By the numbers: Schwartzel at Pinehurst

PGA Tour statistics specialist Bill Cooney took a look at the ranked statistics of each player at Pinehurst this week and refined the list to a top 15 that includes Charl Schwartzel.

 

“The thought is there will be a premium on the short game at Pinehurst,” Cooney wrote in his statistics report. “The greens will be difficult to hit on approach shots and, as usual at a U.S. Open, pars will be strong scores. That makes scrambling the No. 1 stat in my book this week.

 

"Half of scrambling, of course, is not only pitching but putting. But I wanted to take putting a step further. Strokes gained-putting was a logical choice, but I wasn't worried about putting from every distance. U.S. Opens seem to be won by not only a par save from 8 feet, but birdie putts from inside 10 feet and a successful back end of a two-putt from 3 or 4 feet. So the second stat I used is putting from inside 10 feet.”

 

The outcome of this ‘by the numbers’ analysis is a list full of promise. Adam Scott brings up the lead followed by scrambling and putting specialists Matt Kuchar and Keegan Bradley.

 

The fourth-placed name is that of Schwartzel, who has a great all-round record on the PGA Tour that includes seven top-10s from his 10 starts of the 2014 season.

 

Also notable on the chart (pictured below) is Graeme McDowell, whose driving will be less important at Pinehurst.

 

Golfer

Total driving

Scrambling

Putting inside 10'

Total

1. Adam Scott

3

41

18

62

2. Matt Kuchar

56

6

17

79

3. Keegan Bradley

20

16

46

82

4. Charl Schwartzel

18

42

34

94

5. John Senden

23

56

23

102

6. Zach Johnson

54

15

37

106

7. Graeme McDowell

97

12

5

114

8. Rickie Fowler

40

39

36

115

9. Brendon Todd

96

8

13

117

10. Sergio Garcia

30

5

97

132

11. Billy Hurley III

70

17

47

134

12. Jim Furyk

69

1

71

141

12. Bill Haas

55

71

15

141

14. Ryan Palmer

25

101

27

153

15. Hunter Mahan

13

122

19

154

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