Friday, August 26, 2011

A Look At This Season's PGA Tour Rookie Winners

2011 has sparked the most victories by PGA Tour rookies in the history of the Tour (well, obviously the first year of the PGA Tour sparked the most victories by PGA Tour rookies…but you get the idea).

What I did is I devised a system of categorizing each player’s stats. Here it goes

1-12 = Super Elite
13-24 = Elite
25-48 = Good
49-72 = Above Average
73-86 = Slightly Above Average
87-108 = Average
109-120 = Slightly Below Average
121-144 = Below Average
145-168 = Mediocre
169-192 = Weakest on Tour

Here’s a list of the rookies that have won so far and my analysis of them.


Driving = Elite
Putting = Average
Short Game = Mediocre
Danger Zone Play = Mediocre

The driver is easily Bradley’s bread and butter club. He is not only an elite driver of the ball, but he hits it very long and can hit it quite high so he can play to most American golf courses. I’ll need to take a look at his wedge game. Most of the longer players on Tour each year are weaker wedge players. With Bradley’s Danger Zone play being mediocre and his putting be average, I would be willing to guess that he probably makes it up a bit with an above average or better game from 100-150 yards away.


Driving = Above Average
Putting = Average
Short Game = Elite
Danger Zone Play = Above Average

It’s easy to see why Schwartzel has had a really good year and even won the Masters. No real weakness to his game and his putting is the worst part and that is still average. However, it’s made up for by his elite short game.


Driving = Slighty Above Average
Putting = Average
Short Game = Mediocre
Danger Zone Play = Elite

I actually think he could wind up with a better career than Bradley because he generates more clubhead speed and has been a more stable putter. Bradley’s driving is far better and Stallings also launches it lower which may take him out of the equation on some courses. 2012 will give us a better idea of his potential.


Driving = Slighty Above Average
Putting = Below Average
Short Game = Average
Danger Zone Play = Elite

There’s certainly potential there as he’s more of a ballstriker than a short game and putter golfer at this point in his career. I think he needs more consistency off the tee.


Driving = Slighty Below Average
Putting = Mediocre
Short Game = Slighty Below Average
Danger Zone Play = Weakest on Tour

Goes to show how a golfer just needs one really good week and can keep their card. Hasn’t made the top 50 in his last 4 starts and no top 30’s in his last 15 starts. So, the stats are not missing anything. I would not be shocked if he lost his card once his exemption is up.


Driving = Below Average
Putting = Below Average
Short Game = Above Average
Danger Zone Play = Good

He won the Viking Classic which keeps him on Tour. From my early analysis of stats, I felt that there’s a place for golfers on Tour who are best at Danger Zone play and Short Game. Typically this may mean that they struggle to hit some greens with their shorter irons, but if their short game is good, they can just get up and down a lot. And if their Danger Zone play is good, then they don’t have to worry about getting up and down from a tough position which usually happens when you miss from the Danger Zone. Jonathan Byrd is having his finest year on Tour and is doing it thru elite Danger Zone play and has the best short game on Tour this year. Kirk is sorta like a ‘poor man’s Jonathan Byrd’ this season.


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