PGA Note from 3Putts4Par
With the season winding down and entering the FedEx Cup Playoffs, I’ll keep it short and simple in here as we dont like to overload with info that might make you overthink- there’s nothing worse than that . As most of you know this will be our last CUT event of the season. The top 125 players will have a 36 Hole cut in which will send 70 players into the weekend. Those 70 will move onto Medinah at the BMW Championship which will have no 36 hole cut but will subsequently allow only the top 30 of that Tourney to head to the Tour Championship in East Lake- You know which one I’m talking about right? The one with the funky new format which sees the FedEx Point Leader hold a -10 shot advantage before he even takes his practice swing on the first tee. So basically, this is Brooks Koepka’s Fedex Cup to lose at this point. What you need to know about the Northern Trust Open is below. It shifts to Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey which sports a stunning view of the Statue of Liberty and its neighboring city of New York. Liberty National played host to the 2017 Presidents Cup, and for those of you that remember it will feature a links style course with undulating greens, rough and fescue that almost looke like a mini Shinnecock Hills. I’ll put some key stats to look for below as well as the the customary tidbits.
First and foremost, among the most successful golfers that have competed on this course, the top 20 have been proficient in the TEE2GREEN Stat. This is followed naturally by Strokes Gained APPROACH. There are many difficult par 4’s at LNGC, so I will mix in Par 4 efficiency and set a priority to that regard this week. There are 3 relatively gettable Par 5s as well although the 8th hole will stretch to 611 yards. Now as you will notice below, this course has fairways averaging only 25ft wide, and the greens spread to an average of only 3,400sq ft. – So we have narrow Fairways and Tiny greens. Do not fear though, as 68% of Fairways have been hit here in the past, so driving accuracy should not be a problem for our field, especially since we have reached the top 125. Water will also come into play on a few holes, so be wary of that. Accuracy and Ball Striking mixed with the ability to recover from missed Greens in Regulation will play key. Lot’s of players will elect to use Irons off the tee in the sake of accuracy, so keep that in mind. For those of you who have followed the tour attentively all season, you know which players to look for.
Liberty National Golf Course
YARDS: 7,370 @ PAR 71
GREENS, TEES, FAIRWAYS: BENTGRASS
ROUGH: KENTUCKY BLUE GRASS
SPEED: 12.5FT (Average to fast)
WATER HAZARDS: 12
GREEN SIZES: AVERAGE 3,400 SQ FEET – TINY GREENS!! – Look for Scrambling too
FAIRWAY AVG WIDT: 25-27 YDS (NARROW)
ARCHITECTS: Legendary Tom Kite and Bob Cupp
18 HOLE COURSE RECORD: 62, Kevin Chappel 2013
Interesting Fact: Liberty National GC was built on an old landfill and refinery- elevated from 12ft above sea level to 52 ft. Amazing how LITERALLY a dump can be turned into a beautiful venue!
Here are some of the golfers that stood out to me this week factoring in form, and basic course fit. I will give the slight edge to the Europeans this week as the style of golf that most employ is one that sets the precedent on accuracy over distance. Those who have been following me for years will notice how I’ve mention Le Golf Nacional and the Ryder cup in the past. Captain Bjorn strategically set the course up with narrow fairways, smaller greens with long rough to essentially eliminate the American long game off the tee. This will play similar.
BROOKS KOEPKA (Let’s Face it, this is his year again, and his Cup to lose)
65% Greens in Regulation 57.5% Driving Accuracy 69% Scrambling 1.45 Putts Per Hole
RORY MCILROY (Will need to win if he wants to catch BK)
67% Greens in Regulation 60.5% Driving Accuracy 68.3% Scrambling 1.52 Putts Per Hole
63% Greens in Regulation 54.1% Driving Accuracy 6.49% Scrambling 1.47 Putts Per Hole
TOMMY FLEETWOOD (Iron Play and Ball Striking phenom, Tommy is in great form of late)
59% Greens in Regulation 59.2% Driving Accuracy 72.9% Scrambling 1.45 Putts Per Hole
WEBB SIMPSON (Really should have won at Sedgefield, but the kids had a huge sunday run)
62% Greens in Regulation 63.6% Driving Accuracy 69.5% Scrambling 1.47 Putts Per Hole
CONSIDER: RICKIE FOWLER WHO IS A BENTGRASS SPECIALIST.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI (Course sets up nicely form Frankies Style of play- Irons, Striking)
57% Greens in Regulation 62.1% Driving Accuracy 69.6% Scrambling 1.43 Putts Per Hole
TONY FINAU (During his down time has leisurely broken 2 course records on the West Coast)
62% Greens in Regulation 52% Driving Accuracy 65.2% Scrambling 1.51 Putts Per Hole
COLLIN MORIKAWA (Hard to find anyone hotter on tour right now than Collin and Wolffie)
73% Greens in Regulation 71% Driving Accuracy 59.6% Scrambling 1.59 Putts Per Hole
CHARLES HOWELL III (Led the field in OTT Accuracy last week)
70% Greens in Regulation 62.7% Driving Accuracy 64.2% Scrambling 1.62 Putts Per Hole
TYRELL HATTON (Course management is impressive, just has to keep the temper down)
59% Greens in Regulation 56.1% Driving Accuracy 62.5% Scrambling 1.48 Putts Per Hole
CONSIDER: IAN POULTER AND PATRICK REED WHO HAVE STRONG LONG IRON GAMES
CAMERON TRINGALE (My personal top value this week, he has had several weeks leading the field in iron play, and it’s about time he cracks the Top 20- he’s certainly trending in the right direction)
70% Greens in Regulation 60.4% Driving Accuracy 60.8% Scrambling 1.61 Putts Per Hole
64% Greens in Regulation 64.3% Driving Accuracy 56.8% Scrambling 1.58 Putts Per Hole
70.6% Greens in Regulation 68% Driving Accuracy 58.2% Scrambling 1.63 Putts Per Hole
68% Greens in Regulation 60.1% Driving Accuracy 58% Scrambling 1.62 Putts Per Hole
65% Greens in Regulation 62% Driving Accuracy 58.9% Scrambling 1.59 Putts Per Hole
LONG SHOTS DARTS: JONAS BLIXT & TALOR GOOCH
Thanks for reading as always,
Good Luck everyone, Cheers!
George Z @3Putts4Par