Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands


Brandel Chamblee, citing distance constrictions at TPC Sawgrass, calls it 'superstar proof'

May 14, 2017
THE PLAYERS Championship - Final Round

Ryan Young

Si Woo Kim’s victory in the Players Championship should not be considered a fluke given that, at 21, he now has won twice on the PGA Tour and qualified to play the tour at 17 and won on the Tour at 20.

That said, Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee had an interesting observation of the TPC Sawgrass and the players it favors in, or, maybe, allows to win, the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament.

“This is, from a statistical standpoint, perhaps the greatest upset you’ll ever see,” Chamblee said. “In terms of upsets, this is Great Britain voting to leave the EU [European Union]. This is Trump winning the presidency.

“In an era of big data, when you look for data to give you an idea of who might have a chance to do what, where and when, you’re talking about a guy in the all-around statistic that measures pretty much everything was dead last on the PGA Tour. They only go to 207. He was 207. In total driving, they only go to 207. He was 207. He was basically near the bottom of every single statistical category.

“And yet, because of this golf course, and I think I did finally get my arms around it this week, because of the distance constrictions of this golf course — off of one, off of four, off of six, nine, you go all the way through the golf course, 10, 12, 14, 18, 16, because of the distance constrictions, the very best players cannot play their best game. It’s not Tiger proof, it’s superstar proof.

“And so it turns into a scrambling contest. And who won the scrambling contest? Si Woo Kim. And who was second? Ian Poulter. Same thing happened last year. Even though Jason Day hit the ball nine miles, he blew the field away in scrambling. That’s what this golf course does. It puts everybody on edge, pretty much turns it into a scrambling contest, and he won it.”

Kim hit only three of his last nine greens in regulation, yet made nine straight parts to win by three.