In this case, numbers don’t lie, they just don’t paint a complete picture.
Consider Brandt Snedeker’s year, another solid campaign with two victories and a near miss at Augusta National despite the fact he’s slumped statistically on the greens.
Snedeker, winner of last week’s RBC Canadian Open, ranks 10th this season in strokes gained-putting, down from first last year. That, however, ignores his dramatic improvement in nearly every ballstriking category.
The reigning FedEx Cup champion has improved in fairways hit (53rd) and greens in regulation (23rd) in 2013.
“As you hit more greens you are going to be further from the pin, it’s just a byproduct of giving yourself more chances,” said Snedeker’s swing coach Todd Anderson.
But it was a dramatic equipment change on Sunday that likely led to Snedeker’s sixth PGA Tour title. After playing the new TaylorMade “SLDR” driver for the first three rounds at Glen Abbey, he reverted back to his old Burner SuperFast model for the final 18 holes.
Through three rounds he hit less than half his fairways (18 of 42), but on Sunday, when a swirling wind made for the week’s most demanding conditions, he hit seven of 14 fairways on his way to a closing 70.
“He got the new driver at the British (Open) and it’s hotter but he didn’t have quite the control,” Anderson said. “He felt more comfortable going with the old one on Sunday.”