Welcome to this week’s edition of the Stats Insider, where we’ll take a closer look at Nick Taylor’s win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Just a reminder, ShotLink was only available for the two rounds at Pebble Beach this week.
1. STRIKE WHILE IRONS ARE HOT: Nick Taylor ranks in the top-25 of both driving accuracy and greens in regulation this season. That trend continued at Pebble Beach, where he was seventh in fairways hit (43 of 55, 78%) and third in greens hit (54 of 72, 75%).
2. ROLLING THE ROCK: Pebble Beach’s small, severly-sloped poa annua greens may be the hardest surfaces to putt on TOUR. Taylor didn’t have any problem with them. He made almost half his attempts between 10-20 feet in his two rounds at Pebble Beach. He gained nearly 6 strokes on the greens in just two rounds at Pebble Beach, ranking second in Strokes Gained: Putting. He didn’t hole a putt longer than 18 feet, but he made plenty of his mid-range attempts. He was 7 for 15 (47%) from 10-20 feet.
Pebble Beach has the lowest make percentage of putts from both 10-15 feet and 15-20 feet this season.
|TAYLOR'S PUTTING PROWESS AT PEBBLE|
|Distance||Taylor's make %||Field's make %|
|10-15 feet||50% (4/8)||24%|
|15-20 feet||43% (3/7)||16%|
3. PHIL’S TOP-10 STREAK: If Phil Mickelson had won, he would’ve set the PGA TOUR record for largest gap between first and last wins. His first win came on Jan. 10, 1991. Raymond Floyd currently holds that record. It was 28 years, 11 months, and 20 days between his wins in the 1963 St. Petersburg Open and 1992 Doral-Ryder Open.
Mickelson’s third-place finish did give him 30 consecutive seasons with a top-10 finish. He’s the third player to accomplish that feat. Sam Snead had top-10s in 34 consecutive seasons, while Floyd had them in 32 straight years.
4. SPIETH’S SUNDAY SURGE: Much has been written about Jordan Spieth’s weekend struggles, but Sunday was a positive sign. His 67 was the low round of the day, vaulting him up 46 spots into a tie for ninth. Spieth led the field in both Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach. He gained +4.6 strokes with his approach play alone Sunday. That was his best Strokes Gained: Approach performance in three years, since the first round of the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii.
5. RORY REACHES NO. 1: Rory McIlroy wasn’t in action but he still returned to No. 1 in the world ranking before this week’s Genesis Invitational. It’s the first McIlroy has been No. 1 since Sept. 19, 2015. That span of 1,605 days between stints at No. 1 is the longest in the world ranking’s history, and by a large margin.
|BIGGEST GAPS BETWEEN TIME AT NO. 1|
|Name||Lost No. 1||Regained No. 1||Days|
|Rory McIlroy||Sept. 19, 2015||Feb. 10, 2020||1,605|
|Greg Norman||Feb. 2, 1991||Feb. 6, 1994||1,100|
|Tiger Woods||Oct. 30, 2010||March 25, 2013||877|
|Rory McIlroy||March 24, 2013||Aug. 3, 2014||497|
|Seve Ballesteros||Sept. 13, 1986||Nov. 22, 1987||435|