Stat attack!: Travelers Championship review

By John AntoniniJune 23, 2014, 1:51 am

Kevin Streelman. Seriously? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

But seriously, Kevin Streelman? Seven birdies in a row to win? By now you know no one had ever done that before, as Streelman’s run broke the record set 58 years ago by Mike Souchak at the 1956 St. Paul Open. Streelman’s weekend total of 128 (after consecutive 64s) matched the lowest final 36-holes by a winner this season. His 26 birdies were the most by a winner since Patrick Reed made 30 at the Humana Challenge.

Most consecutive birdies to win in regulation on the PGA Tour

 Birdies Player Tournament
 7 Kevin Streelman 2014 Travelers Championship
 6 Mike Souchak 1956 St. Paul Open
 5 Jack Nicklaus 1978 Jackie Gleason Inverrary
 5 Russell Henley 2013 Sony Open

Lowest final 36-hole score by a winner in 2013-14

 Score Player Tournament
 128 (64-64) Kevin Streelman Travelers Championship
 128 (64-64) Bubba Watson Northern Trust Open
 128 (62-66) Jimmy Walker Open

Most birdies by a winner in 2013-14

 Birdies Player Tournament
 30 Patrick Reed Humana Challenge
 28 Webb Simpson Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
 27 Harris English OHL Classic at Mayakoba
 26 Kevin Streelman Travelers Championship

Streelman’s streak can be credited to some outstanding approach shots, steely putting and the quirkiness – some might say ease – of the TPC River Highlands back nine. He one-putted every hole (he takes a streak of 10 straight one-putts, two shy of the Tour’s season best, into his next tournament). Here’s a shot-by-shot look at Streelman’s streak.

Kevin Streelman holes 12-18

 Hole 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
 Par 4 5 4 4 3 4 4
 Yardage 411 523 421 296 171 420 444
 Shot 1 262 yds. to fwy. 292 yds. to fwy. 315 yds. to fwy. 284 yds to fwy. 181 yds. to green 271 yds. to fwy. 335 yds. to fwy.
 Shot 2 132 yds. to green 253 yds. to back of green 106 yds to green 21 yds. to green 37 ft., 1 in. putt 124 yds. to green 106 yds. to green
 Shot 3 7 ft., 6 in. putt 17 yds. to green 20 ft., 8 in. putt 12 ft., 2 in. putt   3 ft. 3 in. putt 8 ft., 9 in. putt
 Shot 4   4 ft., 7 in. putt          

It was one of the best putting weeks of Streelman’s career. The Travelers is his fourth-best week in strokes gained-putting (1.948), tied for fourth in one-putt percentage (50 percent), first in birdie-conversion percentage (49.06 percent), and first in putts per GIR (1.547). Streelman’s putts per GIR total is the fifth-best on Tour since the end of the West Coast Swing.

Best single-event putting average on Tour since March

 Putting avg. Player Tournament Finish
 1.419 Aaron Baddeley Memorial T-37
 1.512 Mike Weir Byron Nelson 2
 1.523 Jason Bohn Wells Fargo 4
 1.529 Richard H. Lee Memorial T-57
 1.547 Kevin Streelman Travelers


That Streelman would win in Connecticut must be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention. He struggled mightily at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst with rounds of 75-79 to miss the cut. In fact it was his fourth straight missed cut on Tour, and outside of a 72-69 finish at Memphis, where he failed to advance to the weekend at the FedEx St. Jude Classic by a stroke, none of his recent starts were worth mentioning. Since a T-3 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, his first event following the Boxing Day birth of his daughter, Sophia, Streelman had played 13 times and only finished in the top 20 once. Streelman is the first player to win a PGA Tour event after four or more straight missed cuts since Ted Potter Jr. won the 2012 Greenbrier Classic after failing to play the weekend in his previous five tournaments.

Streelman wasn't the only noteworthy performer in the Nutmeg State. Fifty-year old Jeff Maggert finished T-7 and had his first top-10 finish on Tour since a T-9 at last year’s Travelers. He is the fourth Champions Tour-eligible player to finish in the top 10 on the PGA Tour this season.

Players 50+ with top-10 finishes on Tour in 2013-14

 Player Finish Tournament
 Vijay Singh 2 Open
 Miguel Angel Jimenez 4 Masters
 Jeff Maggert T-7 Travelers Championship
 Bernhard Langer T-8 Masters

Singh was also in Connecticut and finished T-31 (along with fellow senior Joe Durant). They finished two strokes better than Patrick Rodgers, who was one of five players making their PGA Tour professional debut. Rodgers, T-46, was the only one who made the cut.

Players making their PGA Tour professional debut at the Travelers

 Player Finish Scores Earnings
 Patrick Rodgers T-46 66-69-71-70—276 $17,186
 Bobby Wyatt MC by one 72-68—140  
 Oliver Goss MC by two 70-71—141  
 Joey Garber MC by five 72-72—144  
 Cameron Wilson MC by nine 73-75—148  

Lastly, Streelman’s winning score of 64 extended the tournament streak of champions shooting a final round in the 60s to 19 consecutive years. Of active PGA Tour events, only the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open has a longer streak. The Las Vegas winner was in the 60s in the final round for 23 straight years.

Most consecutive years with the winner shooting a final round in the 60s

 Years Tournament 2014 winner Score
 23 Shriners Hospitals Open Webb Simpson  66
 19 Travelers Championship Kevin Streelman  64
 11 Deutsche Bank Championship Henrik Stenson (2013) 66
 11 Wyndham Championship Patrick Reed (2013) 66
 8 Memorial Tournament Hideki Matsuyama  69
 7 Hyundai T of C Zach Johnson  66
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”