It’s almost that time again — you know, at the Tour Championship, when you see GC’s Steve Sands furiously scribbling on a whiteboard trying to explain the FedExCup points system and which players have a “mathematical” shot at winning the whole thing and the wheelbarrow of cash.
Heading into the third leg of the FEC Playoffs, the BMW Championship, there are some marquee players outside the top 30 — like Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Ernie Els, Luke Donald and more — that need to play well to qualify for next week’s Tour Championship, which isn’t just a chance to win $10-plus million, but it also means an invitation to the Masters and automatic berths in the Opens and most of the World Golf Championships.
Remember when Bubba Watson’s Hovercraft golf cart debuted and you and every person on the planet – even guys who don’t like golf — were like, ” OMG, that’s siiiiiick!”?
Well, Windy Knoll GC in Springfield, Ohio, will become the first course in the United States to feature two Neoteric Golf hovercrafts for use as golf carts starting on July 27.
A week ago after putting out on the 72nd hole, Justin Rose pointed upward to honor his father who passed away twelve years ago. This Sunday, Ken Duke made a similar gesture…to thank the tree on the 10th hole at TPC River Highlands for giving his ball a fortuitous kick onto the green.
Naturally, Duke’s nod to that tree makes the top of this week’s list.
Well, this certainly wasn’t one of Bubba Watson’s finer moments. Watson, who was leading at the time, tried to hit a 9-iron into the wind on the par-3 16th and dunked it in the water. He turned to his caddie, Ted Scott, and said, “Water. It’s in the water. That club.”
Then, Watson took a drop and his next shot went over the green and he said, “You’re going to tell me that’s the right yardage?!?”
As loyal readers know — hi, mom! — By the Numbers is generally a look back on the previous week’s tournament, but with all due respect to Harris English, who I hear is a great guy, it’s U.S. OPEN WEEK! With that in mind, this week’s column is going to look at some of the regular stats and some different ones that will come in play at Merion Golf Club.
Hopefully, this will help with your office pools and Fantasy Golf – or just make you sound really smart when you’re hanging out on your couch alone or with your friends, family and/or significant others. (Note: The following is not a comprehensive list of stats that will be important — others, such as driving accuracy and putting, will also play a factor.)
As I’m sure you’ve heard, keeping it in the fairway is premium for players this week at Merion, especially if they want to be in contention coming down the stretch on Sunday. Precision off the tee is crucial even more so than an average U.S. Open — though even if you look at the stats for recent champs, they ranked poorly in driving accuracy — because the rough isn’t graduated as it has been in the last few years.
So, if you miss the fairway even by an inch, you’re not likely going to reach the green and how far players advance the ball is going to depend on how bad their lie is in the thick, long grass (and if it rains on Thursday as the forecast predicts, then it’s going to be even tougher).
Bubba Watson tweeted the above picture from New Orleans of himself #Dufnering with Jason Dufner and the stars of Duck Dynasty. Now that’s a motley crew, eh?
This picture screams caption contest. Ready, set, go!