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billchao

Strokes Gained Stats at the PGA Championship

16 posts in this topic

http://www.pgatour.com/statsreport/2014/08/11/strokes-gained-at-the-pga.html

More great stats stuff from Mark Broadie. Want to know why Rory won?

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

Golfer

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy

4.1 (1)

1.4 (2)

1.4 (5)

0.2 (44)

1.1 (12)

Phil Mickelson

3.9 (2)

0.4 (25)

0.8 (18)

0.9 (10)

1.7 (5)

Rickie Fowler

3.6 (T3)

0.9 (11)

0.9 (17)

0.8 (15)

1.1 (13)

Henrik Stenson

3.6 (T3)

0.6 (21)

0.8 (22)

0.0 (51)

2.3 (1)

Jim Furyk

3.1 (T5)

0.2 (34)

0.7 (25)

1.4 (3)

0.9 (17)

Ryan Palmer

3.1 (T5)

0.5 (22)

0.1 (53)

1.9 (1)

0.6 (29)

Steve Stricker

2.9 (T7)

-0.8 (73)

1.6 (4)

-0.1 (53)

2.2 (2)

Ernie Els

2.9 (T7)

0.7 (17)

0.4 (40)

0.8 (12)

1.0 (16)

Hunter Mahan

2.9 (T7)

0.7 (19)

0.9 (16)

0.5 (23)

0.8 (21)

Mikko Ilonen

2.9 (T7)

0.1 (43)

-0.1 (58)

1.1 (7)

1.8 (4)

Jimmy Walker

2.9 (T7)

-0.6 (68)

1.8 (2)

0.9 (11)

0.9 (18)

Victor Dubuisson

2.9 (T7)

1.5 (1)

0.3 (43)

1.7 (2)

-0.6 (61)

Top 12 average

3.2

0.5

0.8

0.8

1.1

Fraction of total

100%

14%

25%

26%

35%

Hint: it's not his chipping and putting.

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Not surprising. It is surprising though that he was not ranked 1st in strokes gained driving. Dubuisson must have hit nearly every fairway. Also, McIlroy's putting was better than I imagined - he gained 1.1 strokes on the field per round. That's the difference between 1st and 4th place. So it's not fair to say that putting had no factor in his win.
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Wow great post. Stenson a better putter at PGA than I realized. Dubuisson a better driver than I thought.
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Not surprising. It is surprising though that he was not ranked 1st in strokes gained driving. Dubuisson must have hit nearly every fairway.

The article said that it was basically due to his tee shot on the 4th hole during round 3 that was the difference. Really, 0.4 strokes for the tournament isn't much of a difference.

Also, McIlroy's putting was better than I imagined - he gained 1.1 strokes on the field per round. That's the difference between 1st and 4th place. So it's not fair to say that putting had no factor in his win.

I don't really want to split hairs about this, but yea, I agree that his putting did make a difference; he putt pretty well. But, the biggest factor is the 2.8 strokes per round from his long game, so I'd still confidently say it was his long game that won.

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The article said that it was basically due to his tee shot on the 4th hole during round 3 that was the difference. Really, 0.4 strokes for the tournament isn't much of a difference. I don't really want to split hairs about this, but yea, I agree that his putting did make a difference; he putt pretty well. But, the biggest factor is the 2.8 strokes per round from his long game, so I'd still confidently say it was his long game that won.

Yup, if he had the field's average for long game he would have finished at T29th. If he had the field's average short game and putting he would have finished T6th. So yeah, long game definitely played a more important role. But if he putted average relative to the field he would not have won. A combination of good driving, approach, and putting gave him the win.

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http://www.golfdigest.com/blogs/the-loop/2014/08/a-master-statistician-reveals.html

So why did Rory McIlroy walk home with the Wanamaker Trophy? According to Broadie's article, which is definitely worth reading in its entirety , it was because of his long game.

Here's a selection from the piece:

McIlroy led in strokes gained from the long game (shots starting outside of 100 yards from the hole), gaining nearly three strokes per round on the field. That represented 70 percent of his total gain of 4.1 strokes per round against the field. He was second in strokes gained/driving and fifth in stokes gained from approach shots, with each contributing 1.4 strokes per round. (About the only reason McIlroy wasn't first in strokes gained/driving was his tee shot on the fourth hole in the third round that led to a penalty stroke.)

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You mean he didn't "putt for dough"?! ;-)

Great article.

Good to see evidence of Phil's putting coming back too, but his long game really cost him in the end.

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http://thesandtrap.com/t/76488/strokes-gained-stats-at-the-pga-championship#post_1039272 Related thread earlier. Combine? Good chart in it showing where top players gained strokes on field.
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Merged.

