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Season Ending Notes - November 18, 2008
SEASON ENDING E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
Stephen Marino made the most putts on TOUR over 25 feet this past season—35.
Ben Curtis had the longest stretch without a 3-putt green going 374 consecutive holes at one point.
It’s only been around two years, but still only four players have finished in the Top-10 in the final FedExCup standings in both seasons—Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and K.J. Choi.
Kevin Streelman had the most rounds in the 60s—54.
International players won 18 times on TOUR in 2008. The 18 wins came from players who hail from 10 different countries—Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Fiji, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.
Bubba Watson led the TOUR in Driving Distance for the third consecutive season. His average has fallen each year, though, from 319.6 to 315.2 to 315.1.
Joe Durant led the TOUR in Greens in Regulation for the third time in his career.
Bob Tway led the TOUR in Putting with a 1.718 average and at age 49 he became the oldest player to lead the TOUR in any statistical category.
Who played the most rounds on TOUR in 2008? Patrick Sheehan with a whopping 124.
Nicholas Thompson led the TOUR in starts in 2008 playing in 36 tournaments. There were 34 players who had 30 or more starts this season.
Who misses left off the tee the least on TOUR? That would be Scott Verplank who did so only 7.52% of the time. The TOUR average was 13.19%. How about missing right? Olin Browne missed right the least often at 5.47% compared the TOUR average of 14.54%.
Players in their 20s won 15 times this year while players in their 30s collected 24 titles and players in their 40s won nine times.
A record 104 players earned at least $1 million.
Nine rookies finished among the Top 125—Andres Romero (36th), Dustin Johnson (42nd), Chez Reavie (71st), Kevin Streelman (78th), Marc Turnesa (81st), Tim Wilkinson (92nd), Michael Letzig (93rd), Brad Adamonis (124th) and Martin Laird (125th).
Jason Gore continued an odd trend. He became the sixth player in the last seven years to win the Total Driving crown and yet not finish among the Top 125. Only Charles Warren in 2007 avoided that fate during that span of time.
Tim Petrovic struck the year’s longest drive of 439 yards on the 11th hole during the first round of the Honda Classic.
Who 3-putted the least on TOUR? Craig Kanada 3-putted only 1.62% of the time in 2008—19 3-putts in 1,170 holes.
Who played the Par-3s the best this year? Corey Pavin at 11-undePar-4s? John Huston at 4-under Par-5s? Charles Howell III and Steve Marino at 130-under
Here’s a bit of an oddity. The two players who led the TOUR in Top-10s, Jim Furyk and Robert Allenby, failed to win an event between them.
Who was the youngest winner in 2008? Anthony Kim who won the Wachovia Championship at age 22 years, 10 months and 15 days. Who was the oldest winner on TOUR in 2008? Kenny Perry who won the John Deere Classic at age 47 years, 11 months and 3 days.
Driving Distance has been declining in recent years. There were 13 players who averaged 300 yards off the tee this year, exactly half as many as did in 2005. In fact, the last time this few players averaged 300 yards was back in 2003 when nine players accomplished the feat.
ShotLink provides a lot of interesting data including these items. Who has the top Clubhead Speed on TOUR? J.B. Holmes at 123.05 mph on average. Who has the top Ball Speed? Again, J.B. Holmes at 181.43 mph on average. Who hits his tee shots the highest? Robert Garrigus at an average of 121 feet, 11 inches. Who carries his tee shots the furthest? A combination of the above with Holmes and Garrigus each averaging 298.6 yards of carry.
Players who led the field in Putting won six times this past year. Five times the player who led in Scrambling won while twice the player who led in Greens in Regulation was victorious. The most accurate driver won twice as well while the player who led the field in Driving Distance won only once all year—Dustin Johnson at the Turning Stone Resort Championship.
To follow-up on the note above, when all three Tours are added together, players who led the field in Putting won 16 times while players who led in Driving Distance won only twice.
The toughest hole on TOUR was the 499 yard, par-4 sixth at Royal Birkdale. It played to a stroke average of 4.764. The toughest course was the par-70 Royal Birkdale which played to a 74.869 stroke average.
The top scrambler on Tour was Brian Gay who got it up and down 64.82% of the time. The TOUR average, by the way, was 56.17%.
Ron Streck set a new record in Sand Saves in 2008, getting up and down out of greenside bunkers 69.64% of the time. The old mark was 65.80% by Vicente Fernandez in 2000.
Who had the most rounds in the 60s? Loren Roberts with 46.
Bob Gilder played in all 29 events to extend his streak of consecutive events played to 122. Gilder was the only player to compete in every event this year.
