Stats suggest McDowell, Johnson, Kuchar among favorites
July 16, 2014
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
- Graeme McDowell is the favorite to win The Open Championship, according to our formula. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Well, here we go again. After attempting to pick a U.S. Open champion based on a stats formula in June -- with marginal success -- we've decided to give it another crack for The Open Championship, which begins early Thursday morning at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England.
The formula is simple. Add up three PGA TOUR statistical ranks for players in The Open field, specifically three that are well-suited for Royal Liverpool. Unfortuately, the PGA TOUR does not have a stat associated with best bad weather players on TOUR -- because clearly that would be ideal. One more area to address: Players who are not regulars on the PGA TOUR will not be included below. These selections are only based on players who qualify for PGA TOUR stats.
For statistics, I've decided to go with putting from inside of 10 feet, driving accuracy and proximity to the hole on approach shots. I've opted against scrambling -- my favorite stat and arguably the most important one in golf -- in favor of putting inside of 10 feet, which is usually half of scrambling, anyway. I'm taking accuracy off the tee because the thought is distance won't be that big of a factor on this course. I'm also taking proximity because it will be important to be as close as possible to the hole on Liverpool's large greens.
As stated in our formula for Pinehurst, there are theories for and against this approach. Some would argue other stats are more critical this week, but this is what we're riding with.
So without further delay, here are the top 15 players in The Open Championship field with the lowest combined stats total when adding up their ranking in putting inside of 10 feet, driving accuracy and proximity to the hole.
|Golfer||Putting Inside 10'||Driving Accuracy
|1. Graeme McDowell
|2. Zach Johnson
|3. Billy Hurley||38||8||28||74|
|4. Matt Kuchar
|5. Jim Furyk
|6. Brendon Todd||10||35||56||101|
|7. Ryan Moore||86||15||24||125|
|8. Kevin Na||58||33||43||134|
|8. Sergio Garcia||67||53||14||134|
|10. K.J. Choi||35||64||40||139|
|11. Ben Martin||31||62||48||141|
|12. Freddie Jacobson||3||113||28||144|
|12. David Hearn
|14. Luke Donald
|15. Adam Scott||19||67||80||166|