July 23 2011
Hitting fairways and greens is arguably more important this week than any other, with the exception of a major. Just look at the field scoring average, which has been over par through each of the first two rounds. And look at the two leaders, Chad Campbell and Michael Thompson. Both have been exceptional off the tee and into the green.
The rough apparently got a trimming after Friday’s play, but it’s still going to be a factor.
Campbell has been the most accurate player in the field with the driver, hitting 82 percent of his fairways.
To give you an idea of just how significant that is, players who have missed the fairways on Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club’s par-4s this week have hit the green just 20 percent of the time and made birdie or better just under 8 percent of the time.
Campbell? He’s hit 67 percent of his greens this week and is average 26 feet, 7 inches on his approach shots -- the latter ranks ninth in the field. That, consequently, has led to Campbell gaining nearly four strokes on the field in putting.
In all, Campbell has out-performed the field by 11 shots on the par-4s alone this week.
Thompson, meanwhile, has hit 72 percent of his greens in regulation. Of his 10 missed greens? Thompson has salvaged par or better seven times, which ranks seventh in the field.
As a result, Thompson has just two bogeys and one double bogey through 36 holes -- impressive considering the average is nearly eight bogeys per player through two rounds.