INSIDE THE NUMBERS
February 10, 2014
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
- Jimmy Walker ranks third in strokes gained-putting despite ranking 44th at Pebble Beach. (Dunn/Getty Images)
Jimmy Walker became just the fourth player since 1999 to win at least three times in his first eight starts or less in a PGA TOUR season on Sunday, joining the elite company of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval. Surprisingly, Walker's putting wasn't the sharpest during the week. We'll look at that and more by going inside the numbers ...
-.332 Walker’s strokes gained-putting at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which ranked 44th in the field (two measured rounds). … That number is the third-worst by an event champion in the past five seasons on the PGA TOUR. Only Jason Dufner (-.387, 4 measured rounds) at the 2012 HP Bryon Nelson Championship and Dustin Johnson (-.798, 2 measured rounds) at the 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am have had a lower SGP number. The stat is a bit of a misnomer, as Walker registered just 79 putts through the first three rounds to lead the field in total putting. Combined, Walker had 111 total putts in four rounds to rank third in the field. For the season, Walker ranks third in strokes gained at 1.330.
5 Since 1970, the number of players to win three or more times in the first 12 events of a PGA TOUR season. Walker became the fifth on Sunday … Johnny Miller won four times in his first eight starts in 1974 and won three times in eight starts in ’75. Hubert Green had three wins in his first nine events of ’76. David Duval had three wins in his first seven starts of 1999. Tiger Woods (2000, 03, 08) opened with three wins in a season’s first 12 events three times, including in 2008 when he won his first three starts.
80.95 percent Walker’s scrambling percentage at Pebble Beach, where he made par or better on 17 of 21 missed greens to finish second in the field. … Scrambling and greens in regulation were the only major stats that Walker finished inside the top 20. Still, he was second in par-4 scoring at 4 under for the week vs. a field average of 4 over.
757 Walker’s FedExCup lead through the season’s first 12 events … That’s the biggest lead at this point in the season by a mile. Woods had the second-biggest lead at 323 after winning the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship last season.
3,605.833 Walker’s Ryder Cup points, which led the list of U.S. players. … Walker owns more than a 1,000-point lead over second-place Dustin Johnson. Tiger Woods ranks 31st.