January 4 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy columnist
Trying to determine who might have an advantage -- or perhaps a disadvantage -- at this week's season-opening event? Take a look at some of the key factors that could determine the winner.
The Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course, site of this week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions, ranked most difficult on the PGA TOUR in 2012 in both one-putt percentage and putts per round. It placed second in proximity to the hole. In looking at those three categories, here are the best and worst players in the field:
ONE-PUTT PERCENTAGE: FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker led the TOUR last year in that category, while Jonas Blixt ranked fifth overall. Charlie Beljan, on the other hand, ranked 190th, the next-to-last player who had enough rounds to statistically qualify (Boo Weekley, who's not in the field this week, ranked 191st).
PUTTS PER ROUND: Of the 30 at Kapalua, no one averaged fewer than Blixt's 27.89 putts per round. In fact, he was No. 1 on TOUR in that category. Snedeker was right behind in second place. J.J. Henry has the worst average of any player in this week's field, ranking 179th overall last year.
PROXIMITY TO THE HOLE: Defending champion Steve Stricker ranked first on TOUR at 32 feet, 1 inch last year. Jason Dufner ranked fourth at 32 feet, 11 inches. Those are the top two in the field. On the other end of the spectrum is Bill Haas, who averaged 38 feet, 7 inches to rank 184th on TOUR in 2012.