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The Top 12 at the PGA scored 3.2 shots better than the field per round on average with 1.1 strokes of the out performance coming on the greens, 0.8 each from short game and approach shots and 0.5 from Driving according to http://www.pgatour.com/statsreport/2014/08/11/strokes-gained-at-the-pga.html

Rory drove the ball almost as well as he has all year gaining 1.4 strokes on the field for the PGA (2nd best) compared to 1.5 (1st) for the season.  His approaches and putting was better than during the season as a whole.  Good ball striking (best combined driving and approaches) along with good putting is what won him the tournament as his short game (non-putting) only gained him 0.2 strokes.

Dubuisson gained the most driving, but was the only other player in the Top 12 who was in the Top 10 driving.  Tiger and Jimmy Walker both drove the ball poorly with Walker being much better than Tiger in approach shots and putting (and both being good with their non-putting short game)

Fowler was good in all areas, while Mickelson, Stricker and Stenson's strongest area was putting.

Here's a strokes gained breakdown of the top 12 finishers at the PGA Championship:

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

Golfer

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy

4.1 (1)

1.4 (2)

1.4 (5)

0.2 (44)

1.1 (12)

Phil Mickelson

3.9 (2)

0.4 (25)

0.8 (18)

0.9 (10)

1.7 (5)

Rickie Fowler

3.6 (T3)

0.9 (11)

0.9 (17)

0.8 (15)

1.1 (13)

Henrik Stenson

3.6 (T3)

0.6 (21)

0.8 (22)

0.0 (51)

2.3 (1)

Jim Furyk

3.1 (T5)

0.2 (34)

0.7 (25)

1.4 (3)

0.9 (17)

Ryan Palmer

3.1 (T5)

0.5 (22)

0.1 (53)

1.9 (1)

0.6 (29)

Steve Stricker

2.9 (T7)

-0.8 (73)

1.6 (4)

-0.1 (53)

2.2 (2)

Ernie Els

2.9 (T7)

0.7 (17)

0.4 (40)

0.8 (12)

1.0 (16)

Hunter Mahan

2.9 (T7)

0.7 (19)

0.9 (16)

0.5 (23)

0.8 (21)

Mikko Ilonen

2.9 (T7)

0.1 (43)

-0.1 (58)

1.1 (7)

1.8 (4)

Jimmy Walker

2.9 (T7)

-0.6 (68)

1.8 (2)

0.9 (11)

0.9 (18)

Victor Dubuisson

2.9 (T7)

1.5 (1)

0.3 (43)

1.7 (2)

-0.6 (61)

Top 12 average

3.2

0.5

0.8

0.8

1.1

Fraction of total

100%

14%

25%

26%

35%

Here's how McIlroy's play in the PGA Championship compares to his play throughout the season:

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy during win

4.1 (1)

1.4 (2)

1.4 (5)

0.2 (44)

1.1 (12)

Rory McIlroy during season

2.9 (1)

1.5 (1)

0.7 (11)

0.2 (60)

0.5 (19)

Difference

1.3

0.0

0.7

0.0

0.6

Mark Broadie Bobby Donnelly 16 hours ago

Tiger Woods: Total -1.7 (73), Drive -0.6 (68), Approach -0.9 (72), Short 0.9 (12), Putt -1.1 (74). Ranks relative to 74 players who made the cut.

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Interesting, thanks for posting!

One thing that struck me as odd was furyk not losing strokes on the field due to driving, given he is know for being a shorter hitter than most. Was his FIR % really high?

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Interesting, thanks for posting!

One thing that struck me as odd was furyk not losing strokes on the field due to driving, given he is know for being a shorter hitter than most. Was his FIR % really high?

Looks like he was 3rd in driving accuracy at 82% and 70th in distance at 276.  His driving did cost him 0.3 per round vs the top 12 (and 1.2 to Rory), but better than the field overall.  http://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/players/player.10809.html/scorecards/r033

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Wow great post.

Stenson a better putter at PGA than I realized.

I agree about Stenson. Talking heads at the GC like to say how he is such a great ball striker, but his putting is what brought him to the top this week.

I also agree this is great information.

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The talking heads were just baffled by his 3 foot birdie lip-out that could have put him in the driver's seat squarely and make more out of it than what his entire body of work truly said.

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Its not hard to tell.

Rory won by hitting his driver over 300 yards right down the fairway...

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Does anyone know if the PGA Tour is posting strokes gained driving, approach and short online like they are with strokes gained putting?  Broadie gives season long stats for Rory

Yup, if he had the field's average for long game he would have finished at T29th. If he had the field's average short game and putting he would have finished T6th. So yeah, long game definitely played a more important role. But if he putted average relative to the field he would not have won. A combination of good driving, approach, and putting gave him the win.

True.

Mark Broadie Pete 20 hours ago

Thanks for the comments. The top finishers in a tournament usually get most of their strokes gained from approach shots and putting, and 14% from driving is fairly typical.

MEfree- Guys who win tournaments usually putt pretty well for that week even if they are not great putters overall.  However, I think there is more of a streaky or luck element to putting with good driving being the least dependent on luck of all the categories.  Overall, I think accuracy tends to be more streaky than distance, so it is good to be a long hitter.

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