The Most Eye-Popping Stats on the PGA Tour in 2014 So Far
We've passed the first major mark of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, and already we have a lot of information on our hands. Some of it is dull, but some is truly eye-popping.
We're collectively overwhelmed by big data in seemingly every arena. On the PGA Tour, and in the era of ShotLink technology, there seem to be more statistics out there than Tiger Woods'...PGA Tour victories (that's what you thought was coming, right?).
Let's take a look at some of the most eye-popping stats on the PGA Tour thus far in 2014.
Matt Kuchar's Top 10s
The sixth-ranked golfer in the world, Matt Kuchar, has had an eye-popping number of top-10 finishes this season.
In 10 events this year, Kuchar has finished inside the top 10 seven times. And from the look of the leaderboard through two rounds at the RBC Heritage, Kuchar could be heading for an eighth top-10 in 11 starts.
The Bridgestone staffer finished tied for fifth at the Masters, as a final-round 74 kept him from securing the green jacket. Even more impressive, Kuchar has been racking up the top-10s for years, finishing inside the top 10 more than 40 times since 2010.
Matt Every's Improvement in Key Areas
Matt Every, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, has taken a tremendous leap forward during the 2013-14 season.
He's made huge jumps in some major statistical categories this season as well.
Every's scoring average last year was 71.02 (96th on tour). This season, the University of Florida alum is eighth on tour with a 69.79 scoring average.
Every has improved him putting as well, making a huge jump from 120th to fourth in strokes gained- putting over the course of the past season.
Bubba Watson's Surprising Stats
Bubba Watson just won his second Masters. How's he doing statistically? Well, he's hitting the ball a long way, not surprisingly, and he's 13th in greens in regulation.
Last year, however, Bubba wasn't very good at scrambling. A player's scrambling number indicates the percentage of times he makes par when missing the green with his approach shot). Last season, Watson was 150th in scrambling (54.48 percent). This season, he's 12th (64.33 percent).
A 10 percent increase in scrambling is truly eye-popping and translates to better scoring, and ultimately winning, as Watson has already done twice on tour this season.
The Tour Leader in Scoring Average Is...
Who's the tour leader in scoring average? You might be surprised that it isn't Bubba Watson (he's second) or Jimmy Walker. Rather, it's Sergio Garcia.
Garcia is averaging 69.55 strokes per round this year, which has helped him record four top-10 finishes.
What's really eye-popping about this stat is the fact that the tour leader in scoring is averaging 69.55 strokes per round. Last season's leader, Steve Stricker, averaged 68.94 strokes. In 2012, Rory McIlroy led the tour, averaging 68.87 strokes per round.
The tour-leading number is eye-poppingly high.
G-Mac's Dominance in Strokes Gained-Putting
Graeme McDowell has been the best putter on tour this year. G-Mac's strokes-gained putting figure is an impressive 1.18 per round. He and three-time winner this season Jimmy Walker are the only two players on tour picking up more than one stroke per round on the field for 2013-14.
It's eye-popping that the Ulsterman is dominating the category since he historically hasn't been a great putter; he was 71st in strokes gained-putting last year, 160th in 2012 and 92nd in 2011.
Ian Poulter's One-Putt Percentage
Even more eye-popping than his wardrobe is Ian Poulter's one-putt percentage. The Englishman is one-putting a remarkable 45.83 percent of greens this season.
Of the 504 holes Poulter has played, he's one-putted 231 of them.
Imagine what putting like that would do for your handicap.
The Leader in Driving Distance...by a Lot
You're probably not surprised that Bubba Watson is leading the PGA Tour in average driving distance. However, the gap between Watson and the next longest driver on tour is substantial. And the gap between the left-hander and the third-longest hitter is enormous.
Watson is averaging 315.4 yards per drive this season. Another huge hitter, Dustin Johnson is second in driving distance at 309.1 yards per drive on average. That's right, Watson is averaging five yards more than anyone else on tour off the tee this year.
Further, the third-longest hitter on tour, Scott Piercy, averages just 307 yards per drive, thus Watson is more than eight yards longer than the third-longest driver on tour.
Jim Furyk's Consecutive Fairways Hit
The eternally straight-hitting Jim Furyk went on quite a run of hitting fairways this year. The native Pennsylvanian found the short grass on 28 straight drives.
If you think that's impressive, consider this: In 2009 Jeff Maggert hit a ridiculous 45 fairways in a row, a streak that would make Al Czervik's eyes pop out of his head. Ryan Moore, for his part, hit 40 consecutive fairways.
Boo Weekley's Greens in Regulation Streak
Camouflage-aficionado Boo Weekley hit an eye-popping number of greens in regulation in a row this year: 25.
As impressive as Weekley's streak is, Chad Campbell did him 10 better in 2012, hitting 35 straight greens.
Seven golfers have hit more than 23 straight greens on tour this season, but you have to go as far down as eighth on the stats list for consecutive greens hit to find a 2014 winner. Matt Every, tied for eighth on the list, hit 23 greens in a row earlier this season.