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Woods gaining strokes on the field on the greens

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Developed by a business school professor as a way to analyze all putting data a few years ago, the PGA Tour’s “Strokes Gained-Putting” statistic isn’t the easiest to comprehend.

But this aspect of it certainly is: Tiger Woods’ current PGA Tour-leading number is 1.259. Only one other player is over 1.000.

Woods leads the category over Bryce Molder by an average of 0.252 strokes per round. In 19 total rounds this year, he has gained 23.921 strokes on the field.

By comparison, that number is more than Brian Gay, who ranks 12th and is generally considered one of the game’s best putters, and Gay has completed 15 more rounds than Woods.

Woods is picking up most of these strokes with his mid-range putting. He ranks second on the PGA Tour in putting from 5-15 feet and first from 15-20 feet.

The PGA Tour explains the statistic thusly: “The number of putts a player takes from a specific distance is measured against a statistical baseline to determine the player's strokes gained or lost on a hole. The sum of the values for all holes played in a round minus the field average strokes gained/lost for the round is the player's Strokes gained/lost for that round. The sum of strokes gained for each round are divided by total rounds played.”

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