2009 PGA Tour Season in Review
by Matt of Predictem.com
About every six weeks, well take a look back at the previous events on the PGA Tour and give you a break down of the action overall. Well highlight the hot players to give you an idea of who may be ready to go on run in the upcoming tournaments.
This week has the WGC-Accenture Match Play, so here is a look back at the top players from the first seven weeks of stroke play.
Geoff Ogilvy: Winner - Mercedes-Benz Championship
Ogilvy shrugged off a rough 2008 by winning the season opening Mercedes in style at 24-under par. The following weeks havent produced the same results, but Geoff has yet to miss a cut, averaging a 26th place finish in three other events. Ogilvy has had a hot putter so far in 09, recording the 3rd best average per 18 holes and ranking 1st in birdies per round at just over five. Geoffs 69.4 scoring average is good for 4th on Tour and he currently sits 4th on the money list. If the putts keep falling, look for him to be a factor in the Majors this year.
Zach Johnson: Winner Sony Open in Hawaii
Zach is our favorite golfer of the year so far, he paid 30 to 1 as our long odds pick for the Sony. Along with his win, Johnson has a T6 and T12 against one missed cut in four events and has yet to post a total score over-par in any tournament. Zach is among the most accurate players in the game today, ranking 2nd in ballstriking with top-15 ranks in both fairways and greens hit. The former Masters champ has the 3rd best scoring average at 69.3 and is lights out on the weekends with top-5 ranks in third and fourth round scoring average. Johnson is currently 4th and 3rd on the Fed Ex and money list, respectively.
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Pat Perez: Winner The Bob Hope Classic
After missing the cut in his first event, Perez went out and shot 61 and 63 in the first two rounds of the Hope, eventually winning the event at 33-under par. That level of play hasnt continued and although Pat is making cuts, he is averaging a 46th place finish since his win. Pat is 5th on Tour in total birdies with a solid stat sheet that has him in the top-30 in driving distance, putting average, and scoring average. Currently 6th and 8th on the Fed Ex and money lists, a few more fairways and greens should have Pat in contention again during the year.
Kenny Perry: Winner FBR Open
The seemingly ageless Perry is keeping pace with his strong 2008 season by notching four top-20s in five starts including a 6th at the Mercedes and his FBR win. His three top-10s are the most in early action and he has yet to post an over-par tournament total. Kenny is still one of the longer players out there, ranking 24th in driving distance and hitting enough fairways to have him ranked 2nd in the total driving stat. Perry is 7th in greens in regulation, 11th in scoring and 1st on both the Fed Ex Cup and money lists. The good swings dont look to be ending soon, so dont be surprised if Kenny is there on Sunday at the Masters or U.S. Open.
Nick Watney: Winner Buick Invitational
Nick Watney is quietly putting together a strong campaign with no missed cuts and an average finish of 23rd in his five events. Watney is long, averaging 303 yards off the tee, but has a good feel game as well, averaging 18th in scrambling, a measurement of short game prowess. Nick is 13th in birdie and scoring average and currently 8th in the all around stat rank. Owning the 3rd spot in the Fed Ex race, Watney is 7th on Tour in total birdies and should be on the radar in all events that favor the bombers on Tour.
Dustin Johnson: Winner AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Dustin battled the elements to come out on top at Pebble in the rain-shortened event, and has finished in the top-20 three other times in six starts. A 66th and a MC in weeks 2 and 3 have been followed up with an average finish of 10th in the three events since. Johnson is 10th in driving distance, combining nicely with the 29th best GIR% and 4th ranked birdie average. Johnson is prone to slip-ups, dropping his scoring average to 52nd, but is 2nd in total birdies and 2nd on both the Fed Ex and money lists. Dustin also owns the longest drive on Tour this year at 430 yards.
Phil Mickelson: Winner Northern Trust Open
Not much went right leading up to Mickelsons win last week. Phil has opened the year with a missed cut followed by 42nd and 55th place finishes before breaking through at the Northern Trust. Even the win wasnt smooth, with Lefty needing to come from behind on the inward nine after fighting inconsistency while putting up rounds of 63, 72, 62, and 72 during the week. The stat sheet is pretty ugly so far, with a new driver possibly to blame for a 173rd rank in fairways hit. Still, Mickelson is among the most talented players around and should win multiple events this yearthey just wont be Majors if he cant find the short grass.
Steve Stricker makes our list after posting rounds of 61 and 62 at the Hope. Steve was unable to finish off with a win after a disastrous 77 in the final round, but did finish 3rd and was runner up to Mickelson last week. Stricker has one missed cut in four starts, but is averaging an 8th place finish when he makes the weekend. Stricker is 18th in greens, 20th in putting and 5th in scoring average, good for 5th in the all around. Like Mickelson, Stricker is barely hitting half of the fairways. A straight driver should have Steve on the first page all summer long.
Charley could be the Rodney Dangerfield of the 09 seasonno respect. Not too many people would guess that Hoffman is 6th in scoring, 8th in birdie average and 2nd in the all around, but Charley is doing it all this year. Hoffman has made every one of his five cuts so far, averaging a 14th place finish. His best effort was a playoff runner up at the FBR and his most recent T30 at the Northern Trust was his worst finish on the year. Charley is outside the top-100 only in fairways hit, so look for a win or maybe more in 09.
There are your players to watch in the upcoming weeks, lets see how we fared with our picks in weeks 1 through 7. Each week we pick a short, middle and long shot odds player to win outright.
Short: Our short odds guys have come up way short so far with only one top-10 (2nd) and an average finish of 41. (-7 units)
Middle: The middles have done slightly better with a 32nd place average but no top-10 and 2 missed cuts. (-7 units)
Longshots: For the second year in a row, we are saving our bacon with our long odds picks. Zach Johnson paid 30 to 1 in week two and the average finish for the pick set is at 23rd with three top-10s and no missed cuts. (+24 units)
+10 units for the year considering all picks.