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Stats Report
  • Strokes Gained at Travelers

  • Bubba Watson gained 1.5 shots per round on driving at the Travelers. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)Bubba Watson gained 1.5 shots per round on driving at the Travelers. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship on the second hole of a playoff against Paul Casey. It was Watson’s second win of the season, having captured the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions title in November. 

Interviewed after the round, Watson said, “I was hitting my driver good all week.”  Indeed, Watson led the field in strokes gained: driving for the week, gaining 1.5 strokes per round with his driver, almost 50 percent of his total strokes gained on the field. Watson’s gain came primarily from his length off the tee. He hit his tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes an average of 27 yards longer than the field. Although Watson hit 13 percent fewer fairways (and first cuts) than the field average, he didn’t hit a single tee shot into a penalty situation. The field hit an average of 2.5 percent of tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes into penalty situations. Here's a round-by-round strokes gained breakdown of Watson's play at the Travelers:

  Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)   Rank
Bubba Watson Total Drive Appr Short Putt out of
2015 Season 2.4 (3) 1.3 (1) 0.8 (7) -0.2 (171) 0.6 (16) 208
Travelers Championship 3.3 (1) 1.5 (1) 0.6 (24) -0.3 (57) 1.4 (10) 72
Round 1 7.1 (1) 2.2 (2) 2.5 (5) 0.2 (70) 2.2 (13) 156
Round 2 3.1 (14) 1.3 (25) 0.0 (84) -0.1 (85) 1.8 (17) 155
Round 3 0.4 (34) 1.3 (6) 0.0 (37) -0.5 (49) -0.4 (43) 72
Round 4 2.5 (14) 1.4 (3) 0.1 (31) -1.0 (58) 2.0 (6) 72

Paul Casey racked up his fifth second-place finish on the PGA TOUR, against a lone victory at the Shell Houston Open in 2009. Casey led the field in strokes gained from approach shots, gaining 2.5 strokes per round with his shots starting outside of 100 yards from the hole excluding tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes.  Here's a round-by-round strokes gained breakdown of Watson's play at the Travelers:

  Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)   Rank
Paul Casey Total Drive Appr Short Putt out of
2015 Season 1.5 (12) 0.5 (16) 1.1 (4) -0.1 (140) 0.0 (116) 208
Travelers Championship 3.3 (2) 0.2 (40) 2.5 (1) 0.0 (34) 0.6 (28) 72
Round 1 2.1 (28) 0.7 (41) -0.2 (94) 0.4 (53) 1.1 (42) 156
Round 2 2.1 (36) 0.1 (79) 2.5 (8) 0.9 (27) -1.4 (125) 155
Round 3 4.4 (5) -0.4 (51) 3.8 (1) 0.0 (32) 1.0 (21) 72
Round 4 4.5 (1) 0.3 (34) 4.0 (1) -1.3 (65) 1.5 (10) 72

Here's a strokes gained breakdown of the top-nine finishers at the Travelers:

  Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)  
Golfer Total Drive Appr Short Putt
Bubba Watson 3.3 (1) 1.5 (1) 0.6 (24) -0.3 (57) 1.4 (10)
Paul Casey 3.3 (2) 0.2 (40) 2.5 (1) 0.0 (34) 0.6 (28)
Brian Harman 3.0 (3) 0.7 (15) 1.7 (2) -0.2 (48) 0.8 (22)
Graham DeLaet 2.8 (4) 1.2 (2) 0.7 (17) -0.2 (45) 1.0 (16)
Carl Pettersson 2.5 (5) 0.9 (5) 0.7 (19) -0.5 (63) 1.4 (9)
Zach Johnson 2.3 (6) 0.7 (14) 0.7 (21) -0.2 (44) 1.0 (15)
Mark Wilson 2.0 (T7) -0.3 (61) 0.6 (28) 1.0 (5) 0.8 (23)
Bo Van Pelt 2.0 (T7) 0.4 (25) 1.1 (9) 0.7 (11) -0.2 (51)
Luke Donald 2.0 (T7) -0.8 (66) 0.1 (47) 1.0 (7) 1.7 (3)
Top 9 average 2.6 0.5 1.0 0.1 0.9
Fraction of total 100% 20% 38% 5% 37%

Casey’s final round 65 was the best score on Sunday, and it beat the field’s average of 69.5 by 4.5 strokes. Here’s a strokes gained breakdown of the final round for the top-nine finishers at the Travelers:

  Strokes gained in the final round (ranks in parentheses)  
Player Total Drive Appr Short Putt
Bubba Watson 2.5 (14) 1.4 (3) 0.1 (31) -1.0 (58) 2.0 (6)
Paul Casey 4.5 (1) 0.3 (34) 4.0 (1) -1.3 (65) 1.5 (10)
Brian Harman 0.5 (26) 0.5 (28) 0.9 (19) -1.7 (70) 0.8 (22)
Graham DeLaet 0.5 (32) 0.2 (36) -0.7 (52) -0.8 (54) 1.8 (9)
Carl Pettersson 3.5 (8) 1.6 (1) 0.0 (34) -0.1 (41) 2.0 (5)
Zach Johnson 0.5 (31) 0.0 (40) 0.9 (20) -1.5 (68) 1.1 (16)
Mark Wilson 1.5 (22) -0.2 (46) -0.2 (37) 1.4 (9) 0.5 (27)
Bo Van Pelt 3.5 (4) 1.3 (4) 2.5 (4) 1.1 (12) -1.4 (61)
Luke Donald 3.5 (6) -0.9 (57) 1.4 (12) 1.6 (7) 1.4 (13)
Ken Duke 3.5 (3) 0.7 (24) 1.9 (5) -0.3 (44) 1.2 (15)

For strokes gained analysis of other tournaments, see http://everyshotcounts.com/.

 
A very brief explanation of strokes gained: 
Strokes gained is a measure of the quality of a golf shot. A shot with positive strokes gained indicates a better-than-average shot for a PGA TOUR pro. For example, suppose on a difficult par-4 that the PGA TOUR average score is 4.2. An average drive for a PGA TOUR player would reduce the average strokes to hole out by one, from 4.2 to 3.2. If a player hit a long drive into the fairway where the PGA TOUR average strokes to hole out is 2.9, then the shot gained 0.3 strokes compared to the PGA TOUR average. If a player hit a short drive into the rough where the PGA TOUR average strokes to hole out is 3.4, then the shot lost 0.2 strokes compared to the PGA TOUR average. Strokes gained from all shots are accumulated and grouped into convenient categories to measure the performance of players in a round, tournament, or season. For example, the gain from all tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes is strokes gained driving measure. The gain from all shots starting outside 100 yards from the hole, excluding tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes, is strokes gained from approach shots.