Justin Rose tees off on the difficult 18th hole in last season's final round at TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral.
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
First-time PGA TOUR winner Michael Thompson could be considered a surprise champion at The Honda Classic. But his statistics -- mainly the improvement he made at PGA National compared to 2012 -- are even more shocking.
Thompson improved in ranking more than 100 spots in two critical statistics when comparing 2012 to The Honda Classic. We'll take a look at that and dive into the teeth of TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral -- site of this week's World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship -- by going inside the numbers.
No. 10 The 508-yard 10th hole at PGA National played as the most difficult of the week at The Honda Classic. The average score on the 10th was 4.403, which is the most difficult hole on the PGA TOUR thus far in 2013. … An average of 4.403 would put the hole in the top 10 most-difficult on TOUR in most seasons. The 10th yielded just 15 birdies all week, three of which came on Sunday when it played the most difficult with a 4.680 average. Surprisingly, the highest single-round average came at the par-4 11th during Round 3 at 4.800.
12th The secret to success for Justin Rose in winning last year’s WGC-Cadillac Championship? Do everything well. Rose ranked 12th in all-around at the event. … Rose ranked in the top 30 in arguably the six most important statistics on TOUR at the Cadillac. He was 28th in driving distance, T18 in driving accuracy, T17 in greens in regulation, 6th in scrambling, 29th in strokes gained-putting and T5 in proximity to the hole. That’s pretty solid.
No. 18 The 467-yard par-4 hole at TPC Blue Monster ranked as the second-most difficult hole on the PGA TOUR last season at 4.539. Only No. 6 at The Olympic Club ranked tougher (4.544), which was during the U.S. Open. … The 18th ranked 33rd in 2011 and 101st in 2010. The signature hole at Trump Doral features a large water hazard down the left-hand side and plenty of tree trouble and bunkers on the right. The wind plays a huge factor as well – par feels a lot like birdie against the wind.
48 of 72 Michael Thompson hit 48 of 72 greens in regulation in winning The Honda Classic, ranking T5 in the category on the week. … That doesn’t even sound very impressive. But consider GIR leader Peter Hanson hit 51 greens at difficult PGA National. Also consider how much of an improvement compared to the field it was for Thompson. For the 2012 season, he ranked 144th in GIR. He was also spot-on with this driving accuracy, ranking T9 at PGA National at 71.43 percent compared to 126th (59.43 percent) at year-end of 2012.
66.22 percent Scrambling rate through four events for Lee Westwood. That ranks 21st on TOUR. … Why is this important? Well, consider Westwood finished 2012 ranked 191st (48.3 percent) in scrambling – one of the weaker aspects of his golf game. One of the reasons Westwood moved his family from England to South Florida in the offseason was to get his short game in better shape. So far, it appears to have helped.
68th Tiger Woods’ all-around rank at The Honda Classic, where he finished T37. … There are plenty of positives when breaking down Woods’ stats from PGA National. He was T11 in greens in regulation, T3 in eagles per hole, T10 in driving distance and T3 in proximity to the hole. But Woods ranked T46 in birdie average – which is likely a result of his strokes gained-putting rank of 38th at .270, meaning he picked up only about one shot on the field average for the week via putting. Woods was also T47 in scrambling, making par or better from off the green only 13 of 25 times.
309.6 Driving distance for PGA TOUR leader Nicolas Colsaerts. … The Belgian bomber is certainly living up to his namesake. It will be interesting to see if Colsaerts can stay on top throughout the season. He had an average of 315.2 in a limited schedule in 2012. Furthermore, it will be equally as interesting to see where he ends up. It's doubtful he will challenge Hank Kuehne's all-time high average of 321.4 set in 2003. But considering the uneven weather so far on TOUR, there’s no telling what Colsaerts can do in the summer heat.
1,282 FedExCup points for leader Brandt Snedeker. … Snedeker, who is sitting out Cadillac due to a rib injury, is way ahead of the 2012 pace through this point. Last season, Kyle Stanley led the TOUR with 935 points.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge