15 interesting stats, figures, and tidbits from the 2017-18 PGA Tour season
The PGA Tour season opens on Thursday at the Safeway Open, which might be news to some who didn't know the previous campaign closed. To help give the 2017-'18 season some closure, here are 15 interesting stats, figures and tidbits from last "year."
1: Aaron Wise was the youngest winner on tour in 2017-'18 at 21 years, 10 months and 29 days. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Phil Mickelson (WGC-Mexico) at 47 years, eight months and 16 days.
2. Sticking with age:
• 12 players in their 20s won 17 events.
• 19 players in their 30s won 25 events.
• 6 players in their 40s won six events.
3. Drive for show … and drive for dough, too: 11 players among the top 20 money winners finished in the top 25 for strokes gained/off-the-tee. Ditto for strokes gained/approach. Only four finished into the top 25 for strokes gained/putting.
4. Only Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Webb Simpson had more top-10 finishes on tour than Brian Harman. Astonishing considering Harman recorded just one top-10 finish after the first week of March.
5. Both Johnson and Hudson Swafford logged the longest drives of the year at 430 yards, both at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Swafford's came at the Plantation Course's seventh hole during the third round, while Johnson's at the par-4 12th on Sunday was slightly more dramatic:
6. Just 10 players won after holding the first-round lead.
7. There were 12 playoffs, nine of which came before the Masters. For context, the record for one season was 18 in 2011.
8. Ricky Barnes ranked 14th in birdie average, but 170th in scoring. The latter standing perhaps better explained by ranking 155th in bogey avoidance. He is the only player who ranked in the top 25 in birdie average to not finish in the FedEx Cup top 125.
9. Coffees are for Koepkas. Brooks Koepka, he of two majors in 2018, led the tour in final-round scoring at 68.27. Rickie Fowler led the tour in Round 1 scoring, but did not find win a tournament, which could be chalked up to a found-round 70.01 average (T-54).
10. Longest hole-out came from Satoshi Kodaira at Colonial's first hole from 234 yards out.
11. Kodaira also makes this list in unfavorable fashion, having the lowest amount of FedEx Cup points for a PGA Tour winner. Aside from his triumph at the RBC Heritage, Kodaira posted just one other top-30 finish in 18 events, and missed eight of final 12 cuts to finish 94th in the FEC.
12. Tiger Woods finished the season first in approach. Woods has led that category every year he's been eligible since the stat was introduced.
13. Just two non-exempt players earned their cards through points: Joaquin Niemann and Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Niemann, at 19, grabbed his card in just eight professional events.
14. Tommy Fleetwood had the best strokes gained/overall figure (1.423, seventh) that didn’t win a tour event. Although we're guessing that Ryder Cup victory helped fill that void.
15. 1876: Days from Tiger's 2013 Bridgestone Invitational victory to his 2018 Tour Championship win.