Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How the Hyundai Was Won

One of the main themes about 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis is that most parts of the game are important to some level. The question is more along the lines of the level of importance. For example, assuming everything stays the same, if I improve my fairway bunker play it will have a positive impact on my score over time. However, I would have a greater impact if I improved my Danger Zone play.

Let's take a look at Stricker's ranking in the metrics (based out of 27 players in the field)

Advanced Total Driving: 12th
Putts Gained: 11th
Short Game Play: 7th

Birdie Zone: 6th
Safe Zone: 9th
Danger Zone: 4th

While his metrics were not particularly mind blowing, he did have the lowest average ranking of the entire field. Furthermore, he had the lowest 'maximum' ranking (Advanced Total Driving).

It's funny in a sense because this week we had heard how important putting was and Stricker finished 11th in Putts Gained, which was more or less 'average' for the field. We also were told that essentially the Birdie Zone was the 'Money Zone' by pundits like Brandel Chamblee, yet Stricker finished 6th in that category.

Chamblee termed the proximity to the cup from 50-125 yards to be the 'Money Zone' or to that effect. However, there are a couple of major flaws:

A. It does not account for golfers who have more shots from a closer distance to the cup. For instance, if Gary Woodland and Scott Piercy each have 100 shots from the 50-125 yard range, Woodland may wind up with a closer proximity to the cup. However, if all of Woodland's shots were actually inside 80 yards while 50% of Piercy's shots were from 100-125 yards, Woodland is not necessarily better from 50-125 yards...he just had shorter distances to the cup. The metrics in the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis 'cancel out' that yardage discrepancy.

B. It still does not have as strong of a correlation to Adjusted Scoring Average as the Danger Zone play does.

The player who finished 2nd in average ranking was the 2nd place finisher, Martin Laird:

Here's Laird's rankings in the metrics at the Hyundai:

Advanced Total Driving: 2nd
Putts Gained: 10th
Short Game Play: 1st

Birdie Zone: 5th
Safe Zone: 16th
Danger Zone: 21st

The problem for Laird was Danger Zone play. However, I think he was able to finish 2nd, despite poor Danger Zone play..because he drove the ball so well and his Short Game was the best in the field. Thus, when he missed a green from the Danger Zone, he was getting up and down anyway.

Since there were only 27 players in the field, I will go thru the rankings of each metric for this week:


1. Bill Haas
2. Martin Laird
3. Keegan Bradley
4. Scott Piercy
5. Jonathan Byrd
6. Ben Crane
7. Bubba Watson
8. David Toms
9. Nick Watney
10. Michael Bradley
11. Chris Kirk
12. Steve Stricker
13. Harrison Frazar
14. D.A. Points
15. Jhonattan Vegas
16. Mark Wilson
17. Brendan Steele
18. Aaron Baddeley
19. Bryce Molder
20. Kevin Na
21. Sean O'Hair
22. Johnson Wagner
23. K.J. Choi
24. Rory Sabbatini
25. Scott Stallings
26. Webb Simpson
27. Gary Woodland


1…Jonathan Byrd
2…Johnson Wagner
3…Nick Watney
4…Rory Sabbatini
5…Bryce Molder
6…Kevin Na
7…Harrison Frazar
8…Webb Simpson
9…Ben Crane
10…Martin Laird
11…Steve Stricker
12…Sean O'Hair
13…Chris Kirk
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…Mark Wilson
16…D.A. Points
17…K.J. Choi
18…Scott Piercy
19…Gary Woodland
20…Bubba Watson
21…Bill Haas
22…Keegan Bradley
23…Michael Bradley
24…Scott Stallings
25…Brendan Steele
26…Jhonattan Vegas
27…David Toms


1. Martin Laird
2. Keegan Bradley
3. D.A. Points
4. Scott Piercy
5. K.J. Choi
6. Ben Crane
7. Steve Stricker
8. David Toms
9. Sean O'Hair
10. Scott Stallings
11. Harrison Frazar
12. Chris Kirk
13. Aaron Baddeley
14. Johnson Wagner
15. Brendan Steele
16. Rory Sabbatini
17. Kevin Na
18. Bryce Molder
19. Bubba Watson
20. Michael Bradley
21. Nick Watney
22. Bill Haas
23. Jonathan Byrd
24. Jhonattan Vegas
25. Webb Simpson
26. Mark Wilson
27. Gary Woodland


1. Rory Sabbatini
2. Bryce Molder
3. Bill Haas
4. Keegan Bradley
5. Martin Laird
6. Steve Stricker
7. Johnson Wagner
8. K.J. Choi
9. David Toms
10. Sean O'Hair
11. Kevin Na
12. Brendan Steele
13. Chris Kirk
14. Jonathan Byrd
15. Webb Simpson
16. Gary Woodland
17. D.A. Points
18. Bubba Watson
19. Michael Bradley
20. Nick Watney
21. Harrison Frazar
22. Scott Piercy
23. Aaron Baddeley
24. Scott Stallings
25. Mark Wilson
26. Jhonattan Vegas
27. Ben Crane


1. Jhonattan Vegas
2. Webb Simpson
3. Scott Piercy
4. K.J. Choi
5. Mark Wilson
6. Nick Watney
7. Chris Kirk
8. Aaron Baddeley
9. Steve Stricker
10. Bubba Watson
11. Ben Crane
12. Brendan Steele
13. Johnson Wagner
14. Keegan Bradley
15. Rory Sabbatini
16. Martin Laird
17. D.A. Points
18. Bill Haas
19. Kevin Na
20. Harrison Frazar
21. Michael Bradley
22. Bryce Molder
23. Scott Stallings
24. David Toms
25. Sean O'Hair
26. Jonathan Byrd
27. Gary Woodland


1. Brendan Steele
2. Bryce Molder
3. Webb Simpson
4. Steve Stricker
5. Chris Kirk
6. Harrison Frazar
7. Kevin Na
8. Nick Watney
9. Rory Sabbatini
10. D.A. Points
11. Mark Wilson
12. Jonathan Byrd
13. Aaron Baddeley
14. Bubba Watson
15. Keegan Bradley
16. Gary Woodland
17. Johnson Wagner
18. Scott Piercy
19. Michael Bradley
20. Bill Haas
21. Martin Laird
22. Jhonattan Vegas
23. David Toms
24. K.J. Choi
25. Ben Crane
26. Scott Stallings
27. Sean O'Hair


Steve Stricker (8.2)
Martin Laird (9.2)
Keegan Bradley (10)
Chris Kirk (10.2)
Nick Watney (11.2)
Bryce Molder (11.3)
Rory Sabbatini (11.5)
Scott Piercy (11.5)
Johnson Wagner (12.5)
D.A. Points (12.8)
Harrison Frazar (13)
Webb Simpson (13.2)
Kevin Na (13.3)
Jonathan Byrd (13.5)
K.J. Choi (13.5)
Brendan Steele (13.7)
Ben Crane (14)
Bill Haas (14.2)
Bubba Watson (14.7)
Aaron Baddeley (14.8)
Mark Wilson (16.3)
David Toms (16.5)
Sean O'Hair (17.3)
Michael Bradley (18.7)
Jhonattan Vegas (19)
Gary Woodland (22)
Scott Stallings (22)


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