Inside Shotlink: Hyundai TOC, Round 2

January 08, 2012
Alex Turnbull, PGA TOUR

Odds and ends on some of the players near the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

STEVE STRICKER (15-under par) • Steve Stricker fired a 10-under 63 in the second round Saturday to take a five-shot lead heading into the 3rd round of the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Stricker's five-shot lead is the largest since David Duval's five-shot lead back in 1999 (went on to win).

• Today marked Stricker's 5th career bogey-free round and 15th consecutive round of par or better on the Plantation Course.

• Stricker currently ranks 2nd for proximity to the hole averaging 8 feet closer to the pin than the field on all approach shots.

• It's no surprise that his wedge game has been on point this week. He's currently averaging nearly 16 feet closer than the field on approach shots inside 125 yards.

• Here's a closer look at Stricker's dominant wedge game on TOUR in last 7 years on TOUR.

Steve Stricker's approach shots from inside 125 yards
Year Proximity Rank Birdie Pct Rank
2011 15'0" 1st 29% 6th
2010 15'11" 9th 28% 11th
2009 14'10" 1st 33% 1st
2008 15'10" T5 26% 29th
2007 14'2" 1st 30% 2nd
2006 16'4" 8th 25% 35th
2005 14'3" 1st 32% 1st

Dominant Wedge Game Key for Stricker: Steve Stricker has one of the best wedge games on TOUR in recent years. He's led on approach shots inside 125 yards in 4 of the last 7 years not ranking worse than 9th.

Breakdown of all shots: Since 2005, Stricker has been faced with 1,233 approach shots measuring from 50 to 125 yards in the fairway. Over this stretch he's averaged just over 15 feet to the pin and is a combined 269 under par converting birdie on 1 in every 3 approach shots from this distance.

• Past Winners on the Greens: Three of the last four winners have led the field for putting en route to victory. Seven of the last eight winners have either ranked first or second in putting en route to their victory.

Steve Stricker is currently outperforming the field by more than 6.5 shots with his putter through two rounds leading the field for Strokes Gained-Putting.

WEBB SIMPSON (10-under par) Webb Simpson was one of the most consistent players on TOUR in 2011. He carded a TOUR-leading 21 top-25 finishes in his 26 starts including 12 top-tens and two wins. Simpson finished No. 2 in the final 2011 FedExCup standings.

• Simpson led the TOUR for stroke average playing a TOUR-leading 60 of 98 total rounds in the 60's (10 more rounds in the 60's than any other player).

• Simpson was strong in nearly every facet of the game in 2011, ranking 24th in total driving, T-7th in ball striking, 4th on approach shots inside 125 yds, 16th for scrambling, and T-57th for Strokes Gained-Putting.

• All of these impressive numbers yielded 13 eagles (6th most), 415 birdies (2nd most) and just over 2 bogeys per round -- 2nd lowest bogey average on TOUR (2.08 bogeys per round).

The Most Under Par in 2011: No one was more under par in 2011 than Webb Simpson. In his 1,764 holes played he was a combined 175 under par (48 more under par than any other player on TOUR). The next closest player to Simpson in terms of total under par was Stricker at 127 under.

• This Week: Simpson is currently T-1st for greens in regulation missing just 4 greens through two rounds on the Plantation Course (T-1st with 4 other players).

Avoiding bogeys: In 2011, Simpson ranked 2nd on TOUR for bogey average (2.08 per round). He continues his strong form this week with just two bogeys through two rounds (T-2nd).

Kevin Na's 2011 rankings
Stat Rank on TOUR
Total Driving 186th*
Ball Striking 186th*
Greens in Reg. 180th
Scrambling 9th
Putts Gained 8th
*Out of 186 players ranked on TOUR

KEVIN NA (9-under par) • Kevin Na closed his 2nd round with an 8-under par 29 on the back 9 tying the low back 9 scoring record on the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Prior to converting a 10-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole Saturday, Na holed out for eagle from 221 yards on the 17th hole becoming the first player at this event to finish his round with backto- back eagles. The last and only other player to eagle the 17th hole here was Darren Clarke back in 2004 during the 3rd round from 172 yards.

• In 2011, there were 186 players officially ranked on the PGA TOUR. Kevin Na was the last ranked player in both total driving and ball striking. However, he made up for it with his short game and putting ranking 9th for scrambling and 8th for putts gained.

Perfect 18 for 18: Kevin Na has played 672 total rounds on the PGA TOUR in his 213 career events played. Over this time span he has hit all 18 greens in a round on 3 separate occasions more recently during the 2nd round today. Today's perfect 18 for 18 marked the first time he's accomplished his feat since the 2nd round of the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. This works out to hitting all 18 greens in a round once every 224 rounds played on TOUR for Na.