It was a great year for rookies on the Champions Tour. Bernhard Langer was the leading money winner while five others finished among the Top 30—Jeff Sluman (4th), John Cook (5th), Mark Wiebe (17th), Gene Jones (19th) and Joey Sindelar (25th).
David Edwards led the Tour in Driving Accuracy for the third consecutive season. He also led the PGA TOUR in Driving Accuracy back in 1994.
Tom Purtzer led the TOUR in Driving Distance for the fourth time. Purtzer claimed the crown in 2003 and 2004 and came back to win in again in 2007.
The longest drive of the year was hit by Steve Thomas, a 386-yard effort on the 13th hole during the third round of the Regions Charity Classic.
The youngest player to win on the Tour this year was Bernhard Langer who claimed the Toshiba Classic at age 50 years, 6 months and 11 days. The oldest player to win was Tom Watson who won the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf crown at age 58 years, 7 months and 23 days.
Who had the most Top 10s on the Champions Tour this year? John Cook who had 15.
Who 3-putted the least on Tour in 2008. Walter Hall 3-putted just 1.73% of the time this past year—23 times in 1,332 holes.
The toughest hole on Tour was the 470-yard, par-4 11th at Royal Troon which played to a stroke average of 4.730.
The toughest course on Tour was Oak Hills CC (Senior PGA Championship) which played to a stroke average of 75.994 or 5.994 over par.
The top scrambler on the Champions Tour for 2008 was Jeff Sluman who got it up and down 68.63% of the time. The Tour average was 53.68%.
Who played the Par-3s the best this year? Ben Crenshaw at 9-under.
Who played the Par-4s the best this year? John Cook at 51-under.
Who played the Par-5s the best this year? Tom Kite and Keith Fergus at 110- under.
After playing an entire season, Mark Leishman and Brendon Todd tied for 19th on the money list with the exact same total--$244,224.
Winners on the 2008 Nationwide Tour hailed from four countries outside the U.S. with Australia leading the way with four different winners. Other countries that produced Nationwide Tour winners in 2008 were India, Zimbabwe and Canada.
Who had the most rounds in the 60s? Brendon de Jonge with 54. He also played the most rounds with 101.
Who had the most starts in 2008? A tie between Brendon de Jonge and J.J. Killeen, each with 29.
For the first time in the 19-year history of the Nationwide Tour, three players earned more than $400,000. In addition, a record 28 won $200,000 or more and a record 66 won $100,000 or more.
Former Nationwide Tour players won 20 times on the PGA TOUR this year including two members of the Class of 2007—Chez Reavie and Marc Turnesa. Former Nationwide Tour players have won 237 times on the PGA TOUR since 1991.
Among The 25 were eight players who didn’t win in 2008, but eight others who did win did not finish among The 25.
The toughest hole this season was the 469-yard, 18th hole at Wente Vineyards which played to a stroke average of 4.534.
The toughest course this year was the par-70 Panama Golf Club which played to a stroke average of 72.959.
Three players went over the $1 million mark in career earnings on the Tour this year—Darron Stiles, D.A. Points and Jeff Klauk. Five players have now reached the $1 million mark on the Nationwide Tour.
Who played the Par-3s the best this year? Brendon Todd at 3-under.
Who played the Par-4s the best this year? Brendon de Jonge at 58-under.
Who played the Par-5s the best this year? Jeff Brehaut at 146-under.
Reid Edstrom had the season’s longest drive at 416 yards during the first round of the Miccosukee Championship on the fifth hole.
Greg Chalmers had the most Top-10s on the Tour in 2008 with 10. Chalmers also became the first lefty to win twice on the Tour when he won the Henrico County Open.
Gavin Coles is Mr. Even Numbered Years. When Coles won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open he posted his fourth career win—all coming in even numbered years—2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Greg Owen had an amazing statistical year. He finished first in five stat categories—All-Around, Scoring Average, Total Driving, Birdies and Sand Saves. His 102 score in All-Around set a new Nationwide Tour record breaking the old mark of 111 set by Zach Johnson in 2003. Owen was also 8th in Driving Distance and 9th in Greens in Regulation.
The Class of 2008 will feature 16 rookies heading to the PGA TOUR—Matt Bettencourt, Jeff Klauk, Bill Lunde, Colt Knost, Scott Piercy, Peter Tomasulo, Rick Price, Kris Blanks, David Mathis, Casey Wittenberg, Aron Price, Marc Leishman, Brendon Todd, Spencer Levin, Matt Weibring and Ricky Barnes.