Golf Analytics

How Golfers Win

Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Friday

Quick recap of the day’s stats:

All courses in the rotation played more difficult today, with a uniform increase in difficulty of 2-2.5 strokes across the board. Monterrey Peninsula played to 71.3, Pebble Beach to 74.1, and Spyglass Hill to 73.2. The uniform increase means there wasn’t much of an advantage in which courses a golfer played so far. We’ll see if that holds up tomorrow. Pebble Beach, which played as a fairly innocuous course on Thursday (71.6) revealed its teeth Friday. Driving distance plummeted by 9 yards which resulted in a GIR rate of 58%, compared to 66% on Thursday. Average proximity to the hole after approach was 43 feet, 8 more than Thursday.

Looking ahead to Saturday, Hunter Mahan and Jimmy Walker will move to the much easier Monterrey Peninsula course, while Jordan Spieth will play Pebble Beach. If the differentials seen on the first two days hold up, Mahan and Walker will play a course 2.5-3 strokes easier than Spieth, enough to make those two comfortable favorites going into the weekend.

For those playing Pebble Beach tomorrow, the stretch from #9-12 looms large. #9 and #10 are par 4s playing a third of a stroke over par, while #12 is a preposterously difficult par 3 playing a similar third of a stroke over par. Daniel Summerhays recorded perhaps the second best round of the day today, primarily by playing #9-12 at even par. After parring #9, he scrambled successfully from right off the green on #10, before generating birdie putts of 7 and 12 feet on #11 & #12. Summerhays beat the field by 5 strokes, most of that coming with his play from tee to green. Only Victor Dubuisson played better today (67, 7 strokes better than the field), though he relied heavily on his putter (>3 strokes gained there). Dubuisson dropped putts of 37 and 20 feet, but his shot of the day might have been his 2nd shot to 21 feet for eagle on #18. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, this round followed a disastrous Thursday where he blundered around Monterrey Peninsula four shots worse than the field.

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