ShotLink: Inside the keys to victory at Torrey Pines

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Bubba Watson's let-it-hang-out style was the perfect way to attack Torrey Pines in 2011.
January 23, 2012
Alex Turnbull, Shotlink

Tee to Green: 2011 Farmers Insurance Open champion Bubba Watson had a great ball-striking week, ranking third in total driving and first in ball-striking. Watson led the field in driving distance (316 yard average), greens in regulation (82 percent) and proximity to the hole (25 ft 10 in).

Watson was just the second Farmers Insurance Open champion to lead the field in driving distance en route to victory (Tiger Woods -- 1999).

On the 18th hole: Watson hit his bunker shot 12 feet 5 inches from the pin, leaving a tricky downhill putt for birdie. In 2010, Watson ranked 124th on TOUR in sand saves getting up and down less than half of the time (47 percent). Standing over his putt to win on the 72nd hole, Watson had made just made just one of 10 putts from 10 to 15 feet on the South Course for the week.

Total domination: Bubba Watson was the only 2011 player to lead the field in both driving distance and greens in regulation and win in the same week (he did it twice -- he also did it during his victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans).

Better iron play in 2011 for Watson: Bubba Watson has improved his greens in regulation percentage in each of the last three years on TOUR. In 2009, he ranked T-132nd (64 percent), in 2010 he ranked 55th (68 percent) and last year ninth, hitting nearly 70 percent of his greens.

Most aggressive player on TOUR in 2011: No one was more aggressive on the par-5s and reachable par-4s in 2011 than Bubba Watson. Watson went for it almost 75 percent of the time. That approach led to him birdieing the par-5s over half the time (54 percent). This led the TOUR.

Longest courses on TOUR in 2011
Course Par Yardage Stroke average Tournament
Torrey Pines South 72 7698 72.792 Farmers Insurance Open
Cog Hill G&CC 71 7616 71.54 BMW Championship
Congressional Country Club 71 7574 72.993 U.S. Open
Trump Internatational 72 7526 71.534 Puerto Rico Open
Magnolia GC 72 7516 71.367 CMN Hospitals Classic

Torrey Pines South is the longest course of the year on the PGA TOUR:

Driving accuracy percentage on the North Course
Year Driving accuracy percentage Rank on TOUR
2011 39.80 percent Toughest
2010 50.50 percent 5th toughest
2009 43.10 percent Toughest
2008 52.20 percent 5th toughest
2007 48.60 percent 3rd toughest
2006 45.20 percent 2nd toughest

Torrey Pines North has the toughest fairways to hit on the PGA TOUR, but with a lack of trees and manageable rough, scores are still lower on the North Course (72.792 vs. 70.987).

Course Sand save percentage Event
Royal St. George's 34.28 percent British Open
Torrey Pines North 37.71 percent Farmers Insurance Open
TPC San Antonio 39.66 percent Valero Texas Open
Augusta National 40.29 percent The Masters
The Old White TPC 40.78 percent The Greenbrier Classic

The real test on the North Course is its bunkers, because the bunkering is one of the main lines of defense for the 6,874-yard track: