Stat attack! Phoenix Open statistical review

By John AntoniniFebruary 3, 2014, 1:40 pm

It was a day of firsts Sunday the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Kevin Stadler won his first PGA Tour event in his 239th start. Which means that Kevin and his father, Craig, are set to become the first father-son duo to compete in the same Masters. Stadler was also the first player in 2013-14 to finish in the top 10 in the field in greens in regulation and fairways hit in the same week that he won – and he is very likely the first person to win despite getting his ball stuck on a cactus, on the 11th hole of the final round.

Father-son winners on the PGA Tour

Tom Morris, Sr. and Tom Morris, Jr.
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and Joe Kirkwood, Jr.
Willie Park, Sr. and Willie Park, Jr.
Clayton Heafner and Vance Heafner
Jakie Burke, Sr. and Jackie Burke, Jr.
Julius Boros and Guy Boros
Al Geiberger and Brent Geiberger
Jay Haas and Bill Haas
Craig Stadler and Kevin Stadler

Five members of that group – the Boroses, the Geibergers, the Haases, the Haefners and the Kirkwoods – are among the 11 father-son combos to play in the Masters, and the Stadlers would join them. The Kirkwoods came the closest to playing in the same year, with the elder Joe playing his final Masters in 1948 and junior playing for the first time in 1949.

Young Stadler’s victory was not so much unexpected – Bubba Watson’s short missed putt on 18 Sunday notwithstanding – as it was overdue. Only four golfers who had played in a PGA Tour event this season have played more without a victory than Stadler.

Most starts by an active PGA Tour player without a victory*

Brett Quigley 404
Briny Baird 368
Greg Chalmers 341
Brian Davis 285

*Brandt Jobe, who was 149th on the 2013 FedEx Cup standings, has not played yet in 2013-14. He has 331 events without a win.

Stadler was T-10 in fairways hit and greens in regulation at TPC Scottsdale. He was also fifth in approach-shot proximity to the hole and T-5 in scrambling. He has fared exceptionally well in all four of those categories this season.

Stadler’s stats last week and for the year

  Driving Accuracy Greens in regulation Proximity to hole (app) Scrambling
Event 67.86% (T-10) 77.78% (T-10) 32 feet, 7 inches (5) 75% (T-5)
Year 69.16% (17) 72.45% (T-36) 32 feet, 3 inches (T-15) 62.18% (41)

Stadler was the sixth consecutive Phoenix Open winner to finish in the top 10 in the field in greens in regulation.

Past WMPO winners rank in GIR 

Year Player GIR (rank)
2014 Kevin Stadler 56/72 (T-10)
2013 Phil Mickelson 63/72 (1)
2012 Kyle Stanley 57/72 (T-3)
2011 Mark Wilson 61/72 (1)
2010 Hunter Mahan 60/72 (1)
2009 Kenny Perry 53/72 (T-3)

This marks the second consecutive year that Stadler has shot four rounds in the 60s at TPC Scottsdale. His T-11 finish in 2013 was by far his best in this event prior to this year.

Year Finish Scores
2014 1 65-68-67-68=268
2013 T-11 68-68-69-63=268
2012 T-70 70-71-76-71=288
2011 MC 73-71=144
2010 T-70 66-73-77-68=284
2008 WD 69-67-76=212

The Masters isn’t the only tournament the victory gets Stadler into for the first time. The win moves him from 127th to 57th on the world ranking and secures his spot in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time. The top 64 players on the world ranking after this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will advance, and if Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott all withdraw, as expected, the next four players will also qualify. Here’s who is on the bubble for the Match Play after the Phoenix Open.

World Rank Player Last Week
62 Mark Leishman MC, WMPO
63 Boo Weekley DNP
64 Richard Sterne T-54, Dubai
65 Scott Piercy T-15, WMPO
66 Kiradech Aphibarnrat T-67, WMPO
67 Brendon de Jonge T-53, WMPO
68 Brooks Koepka T-3, Dubai
69 Peter Uihlein MC, Dubai
70 Hyung-sung Kim DNP

Bubba Watson, meanwhile, lost despite holding the 54-hole lead for the sixth time in seven tries.

Watson with the 54-hole lead

Event Through 54 holes Sunday Result
2014 WMPO Led by two 71 Second
2013 Travelers Tied for lead 70 Fourth
2012 WGC-Cadillac Led by three 74 Second
2011 Deutsche Bank Led by one 74 T-16
2011 Zurich Tied for lead 69 Won playoff
2008 Arnold Palmer Tied for lead 72 T-8
2007 Shell Houston Led by three 72 T-2

Watson didn’t miss a putt from less than 5 feet at TPC Scottsdale, but was only seven of 12 from 5-7 feet, including his miss on the 72nd hole that would have forced a playoff with Stadler. Watson made 13 of 24 putts from 5-10 feet for the week, ranking 46th among players who made the cut. However, that is a slightly better percentage than Watson has for the season, his 47.22 percentage ranking 143rd on Tour. Stadler, who survived despite his own miss from that range on the last hole, made 10 of 14 putts from 5-10 feet and was 11th in the field for the week and 25th on Tour in 2013-14.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 11:00 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

“Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

“I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

“They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

And the Wildcats better rest up.

Alabama looks unstoppable.

“They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

“It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

“We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

“They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

“I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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Pairings, tee times set for championship match

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.

Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”