The 21 best stats of the 2018-'19 PGA Tour season
The 2018-’19 PGA Tour year is officially over, which means it’s time to look back on the greatest, weirdest and wildest statistical events of the season. Let’s start with something that didn’t happen, and roll upward from there with some of these must-see stats:
0: Number of playoffs in PGA Tour events in 2019. OK, so the 2018 fall swing saw three playoffs (Safeway Open, WGC-HSBC Champions and the RSM Classic), but then the calendar turned to 2019 and … nothing.
1: Number of players this season who opened with a round over par and went on to win a tournament (Graeme McDowell shot a one-over 73 at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship)
2.551: Rory McIlroy’s average strokes gained per round, the highest total on the PGA Tour in a decade (since Tiger’s 3.189 in 2009), and the best non-Tiger total since the stat were first kept in 2004.
5: Deficit at the start of Sunday for Xander Schauffele at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and Francesco Molinari at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, both of whom won the tournament to tie for the biggest final-round comeback.
5: Consecutive birdies on par 3s by Cam Champ and Patton Kizzire, tied for the second-best streak of the decade.
8: Strokes under par for Paul Casey, winner of the Valspar Championship, the highest winning score in relation to par of the season.
12: Number of rounds that Brooks Koepka held the outright or a share of the lead on tour in 2018-’19, the most on tour (Rory was second-best at 8).
13: Number of PGA Tour titles Phil Mickelson, the oldest winner on the tour at 48 years, 7 months and 26 days when he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, already had earned when Matthew Wolff, the youngest winner on tour at 20 years, 2 months, 23 days at the 3M Open, was born on April 14, 1999.
14: First-time winners on tour this season, tied for the fourth-most since 1970 (the most was 18 in 2002).
16: The number of players who averaged less than 70 strokes per round for the entire year, led by Rory’s 69.057 average.
17: Consecutive holes with a one-putt or better by Brian Stuard, the best streak since Cameron Tringale went 19 holes in 2012.
26: Strokes under par of three winners in the 2018-’19 season (Mark Leishman at the CIMB Classic, Adam Long at the Desert Classic, Jim Herman at the Barbasol Championship), who tied for the lowest winning score in relation to par of the year
28: Putts made from beyond 25 feet by Jordan Spieth, the tour leader. (Spieth also led the tour with an average "putt made" distance of 4 feet, 10 inches.)
35: The number of tour events played by rookie Sungjae Im, most among all pros and the most since Danny Lee in 2015. From his first tournament in the fall to the Tour Championship, Im skipped the following events: the CIMB Classic, Puerto Rico Open (an alternate event to the WGC), the Zurich Classic (maybe he didn’t have a teammate?) and the Barracuda Championship (another alternate event).
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59.5: Percentage of third-round leaders or co-leaders in tour events who went on to win the tournament (25 of 42), compared to 19 percent of first-round leaders (eight of 42) and 42.8 percent of second-round leaders (18 of 42).
85.8: Length in feet of the putt made by Mackenzie Hughes on the second hole at Trinity Forest during the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson, the longest made putt of the season, edging out Patrick Rodgers by three inches. (Note the very humdrum tone of the recap from the tour’s website: “Hughes hit his tee at the green on the 235-yard par-3 second, setting himself up for a long 86-foot birdie putt, which he converted.” Happens every day!)
98.42: The percentage of putts made from inside five feet by Jon Rahm, leader among full-time pros.
112: The number of players who won a million dollars on the PGA Tour this season, from Brooks Koepka ($9,684,006) to Nick Watney ($1,008,964).
361: Holes without a three-putt for Webb Simpson, the best streak of the year and the third-best of the decade. (Absurdly, Freddie Jacobson owns the best mark of the decade with 542.)
457: Yardage of the longest drive hit this year, by Justin Thomas, at the 10th hole on Saturday at the WGC-Mexico (just eclipsing a 455-yarder by Bubba Watson at the U.S. Open)
834: The number of three-foot putts made by Brandt Snedeker, out of 834 tries, the fifth-highest total this decade for players who finished a season 100 percent from that distance. (Greg Chalmers, 2019; Gary Woodland, 2013; Daniel Summerhays, 2015; Beau Hossler, 2018)