The third tournament of the year on the PGA TOUR, the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, concluded with three-man playoff between Brian Gay, Charles Howell III and David Lingmerth with Gay winning on the second hole over Howell. Lingmerth had bogeyed the first playoff hole to drop out of contention. Gay, who had started the day six strokes back of 54-hole leader Scott Stallings, shot a final round 63 and claimed his fourth career victory.
We will walk tee to green and look at several key metrics to see how Gay performed against the statistical leader in each of those categories.
Driving Distance: As I discussed in the entry about Russell Henley's victory, driving distance is a stat which measures only two drives per round or eight drives over an entire tournament and thus can be a little misleading.
Gay, who has never been a long hitter, averaged 279.9 yards and ranked 75th. The tournament leader was Luke List who averaged 321.8 yards. List finished in a T65th
Driving Accuracy: Another misleading stat in that a drive two feet off the fairway may be every bit as good as a drive in the fairway which may have a more difficult approach shot. However, the more one plays from the middle of the fairway, the better the chances of a decent score on that hole.
Gay hit 81.48% of his fairways to tie for 2d. Kevin Stadler hit 83.33% of his fairways and finished in a T27th.
Greens in Regulation: This stat measures the percent of time a player hits the green in regulation. The regulation stroke is two strokes less than par for any hole.
Gay hit 83.33 to T4th in GIR. Jerry Kelly hit 87.50% of his greens and yet finished only T47. Mr. Kelly, David Stockton is on line 1, please pick up.
Proximity to Hole: Measure the average distance the ball comes to rest from the hole after the player's approach shot an the approach shot must not originate from or around the green which is defined as within thirty yards of the edge of the green.
Gay averaged 31'3" and ranked 42nd. Tag Ridings averaged 21'7" and finished T56th.
Scrambling: Measure the percent of time a player misses the green in regulation but still makes par or better.
Gay successfully scrambled 83.33% on his missed greens and ranked 4th. Carl Pettersson's scrambling percentage was 89.47% and he finished T47th.
Strokes Gained--Putting: This might be the most complex stat to explain so I will defer to the PGA TOUR definition which calculates it as "the number of putts a player takes from a specific distance is measured against a statistical baseline to determine the player's strokes gained or lost on a hole. The sum of the values for all holes played in a round minus the field average strokes gained/lost for the round is the player's Strokes gained/lost for that round. The sum of strokes gained for each round are divided by total rounds played."
Gay picked up .899 strokes per round and ranked 25th. Bryce Molder picked up 3.383 strokes per round and finished T16th.
Some other numbers for Gay who is quietly one of the better short game players on the TOUR. These numbers are through his first two tournaments of 2013:
--he has three putted only one green in 144 holes (ranks T20th as there are 19 others who have yet to three-putt this year);
--he has made 99 of 105 putts inside ten feet (ranks 8th);
--he has made 44 birdies against 10 bogeys for a 4.40 birdie to bogey ratio (ranks 9th.)
Thank you for reading. Check back next week for the stats on the winner of the Farmers Insurance Open.