a plan and I've stuck to it and my results have been better."
Better, indeed. Van Pelt picked up his first PGA TOUR title in 2009 and he has earned $8.7 million in the last three years. The veteran had a career-high top-10 finishes in 2013, as well.
The key for Van Pelt has been accountability -- just like he had with Holder. If his trainers say he's going to do a 25-minute warm up before he plays, Van Pelt is there. Ditto for the workout after a round. Another trainer when he's back in Tulsa makes sure there is no back-sliding too.
"He's on me like, hey, are you home yet? I'm going to see you tomorrow," Van Pelt said, grinning. "If I have that appointment, I'm not going to slip out on it. We're just setting up the framework for me to be accountable to them."
Van Pelt is one of several players on TOUR who represents Humana, which sponsors this week's PGA TOUR event in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. He was joined at a press conference Wednesday by the company's newest ambassador, Gary Player, and it was clear Van Pelt was in awe of the 77-year-old.
"I always think of the good old line about Mickey Mantle (that) if he'd have known he was going to live that long he would have taken better care of his body and I think Gary Player is the exact opposite of that," Van Pelt said. "He's done everything he could do to make sure he lived as healthy as he could for as long as he could.
"You look at the guy's lifestyle -- he's probably more active than most 30-year-olds in this country. it's a credit to him and the commitment he made a long time ago. he's reaping the benefits and it's an inspiration to all of us."
Van Pelt was among the players whose steps were calculated during last year's Humana Challenge. He says the 12,000 he took that week might have calculated into too many shots -- "but I made the cut so I was probably walking over to help my amateur partner some," he said with a wry smile. He's hoping for more birdies in the 2013 event.
All the players will be measured this week and their steps, combined with calories burned, shown in real-time on the Golf Channel and on HumanaChallenge.com. Van Pelt thinks it's a great way to demonstrate that you don't necessarily have to pump iron to reap the benefit of exercise.
"I think everybody, even me, you get intimidated, I don't want to go in the gym," Van Pelt said. "And you can do like Gary said and just get up and walk some. You'd be amazed just do that a little bit day after day what that can lead to."
Jason Day has exactly one win in 115 career starts. Look for him to have a Jason Dufner-style rise into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking. -- Ryan Smithson, Site Producer
Even though he won the Frys.com Open, Jonas Blixt is s till flying under the radar. Despite missing time with a rib injury, Blixt posted 5 Top-10 finishes in his rookie season. He was second on TOUR in Strokes Gained Putting and first in sand saves. -- Fred Albers, PGA TOUR Radio
The last time Phil Mickelson didn't win on TOUR was 2003. Will that change in 2013? Mickelson, who will turn 43 in June, is on the other side of his career, and he continues to battle psoriatic arthritis. I think he's due for a down year. -- Brian Wacker, Side Producer
Bo Van Pelt. He’s placed inside the top 30 in the final FedExCup standings each of the past three seasons. In 2012, he collected a TOUR high-tying 10 top 10s, and is one of the best putters (11th in strokes gained-putting) and one of the best drivers (3rd in total driving). This is the year where Van Pelt wins something big – maybe even the FedExCup. -- Bill Cooney, Site Producer
Gary Woodland. Making a swing change took its toll on one of the TOUR's biggest hitters in 2012. Hopefully he has it figured out by now. -- Mike McAllister, Managing Editor
Due to injury and limited status, Billy Horschel hasn’t had the opportunity to flash his talent over a full season since his debut in 2010. Now healthy and near the top of the opening reshuffle, it would be an upset if he didn’t convert with supreme confidence on top of what was an easy go at q-school that punctuated a quietly solid 2012. -- Rob Bolton, Fantasy Columnist
Gary Woodland. He was essentially a non-factor in 2012 after he was injured amdist a swing change, finishing 134th in FedExCup standings. He showed signs of life in the Fall Series with a T9 at the Frys.com Open, and I think he'll be back to winning-form this season. -- Anne Szeker, Site Producer
I was tempted to say Justin Rose but after eight-top 10s last year, including two in majors, nothing he does would be a surprise. So let's go with big-hitting Gary Woodland, who is fully recovered from that nagging wrist injury and rejuvenated after the hard work he's put in with Butch Harmon. -- Helen Ross, Chief of Correspondents
With a win at Wyndham and (sigh) the Ryder Cup, Sergio Garcia looked like a kid again. And he's only turning 32 on Jan. 9; he still has a lot of productive years ahead. I say this is one of them, with multiple wins. -- John Schwarb, Site Producer
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here.
2013 PREVIEW: Only one person had as many top-10 finishes as Bo Van Pelt did on TOUR in 2012. But Rory McIlroy converted four of his 10 into wins and Van Pelt's best was solo second at the AT&T National. Van Pelt, who has an overseas win each of the last two seasons, is a victory waiting to happen, though, and next year could be the one.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: The temptation would be to pick that runner-up finish to Tiger Woods at Congressional. But let's go with the 64 he shot in the first round of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in his home state of Indiana. Granted, he couldn't convert that share of the lead into a win but it was certainly an emotional day. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Talk about improvement, BVP went from 144th in strokes gained-putting to 11th. He is third on TOUR in total driving and is set up for a huge 2013. I thought he was going to win AT&T National but faltered on the last three holes against Tiger Woods. I doubt he falters the next time he's in that position. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: It's not the first time I've written it, but it demands repeating. There are fantasy champions chanting "B-V-P! B-V-P!" this offseason. When a guy racks up 24 starts and 10 top 10s, the absence of a win is almost irrelevant. It's just more of the same, really. Since 2010, he's gone 63-for-79 with 23 top 10s and another 20 top 25s. It's also unfair to state that he hasn't won because he's done that, too. Since the conclusion of the 2011 season, he hoisted hardware at the CIMB Classic (2011) and in Australia on the European Tour in October 2012. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Twitter
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||2nd||AT&T National|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 20
Rounds played: 91
Top-10 finishes: 10
Money List rank: 23rd
Driving distance: 40th
Driving accuracy: 44th
Greens in regulation: 40th
Strokes gained-putting: 11th
Scoring average: 12th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is your prediction for Bo Van Pelt in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
After a fourth-place FedExCup finish and a tie for 10th in Vegas, Nick Watney took his momentum overseas, winning the CIMB Classic by one shot over Robert Garrigus and Bo Van Pelt. Watney racked up 11 birdies Sunday at The MINES Resort & Golf Club, putting himself on 59 watch late in the round.
The 31-year-old needed a birdie on the final hole to join the sub-60 club but took a bogey that took 59 out of play and put victory in doubt. In the final pairing, Garrigus closed birdie-birdie to get close while an identical finish would have put Van Pelt into a playoff. Instead, the Hoosier bridied the 17th but found a greenside bunker with his approach on No. 18. Tiger Woods rebounded from Saturday's back-nine 39 with a Sunday 63 that left him in a fourth-place tie with Brendon de Jonge and Chris Kirk at 19 under.