Colonial By The Numbers

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 18, 2003, 4:00 pm
Annika Sorenstam may feel a bit overwhelmed. Nick Price may be overlooked. And Vijay Singh might have been overly criticized for being honest.
 
All in all, this weeks Bank of America Colonial may be over the top.
 
It all started late last year when Sorenstam was questioned as to whether she would play in a PGA Tour event if offered an invitation.
 
She said yes.
 
It began to build when she formally announced her decision, in February, to compete at Colonial Country Club, and become the first woman since Babe Zaharias, in 1945, to play in a PGA Tour event.
 
Media coverage and controversy converged to create a boulder rolling full steam, downhill in the direction of Ft. Worth, Texas.
 
But, for once, well focus on the event itself: Whos won it and what it takes to win.
 
This is the 56th edition of the Colonial, played at the 7,080-yard, par-70 venue dubbed Hogans Alley. Ben Hogan won the first two years the tournament was contested, in 1946 and 47, and claimed the title three more times thereafter.
 
Multiple winners are commonplace at Colonial. In addition to the Hawk, seven others have won this event on more than one occasion.
 
Price was the last to accomplish that feat. He put his name on the trophy first in 1994 and again last year. Price defeated David Toms and Kenny Perry by five shots to prevail a year ago.
 
And how did he do it? Driving accuracy; the statistic that has proven to be quite telling over the years at Colonial. And the area that may enable Annika to make the cut.
 
Colonial is a tight, doglegged layout, demanding precision. The kind of accuracy that helped push Price into the Hall of Fame.
 
Sorenstam will never be able to match the boys in the power department. Her driving average this year is an impressive 275.4 yards per pop. Thats good for second on the LPGA Tour, but it would rank her outside the top 150 on the PGA Tour.
 
On the other hand, her driving accuracy is 73.8 percent. That puts her in the top 40 on the LPGA (she was 5th a year ago) and near the top 10 on the mens circuit.
 
She also leads the women in greens hit in regulation, at a 76.5 rate. Such a percentage would also top the mens list.
 
And its in those two latter categories where the textbook Colonial winner does well.
 
Since 1980, the champion has an average tournament rank of 31.74 in driving distance, 11.78 in driving accuracy, and 8.57 in greens hit in regulation.
 
In that time frame, 16 of the 23 winners have ranked better that week in accuracy than in power. And 18 have done better in hitting greens in regulations than in the distance department.
 
Many have compared Sorenstam to the light hitting, but straight driving Corey Pavin, who won this event in 1985 and '96. When Pavin won his second Colonial title, he was 71st (out of 76 who made the cut) in the tournament in length, seventh in finding the fairways, and third in reaching the greens in regulation.
 
In 85, his tournament ranks read: 60th in distance, fourth in accuracy, third in G.I.R.
 
You might think that accuracy would normally be the dominating factor, at least in comparison to distance, in determining who wins on a weekly basis. But not in 2003.
 
Thus far this year, 14 of the 19 stroke-play winners on the PGA Tour have fared better in distance than in accuracy the week they won -- in terms of their tournament ranks -- including Vijay Singh in the EDS Byron Nelson Classic.
 
And, six times, the winner has done a better job of launching the ball off the tee than he did in reaching the green successfully.
 
Its around the greens, not off the tee, that may well determine Sorenstams fate. The Swede is averaging nearly 30 putts per round on the LPGA. Her 29.88 mark has her ranked just outside the top 60 on the LPGA. Such a number would have her outside the top 175 on the PGA Tour.
 
Related Links:
  • ''Everything Annika'' Feature Page
  • Annika and the Colonial Timeline
  • Full Coverage of the Bank of America Colonial
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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


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    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.