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2007 U.S. Open Scores

Jun. 19, 2007     By     Comments (2)

How did Oakmont play? How penal was the rough? How tricky were the slick greens? Find out.

The Numbers GameWe all know how hard the U.S. Open is, and we knew how hard the it was going to be at Oakmont Country Club, but did it live up to expectations?

This week we'll take a look at a few of the more interesting statistics from the 107th playing of the U.S. Open.

The Numbers
You can count the number of sub-par rounds (all eight of them) on my hands. Oakmont lived up to the hype. Last year, Winged Foot gave up twice as many (16) sub-par rounds. How hard were each of the holes?

Hole  Average    Diff     Rank
----  -------    ----     ----
1      4.518     +.518      3
2      4.155     +.155     14
3      4.374     +.374      9
4      5.055     +.055     17
5      4.242     +.242     12
6      3.306     +.306     11
7      4.432     +.432      6
8      3.452     +.452      5
9      4.495     +.495      4
10     4.530     +.530      2
11     4.205     +.205     13
12     5.411     +.411      7
13     3.112     +.112     15
14     4.053     +.053     18
15     4.389     +.389      8
16     3.323     +.323     10
17     4.066     +.066     16
18     4.602     +.602      1
----     -----
Total    75.72

Look at all the "+" signs in the third column. Not a single hole at Oakmont played under par. The short par-four 14th and the par-five fourth were closest at +.053 and +.055 respectively.

The two-shot holes averaged a third (0.33) strokes over par. The par threes, including the 288-yard eighth, averaged 0.29 strokes above par. The "easy" holes, the pair of par fives, tallied about a quarter (0.23) strokes above par.

In order of hole length, the rankings for the week have a few surprises:

Hole  Yards    Diff
----  -----    ----
13     183     +.112
6      194     +.306
16     231     +.323
8      288     +.452
17     313     +.066
2      341     +.155
14     358     +.053
11     379     +.205
5      382     +.242
3      428     +.374
10     462     +.530
9      477     +.495
7      479     +.432
1      482     +.518
18     484     +.602
15     500     +.389
4      609     +.055
12     667     +.411

The Price of Driving
I'm not talking about the gas prices! If your tee shots landed in the rough last week, the price you paid seemed just about as high. With only 52% of the fairways hit this week, players had plenty of experience from the rough.

H.C. Fownes is famous for saying that "a shot poorly played should be a shot irrevocably lost." The rough at the U.S. Open seems to enforce that belief, but in the end, the rough resulted in a 0.558 stroke penalty. Combined with the 52% driving accuracy rate (i.e. 6.72 missed fairways per 14 holes), we can calculate that missing the fairway increased the average golfer's score by 3.75 strokes per round. With the 75.72 scoring average, that still leaves 1.97 strokes per round for missed greens and three-putts.

The Greens
I do not think I have ever seen pros as scared of greens as they were at Oakmont. Putt after putt came up short, and players talked about needing perfect speed to hole putts. The best putter at the tournament averaged 28.5 putts per round (good enough for only T18 on the 2007 PGA Tour stats). The field averaged 31.5 putts per round; 30.90 is the highest ranking (186th, Jeff Gove) on the PGA Tour in 2007. Yow!

Conclusion
Oakmont lived up to the hype: the thick rough, the tight fairways, and the fast greens all affected scoring. This is one U.S. Open that lived up to - and perhaps exceeded - expectations.

This article was written by guest author Harry Solomon, an active member of our forum.

Discussion

  1. richard says:

    All tour courses should force the players, vying for high stakes, to perform vastly better -- and differently -- than at the driving range and on the practice putting surface. Oakmont was the quintessential example of what such courses should demand: physical and mental adjustment, invention, imagination, precision, endurance.
    Business as usual may be OK for the LPGA, but should never toss over multi-million dollar purses to the first ten PGA members who ho--hum around a pussy-cat course. That was certainly the way it was before Tiger changed the scene, and with it everyone's preparation.

  2. Bruce says:

    Given that Oakmont's rating is about 78, I'd say, on average that they did a little bit better than shooting their handicap. I was there for two days and witnessed the carnage. When I'm shooting my handicap, I miss a few more putts and have about the same number of screwed up approach shots. I think it was a fair test. I think -10 to -20 winning scores are not a lot of fun to watch (unless it would happen to me). :wink:

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