Stat attack!: Wyndham Championship review


It would be nice to say that Camilo Villegas was light’s out at the Wyndham Championship from start to finish. But that wouldn’t quite be true.

On Friday and Saturday Villegas had rounds of 69-68, pedestrian to say the least on a week when the field had to be under par in the first two rounds just to make the cut.

Instead it was Villegas’ start and finish that earned him his fourth PGA Tour victory and first in more than four years, bookend 63s lifting him to a 17-under 263 for a one-stroke victory over Nick Watney and Freddie Jacobson.

Villegas is the first PGA Tour player to start and finish the week with scores of 63 or better since James Hahn at the 2013 Humana Challenge. Of the six players since 2000 to begin and end their weeks with such low scores, only three wound up winners.

Starting and finishing the week with a score of 63 or better: 2000-2014

 Player Tournament Scores Finish
 Camilo Villegas 2014 Wyndham Championship 63-69-68-63—263 Won
 James  Hahn 2013 Humana Challenge 63-67-72-62—264 T-4
 Russell Henley 2013 Sony Open 63-63-67-63—256 Won
 Kenny Perry 2009 Travelers 61-68-66-63—258 Won
 Martin Laird 2008 Wyndham Championship 63-74-64-63—264 T-4
 Aaron Baddeley 2003 Valero Texas Open 62-70-69-62—263 T-5

Not surprisingly, Villegas matched the season best for lowest first-round score by a winner and for lowest final-round score by a winner. According to the PGA Tour Media Guide, this is just the third time since 1970 that the same week provided the year’s best score in both categories. In addition to Villegas, Kenny Perry turned the trick at the 2009 Travelers Championship as did Grier Jones at the 1972 Hawaiian Open.

Lowest first-round score by a winner in 2013-14

 Score Player Tournament
 63 Camilo Villegas Wyndham Championship
 63 Brian Harman John Deere Classic
 63 Ben Crane FedEx St. Jude Classic
 63 Martin Kaymer Players 
 63 Patrick Reed Humana Challenge
 63 Ryan Moore CIMB Classic

Lowest final-round score by a winner in 2013-14

 Score Player Tournament
 63 Camilo Villegas Wyndham Championship
 63 Jimmy Walker Sony Open
 64 Matt Kuchar RBC Heritage
 64 Bubba Watson Northern Trust Open
 64 Kevin Streelman Travelers Championship
 64 Angel Cabrera Greenbrier Classic

Villegas’ victory wasn’t quite expected. The veteran hadn’t won since the 2010 Honda Classic, and although he made the cut in 17 of 25 starts this season his best finish was a T-11 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Although he was 136th on the PGA Tour money list entering the week, he had secured his position in the PGA Tour playoffs at 105th in the FedEx Cup standings. He is one of six winners this season who didn’t have another top-10 finish in the regular season.

PGA Tour winners with no other top 10s in 2013-14

 Player Tournament
 Camilo Villegas Wyndham Championship
 Geoff Ogilvy Barracuda Championship
 Angel Cabrera Greenbrier Classic
 Matt Jones Shell Houston Open
 Steven Bowditch Valero Texas Open
 Scott Stallings Farmers Insurance Open

Entering the week, Villegas ranked just 126th on Tour in driving accuracy, but he had control of his drives at Sedgefield. In fact he had uncanny accuracy off the tee and onto the green, finishing in the top 10 in the field in fairways hit and greens in regulation.

Villegas' top stats at the Wyndham Championship

 Stat Percentage Rank
 Fairways hit 76.79% T-5
 Greens in regulation 77.78 T-8
 Proximity to hole 29 feet, five inches T-7

His improvement is noticeable. His percentage of fairways hit was his best this year in a tournament in which he made the cut (he had a better percentage only at the Valspar Championship, where he failed to play the weekend. It was his second-best week of the year in GIR percentage.

Villegas’ best weeks in driving accuracy in 2013-14

 Tournament Accuracy percentage Finish
 Valspar Championship 76.92% MC
 Wyndham Championship 76.79 Won
 Travelers Championship 75.00 T-67
 McGladrey Classic 73.21 T-40
 Humana Challenge 68.52 T-33

Villegas’ best weeks in greens in regulation in 2013-14

 Tournament GIR percentage Finish
 Waste Management Phoenix 80.56% T-37
 Wyndham Championship 77.78 Won Open 77.78 T-26
 John Deere Classic 73.61 T-45
 Mayakoba Classic  73.61 T-36

Villegas' pinpoint accuracy helped him hit a tournament-best 21 consecutive greens during the Wyndham. Villegas his 16 straight greens Thursday (starting with No. 12, his third hole of the day), and his first five on Friday. It was eight more than he hit during any other tournament this year.

Most consecutive greens hit at the Wyndham Championship

 Player Consecutive greens hit
 Camilo Villegas  21
 Justin Hicks 19
 Joe Durant 19
 Will Wilcox 18
 Tyrone Van Aswegen 18