January 22 2013
Matt Kuchar has gone 173 holes without a three-putt. (Petersen/Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Each week in this Tuesday series we review the previous PGA TOUR tournament (Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation) and look ahead to the next one (Farmers Insurance Open) by taking a look at -- what else? -- the numbers.
Brian Gay's victory at the Humana Challenge -- he defeated David Lingmerth and Charles Howell III in a playoff -- was yet another come-from-behind win in what is becoming a trend on the PGA TOUR. Gay struggled in 2012 after making a swing change to add some distance off the tee, but it paid off in a major way on Sunday. So what kind of trend am I speaking of? And just how much distance are we talking about? Well, let's find out by going inside the numbers ...
6 Number of shots Gay came back from to win at Humana. … As stated, an interesting trend is developing on TOUR recently. ... Essentially, no lead is safe. Last season, seven players came from six or more strokes back after 54 holes to win.
7 Perhaps this went unnoticed, but the Week 2 winner, Russell Henley, opened his first round at Humana with a pair of birdies. That gave Henley – who won the Sony Open in Hawaii with a five-birdie finish – seven straight birdies between both events. … That streak of consecutive holes below par ranks first on TOUR this season. For the entire 2012 season, the top streak was also seven by Gay and Louis Oosthuizen.
9-degrees That’s the loft on Gay’s TaylorMade R1 driver fitted with an Oban Kiyoshi shaft. Gay averaged 279.9 yards off the tee at Humana – which ranked 75th in average distance for the week and isn’t going to impress any of the big hitters of the world. But nearly 280 yards off the tee is about 10 yards longer than Gay averaged a few years ago. While Gay hasn’t ranked higher than 177th on TOUR in distance in the past six years, he made the tough decision to make a swing change to help gain some length, as colleague Helen Ross wrote on Sunday night. … A “significant” swing change is a big chance to take in your 40s on TOUR, but Gay made it worthwhile.
22 Consecutive fairways hit by Gay at one point at Humana. That’s the longest fairways streak of the young season – and one that would have ranked 12th at year-end of 2012. ... Gay certainly knows his short grass. After a down year in 2012 – likely do to the swing changes -- he was fourth in driving accuracy in 2011 and has ranked in the top 10 in four of the past six seasons on TOUR.
63 The number of greens in regulation Jerry Kelly hit at Humana. ... That’s not too shabby -- it was tops for the week. So how did Kelly finish T47? The short game. Kelly didn’t make a putt longer than 15 feet, 3 inches all week. He also made four bogeys on the nine greens he missed. There is fine line between good and great each week on the PGA TOUR.
173 That’s the number of consecutive holes Matt Kuchar has gone without a three-putt in 2013. And, yes, the streak is current. … Impressive. For comparison, that streak would stand 44th for the entire 2012 season. Gay had the longest no three-putt streak last season at 353 holes. You have to wonder if Kuchar knows this. It’s certainly a feather in his cap and a streak you wouldn’t want to see end.
538 FedExCup points for Gay, the current leader. … A good start for Gay, but it’s not exactly a tasty recipe for future success. Last season, Johnson Wagner had 783 points through three events – all top 10s. Wagner finished 2012 20th in the points but failed to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. He also didn’t register a T25 in his final 18 events.
$5,747,096.00 That’s a pretty big pile of quarters. It’s also Tiger Woods’ career earnings at this week's Farmers Insurance Open near San Diego. … Woods has dominated at Torrey Pines with six wins at the Farmers, not to mention 11 top 10s in 12 events. He also won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where he beat Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff for the most recent of his 14 major championships.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge