Stat attack!: Stats of the Year for 2014

By John AntoniniDecember 16, 2014, 7:08 pm

The 2014 golf season had its share of memorable moments, many of them being chronicled by Golf Channel as we count down the year’s top newsmakers. But crunching the numbers for this season revealed many interesting tidbits worth sharing. From Rory McIlroy to Bernhard Langer to Tiger Woods – yes, Tiger Woods - here is a look at the Stat Attack’s top statistical nuggets for 2014.

Putting for dough

Rory McIlroy’s getting most of the year-end honors for 2014 and the accolades are well deserved. He laid the groundwork for his historic season on the greens. Although he was only 41st in strokes gained/putting, McIlroy led the PGA Tour in putting average, birdie or better conversion percentage and birdies per round. His 2013-14 ranking in all three of those stats is among the five best single-season marks in Tour history.

Of course, PGA Tour history is quite modern. The Tour's Stat Database monitors birdie conversion percentage since 1980, putting average since 1986 and birdies per round since 1996.

PGA Tour single-season leaders in birdie or better percentage 

 Player Birdie Pct. Year
 Bob Heintz 36.98% 2002
 Rory McIlroy 36.84 2014
 Tiger Woods 36.56 2005
 Phil Mickelson 36.42 2001
 Tiger Woods 36.14 2000

PGA Tour single-season leaders in birdies per round

 Player Birdies per round Year
 Tiger Woods 4.92 2000
 Tiger Woods 4.65 2006
 Rory McIlroy 4.58 2014
 Tiger Woods 4.57 2005
 Phil Mickelson 4.54 2001

PGA Tour single-season leaders in putts per GIR

 Player Putts per GIR Year
 Bob Heintz 1.682 2002
 Luke Donald 1.700 2011
 David Toms 1.704 2002
 Brad Faxon 1.704 2000
 Rory McIlroy  1.707500 2014
 Jim Furyk 1.707506 1995
 David Frost 1.708 2001

Tiger is No. 1

Strange as it might sound, Tiger Woods led the PGA Tour in something positive in 2013-14. He made the PGA Tour’s longest putt last season at 91 feet, seven inches, on the fourth hole in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Invitational. At the time, he was so much more concerned with his back, which caused him to withdraw from the Honda Classic one week earlier, that the putt was barely mentioned in his post-round press conference.

Longest putts on the PGA Tour in 2013-14

 Player Putt length Tournament (hole, round)
 Tiger Woods 91 ft.,
7 in. 
WGC-Cadillac (fourth hole, second round)
 Jeff Overton 76 ft.,
10 in.
Deutsche Bank (ninth hole, first round)
 Ryan Palmer 76 ft. 6 in. HP Byron Nelson (fourth hole, first round)
 Michael
 Thompson
76 ft. 1 in. Wells Fargo (17th hole, fourth round)
 Jonathan Byrd 75 ft.
10 in.
Wells Fargo (18 hole, first round)

Getting better all the time

Jimmy Walker’s outstanding 2013-14, in which he won three times and was fourth on the PGA Tour in earnings, is the highlight of a career that has seen him improve his rank on the money list for seven straight years.

Jimmy Walker money rank since 2008

 Year Money rank Earnings
 2014 4 $5,787,016
 2013  30 2,117,570
 2012 48 1,638,419
 2011 67 1,336,556
 2010  103 937,987
 2009 125 662,683
 2008 185 282,249

Bunting to victory

Tim Clark, winner of the Bell Canadian Open, finished the 2013-14 season with a driving distance of 272.2 yards, 174th of 177 players who qualified for a ranking. Clark was the shortest hitter among PGA Tour winners, and was one of just seven players outside the top 100 in distance to win last season. 

PGA Tour winners in 2013-14 who ranked outside the top 100 in driving distance

 Player Driving distance Rank 2014 victory
 Tim Clark  272.2 174 Bell Canadian Open
 Ben Crane 279.0 157 FedEx St. Jude Classic
 Brendon Todd 280.3 T-148 HP Byron Nelson Champ.
 Zach Johnson 282.2 T-141 Hyundai T of C
 Matt Kuchar 283.8 136 RBC Heritage
 Ryan Moore  284.7 129 CIMB Classic
 Matt Every 286.3 116 Arnold Palmer Inv.

Lefty’s lament

Phil Mickelson had arguably his worst season since joining the PGA Tour midway through 1992. The 2013-14 campaign was his first without a victory since 2003, and he failed to qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time in the FedEx Cup era. Although Mickelson finished 35th in scoring average at 70.278, it was his highest mark since 1998 and his worst rank since 1995. It is a testament to the greatness of Mickelson’s career that this was only the third time he was outside the Tour’s top 30 in scoring.

Phil Mickelson’s highest single-season scoring average

 Year Scoring average Rank
 1993 71.205 T-90
 1995  70.592 44
 1998 70.280 27
 2014 70.278 35
 2003 70.249 26
 1996 70.228 16
 2009 70.218 28

Working on the weekend

When Paula Creamer missed the cut at the LPGA’s Kingsmill event in May, it ended her streak of consecutive cuts made at 74. The longest cuts-made streak on Tour now belongs to Lydia Ko, who played on the weekend in all 26 of her starts in 2014 and hasn’t missed a cut in 42 LPGA appearances as a professional or an amateur. (Adam Scott is the current PGA Tour leader in consecutive cuts made with 44.)

Longest current streak of consecutive cuts made on the LPGA Tour

 Player Consecutive cuts 2014 total
 Lydia Ko 42 26
 Stacy Lewis 35 28
 Shanshan Feng 31 24

The LPGA’s green machines

Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist led the LPGA in greens in regulation in 2014 at 77.1 percent. Unlike the PGA Tour, the LPGA’s website does not give a breakdown of how many greens were hit and how many attempts were taken, so we cannot break the tie. We can say, however, that the two players hit more greens in one year than any player since Annika Sorenstam.

Lowest single-season GIR on the LPGA since 2000

 Player GIR percentage Year
 Annika Sorenstam 79.7 2001
 Annika Sorenstam 79.7 2002
 Annika Sorenstam 78.8 2004
 Annika Sorenstam 77.2 2005
 Suzann Pettersen 77.1 2014
 Anna Nordqvist 77.1 2014

The cash man

Bernhard Langer was the second player in Champions Tour history to surpass $3 million in earnings, with his $3,074,189 breaking the old single-season record set by Hale Irwin in 2002. Langer also had highest percentage of potential money won – the quotient of his total earnings and what his earnings would have been had he won every event he played – of any Champions player this century. Langer cashed 46.13 percent of his potential earnings. Don January, the Tour’s all-time leader, won 67.06 percent of his potential earnings in 1983.

Single-season Champions Tour earnings

 Player Earnings Year
 Bernhard Langer $3,074,189 2014
 Hale Irwin 3,028,304 2002
 Hale Irwin 2,861,945 1998
 Larry Nelson 2,708,005 2000
 Bernhard Langer 2,648,939 2010

Highest percentage of potential money won on the Champions Tour: 2000-2014

 Player Pct. money won Year
 Bernhard Langer 46.13% 2014
 Fred Couples 45.74 2010
 Tom Watson 45.03 2003
 Hale Irwin 42.24 2002
 Larry Nelson 40.67 2000

The Mechanic keeps motoring

The oldest champion in European Tour history is Miguel Angel Jimenez, who was 50 years and 133 days old when he won the 2014 Spanish Open in May. He broke the record he set at the Hong Kong Open in December 2013, when he was one month shy of his 50th birthday. The previous record holder was, you guessed it, Jimenez, when he won the 2012 Hong Kong Open. Jimenez didn’t quite reach his goal of making the European Tour Ryder Cup team at age 50, but he did finish fourth at the Masters and 21st in the Race to Dubai standings, his 12th straight year in the top 30 on the money list. If he ever decides to take on Bernhard Langer, the Champions Tour might have its next $3 million man.

The oldest tournament winners in European Tour history

 Player Age Tournament
 Miguel Angel Jimenez 50 years, 133 days 2014 Spanish Open
 Miguel Angel Jimenez 49 years, 337 days 2013 Hong Kong Open
 Miguel Angel Jimenez 48 years, 318 days 2012 Hong Kong Open
 Des Smyth 48 years, 34 days 2001 Madeira Island Open
 Neil Coles 48 years, 14 days 1991 Sanyo Open

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Golf Channel Ramps Up Six Weeks of Comprehensive College Golf Coverage Culminating With The NCAA Women's and Men's Golf Championships, May 18-30

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 24, 2018, 9:00 pm

Golf Channel to Announce NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections on Wednesday, April 25 and Wednesday, May 2

 Golf Channel to Expand Coverage of NCAA Women’s and Men’s Regional Championships  

Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, a Four-Part Docu-Series Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler, Premieres on Golf Channel Monday, May 7

 More than 100 News and Tournament Hours Planned for Women’s and Men’s Championships, Back-to-Back Weeks at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

 

ORLANDO, Fla., April 24, 2018 – With conference championships underway, golf fans will be able to follow their favorite college golf programs and alma maters as they attempt to qualify and compete in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships in May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., as Golf Channel expands its comprehensive on-air and digital collegiate golf coverage the next six weeks.

“Through our new long-term partnership, the NCAA and Golf Channel are successfully raising the profile of college golf by shining a spotlight on the game’s future stars and the passion these programs have in competing for national championships,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive vice president of content and executive producer. “With our expanded coverage of the regional championships and partnering with OSU alum Rickie Fowler for Driven, our viewers will be treated to the most college golf coverage in network history leading into the NCAA Golf National Championships.”

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: On Wednesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET (women) and continuing Wednesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET (men), Golf Channel will announce the teams and individuals selected by the NCAA to participate in the women’s and men’s regional championships, the first step on the road to the NCAA Golf Championships. Live streaming coverage of selection shows will be available through the Golf Channel Mobile App or GolfChannel.com, and Golf Channel will aggregate social content for the shows using the hashtag #NCAAGolf. 

  • Women’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, April 25, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce (live) the 72 teams and24 individuals selected to compete in the four NCAA Women’s Regional Championships, May 7-9 (18 teams and six individuals per regional). 24 teams and 12 individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.
  • Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.

GOLF CHANNEL TO EXPAND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: New for 2018, Golf Channel will feature expanded coverage of the final day of the NCAA women’s and men’s regional championships, Wednesday May 9 and Wednesday, May 16, respectively. Beginning within Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily lifestyle news show, and continuing hourly throughout the day via live Golf Central news updates from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET that will be published to Golf Channel Digital and Golf Channel’s social media handles. Coverage will conclude with live news segments, featuring highlights and interviews, announcing the teams and individuals who qualified for the women’s and men’s national championships.

RICKIE FOWLER AND NBC SPORTS COLLABORATE ON FOUR-PART DOCU-SERIES DRIVEN: OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS: NBC Sports Group is teaming up with PGA TOUR superstar Rickie Fowler to give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater in a four-part documentary series – Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Driven, executive produced by Fowler, will premiere Monday, May 7 at 10 p.m. ET and continue Monday, May 14 (10 p.m. ET) and Monday, May 21 (8 p.m. ET). The finale will air on NBC on Saturday, June 16, recapping their season that culminates with a run at a potential 11th national championship, taking place on their home turf.

NCAA GOLF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Contested in back-to-back weeks, May 18-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nearly 30 combined hours of live tournament coverage. In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 30 hours of combined pre-and post-event live news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and Golf Channel Digital.                                             

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   21       

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   22          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   22                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   23            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   28      

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   29          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   30            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

COLLEGE CENTRAL – GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships as part of College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel will cover the conference championships with scores and analysis across its on-air news platforms - Morning Drive and Golf Central – and online within College Central.

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With help from partner, Burns could secure Tour status

By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 8:33 pm

AVONDALE, La. – This week Sam Burns has yet another chance to secure special temporary membership for the rest of the PGA Tour season, but his partner may determine whether he’s ultimately successful.

In an interesting twist, Burns is burning one of his seven available sponsor exemptions this week at the Zurich Classic. He is 80 non-member points shy of securing special temporary membership, which would allow him to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

Burns needs at least a two-way tie for fourth to earn the necessary points, but it won’t all depend on how he plays this week. The Zurich is a two-man game, with two rounds apiece of fourballs and alternate shot.

Burns' partner this week is William McGirt. Their games couldn’t be more different – Burns ranks eighth on Tour in driving distance, at 309 yards per pop, while McGirt is 143rd (290) – but they hope to compliment each other over four days at TPC Louisiana.


Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


“I got a good pair of spurs sharpened up last week while I was in San Antonio,” joked McGirt, who is looking for his first top-10 since the fall. “I told him I was going to ride him hard this week. It’ll be fun.”

Burns will have at least two (and maybe three) more opportunities to earn status, with starts lined up next week at the Wells Fargo Championship and also at the Memorial. He doesn’t face quite as much pressure because he won earlier this month on the Web.com Tour and currently sits fourth on the money list, essentially locking up his PGA Tour card for next season.

“It’s obviously nice to have that win,” he said, “but at the same time you have to be careful and make sure you play enough out there to where you’re secure for sure. You don’t want to get at the end of the year and then have two or three events left and you have to make a certain amount of money to get your card.

“So I’m just going step by step, tournament by tournament, and trying to figure out what’s the best route.”   

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Spieth-Palmer draw Rahm-Bryan early at Zurich

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:49 pm

AVONDALE, La. – The PGA Tour’s only team event gets underway Thursday at the Zurich Classic. Here are some featured groups to watch at TPC Louisiana.

Justin Thomas-Bud Cauley/Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland: 8:39 a.m. ET Thursday off 10 tee, 2:08 p.m. Friday off 1: 

The Bama boys, Thomas and Cauley, team up for the second consecutive year, after tying for fifth a year ago on the strength of a final-round 61. Berger teamed with Thomas Pieters a year ago but missed the cut, so he’ll try his luck with Woodland, who also shares a management team at Excel Sports.

Jordan Spieth-Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm-Wesley Bryan: 8:52 a.m. Thursday off 10, 2:19 p.m. Friday off 1: 

Spieth and Palmer finished fourth a year ago, five shots back of the leaders. Spieth is making his first start since his epic Sunday run at the Masters. Rahm and Bryan have opposite strengths – Rahm is one of the game’s preeminent drivers, while Bryan, statistically, is one of the worst – but the Spaniard is coming off a European Tour victory at home. Another wrinkle here: Even though no world-ranking points are on offer this week, Rahm is set to supplant Spieth as the third-ranked player in the world.

Jason Day-Ryan Ruffels/Brooks Koepka-Marc Turnesa: 1:31 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:42 a.m. Friday off 10: 

Two stars with questionable sidekicks. Ruffels is an up-and-coming Australian who has been playing primarily in Latin America. (He also shares a manager with Day.) Turnesa, meanwhile, got the call late last week from Koepka, who is finally ready to return from a 15-week layoff because of a wrist injury. They both play out of Medalist in South Florida, but Turnesa, 40, has turned his attention to real estate instead of professional golf.

Patrick Reed-Patrick Cantlay/Jonas Blixt-Cameron Smith: 1:44 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:53 a.m. Friday off 10: 

Reed makes his first start as Masters champion after taking off the past two weeks. This duo tied for 14th last year, undone by a Saturday 75 in foursomes play. Blixt and Smith are the defending champions, after shooting 27 under par last year and holding off Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown in a playoff. Blixt doesn’t have a top-10 on Tour since then, while Smith tied for fifth at the Match Play and the Masters.

Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson/Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar: 1:57 p.m. Thursday off 1, 10:04 a.m. Friday off 10:

Rose and Stenson, who have proved to be a formidable pairing in the Ryder Cup, were a stunning missed cut last year, after shooting 6 under par for two rounds. Watson teamed up with J.B. Holmes to finish fifth last year, while Kuchar is making his first start in this event since 2009.

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Zurich Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:09 pm

The PGA Tour tries team competition for the second year in a row at the Zurich Classic. Here are the key stats and information for play at TPC LouisianaClick here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


Purse: $7,200,000 ($1,036,800 to each winner)

Course: TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards)

Defending champions: Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt (-27) in a playoff over Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner


News and notes

• All four reigning major champions - Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed - are in the field this week. This is the first time all four reigning major winners have played this event since 1984 (Ben Crenshaw, Larry Nelson, Tom Watson, Hall Sutton).

 Both members of winning team this week will earn an official PGA Tour victory, two-year Tour exemptions, and exemptions into the Players and PGA Championships.

• That said, no Official World Golf Ranking points are awarded from this event and winners will not earn exemptions into the 2019 Masters.


Notable teams in the field 

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

 Rose won this event in 2014, when it was individual stroke play. From 2012-16, he was a combined 60 under at TPC Louisiana in stroke play, seven shots better than any other player.

 Rose has dramatically improved his performance on the greens from last season, moving from 123rd in strokes gained-putting to 10th.

 Stenson's last three starts look like this: solo 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-6 at the Houston Open, and T-5 at the Masters.

Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan

 Rahm is coming off a victory at the Spanish Open, his second worldwide win in 2018 and fifth since Jan. 2017.

 Rahm outdrives Bryan by an average of 30 yards off the tee, 305.1 to 276.3.

 Rahm is second on Tour in the strokes gained-off the tee, while Bryan is 210th, last among qualifying players.

Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay

 Reed is just the fifth reigning Masters champ to play the Zurich since 2000, joining Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson (twice), and Bubba Watson.

 Reed has gone T-2, T-7, T-9, WIN in his last four starts.

 Cantlay broke through for his maiden PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.