Aon Risk Reward Challenge: January preview
January 14, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- January 14, 2020
- A look at the par-5 16th hole at the PGA West Stadium Course. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
The Aon Risk Reward Challenge is a unique, season-long competition on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour that highlights golf’s best strategic decision makers. The top player, from each Tour, at the end of the season will receive an equal $1 million prize. Brooks Koepka and Carlota Ciganda won the Aon Risk Reward Challenge last season.
Here are the next three Aon Risk Reward holes:
The American Express (PGA West Stadium Course)
16th hole - Par 5, 560 yards (Stroke Average last year: 4.59)
Adam Long made two pars on the hole on the way to capturing his first victory last year, but it was the second easiest hole on the course, with a 4.590 stroke average. There were 96 birdies and six eagles compared to just 11 bogeys and two double-bogeys.
The 16th ranked in the top third of easiest par 5 fairways to hit on TOUR last season (71.3%). Since 2016, the average drive of players going for the green is 300 yards.
Although it’s 560 yards on the card, it played 549 in the final round. Since 2016, 86% of players who found the fairway off the tee went for the green. Players who go for the green have a 60% chance of making birdie or better when avoiding the greenside bunker on their second shot.
Farmers Insurance Open (Torrey Pines South)A look at the 18th hole at Torrey Pines South. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
18th hole - Par 5, 570 yards (Stroke Average last year: 4.69)
Justin Rose went par, bogey, birdie on the hole on the way to victory last year. (He opened the tournament on Torrey Pines North.) His bogey, in the third round, was the result of going for the green in two but hitting his second shot into Devlin’s Billabong, the tiny greenside water hazard.
The 18th has the second most birdies of any hole at Torrey Pines South since 2015. This, despite the fact that it was the 8th toughest fairway to hit (54%) of any finishing hole on TOUR last season. Since 2015, players hitting the fairway make birdie or better 42% of the time while that percentage drops to 29% for those who miss the fairway.
When taking on the green in two, avoiding the water in front is a must. Of the players that have found the water with their second, 29% were able to salvage par.
Waste Management Phoenix Open (TPC Scottsdale)The 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale. (Tracy Wilcox/Getty Images)
17th hole - Par 4, 332 yards (Stroke Average last season: 3.74)
The driveable hole often plays shorter than it states on the scorecard, tempting most players to go for it despite the water left of the green.
Since 2015, 78% of players have gone for the green off the tee and 48% of the players who have gone for the green have made birdie or better. All is not lost, though, for those who go for it and fail. Players have a 42% chance of making par or better even if the tee shot finds the water.
The 17th was the third easiest hole on the course last year, giving up 145 birdies and five eagles compared to just 33 bogeys, five double-bogeys, and two others.