2012 statistical breakdown: Approach shots to the green

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Steve Stricker led the TOUR in proximity to the hole and approach shots within 125 yards in 2012.
November 17, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

Justin Rose was tops in iron play in 2012. He hit 70.34 percent of his greens in regulation. Steve Stricker ranked first in proximity to the hole at 32 feet, 1 inch.

Rory McIlroy hit the highest percentage of greens from the fairway while big-hitting Charlie Beljan was tops in hitting greens from the rough. Another long hitter, Robert Garrigus, was the best player in hitting greens from long distances. Stricker was the best from inside 125 yards.

Greens in regulation (highest)
Rank Player Rounds played Percentage
1 Justin Rose 69 70.34
2 Bubba Watson 68 69.95
3 Lee Westwood 60 69.75
4 Camilo Villegas 79 69.55
5 Boo Weekley 74 69.53
6 Russell Knox 72 69.36
7 Robert Garrigus 89 69.23
T8 Brendon de Jonge 115 69.17
T8 Jason Dufner 83 69.17
10 John Merrick 83 69.13
Greens in regulation (lowest)
Rank Player Rounds played Percentage
180 Tommy Biershenk 74 59.89
179 Brendon Todd 78 60.00
178 J.J. Killeen 101 60.27
177 Derek Lamely 64 60.30
176 Justin Leonard 79 60.44
175 Chris DiMarco 83 60.55
174 Ryuji Imada 78 60.60
173 Spencer Levin 81 60.97
172 David Mathis 83 61.04
171 Harrison Frazar 56 61.21
Proximity stat leaders
Stat Leader Average TOUR average
Proximity to hole Steve Stricker 32'1" 36'0"
Fairway proximity Rory McIlroy 28'1" 31'9"
Rough proximity Charlie Beljan 35'11" 44'3"
Approaches outside 200 yards Robert Garrigus 41'3" 50'1"
175 to 200 yards Robert Garrigus 30'0" 34'4"
150 to 175 yards Graeme McDowell 22'8" 28'0"
125 to 150 yards Kyle Thompson 17'4" 23'3"
Inside 125 yards Steve Stricker 14'8" 18'10"
Approach shots inside 100 yards
Rank Player Rounds played Average distance
1 Steve Stricker 73 12' 1"
2 Padraig Harrington 67 13' 4"
3 Bo Van Pelt 84 13' 5"
4 Nick O'Hern 78 13' 6"
5 Roland Thatcher 55 13' 8"
6 Webb Simpson 77 13' 9"
T7 Marc Leishman 84 13' 11"
T7 Graeme McDowell 55 13' 11"
9 Martin Laird 77 14' 0"
T10 Brian Gay 91 14' 2"
T10 Ryuji Imada 78 14' 2"

Here are some other approach shot statistics:

Approach stat leaders
Stat Player Number TOUR average
Birdie or better -- fairway Rory McIlroy 29.39% 21.36%
Birdie or better -- rough Webb Simpson 24.32% 13.70%
Birdie or better -- inside 125 yards Zach Johnson 31.52% 22.28%
Going for the green Bubba Watson 80.61% 51.42%
Going for the green -- Birdie or better Louis Oosthuizen 68.63% 55.64%
Hole outs Jimmy Walker 20 6
Approach shot facts
Lowest greens in regulation by a winner Bill Haas, Northern Trust Open 50 percent
Most consecutive greens hit in regulation Chad Campbell, McGladrey Classic 35
Number of players to hit 18 greens in a round 15 (16 times) Campbell did it twice
Longest hole-outs
Rank Player Yardage Event Round Hole
1 Sam Saunders 229 Humana 3 5
2 Diego Velasquez 222 Texas Open 2 13
3 Kevin Na 220 Hyundai T of C 2 17
4 Kris Blanks 218 Transitions Chp 4 17
5 Dicky Pride 217 St. Jude 2 18
6 Sergio Garcia 206 Northern Trust 4 15
7 Billy Mayfair 202 RBC Heritage 1 7
8 Ryan Moore 201 Arnold Palmer 1 7
9 Anthony Kim 200 Arnold Palmer 1 17
10 Roberto Castro 198 Wells Fargo 1 3

• Seven players and eight winners led the field in greens in regulation en route to their respective victories. Tiger Woods led both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance en route to victory (only player to lead twice en route to victory).

Greens in regulation improvement
Player 2012 rank Percentage 2011 rank Percentage Difference
Camilo Villegas 4 69.55 163 62.5 159
Sean O'Hair 21 68.25 152 63.17 131
Nathan Green 43 66.92 166 62.34 123
Daniel Summerhays 28 67.68 150 63.24 122
Roland Thatcher 25 67.8 130 64.26 105
Ryan Moore 61 66.35 155 62.89 94
Ben Curtis 13 68.87 87 65.82 74
Stuart Appleby 106 64.79 175 61.62 69
Robert Garrigus 7 69.23 72 66.13 65
Rocco Mediate 104 64.84 168 62.16 64
Greens in regulation decline
Player 2012 rank Percentage 2011 rank Percentage Difference
Spencer Levin 173 60.97 35 67.99 -138
Gary Woodland 124 64.01 12 69.41 -112
Tommy Gainey 158 62.3 48 67 -110
Trevor Immelman 139 63.45 31 68.12 -108
Billy Mayfair 123 64.02 23 68.77 -100
Brian Davis 138 63.47 40 67.35 -98
Brandt Jobe 110 64.68 14 69.16 -96
Aaron Baddeley 190 58.1 97 65.48 -93
Chris Stroud 140 63.37 48 67 -92
Nick O'Hern 143 63.29 58 66.67 -85

• A number of players improved in greens hit in 2012 -- Camilo Villegas jumped from 163rd to fourth, for instance -- while a number of players -- such as Spencer Levin and Gary Woodland -- took a dip.