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Hitting the Links: March 17 – March 23, 2014

Once again, here’s  Doug Maccaferri:

I’m supposed to have something witty to say, but the impending snow here in MA is really putting a damper on my creativity. 

PGA Breakdown

Matt Every

At a time when March Madness is in full swing, it’s great to see some drama filled Sundays on the golf course. After the first two rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational it looked like Adam Scott was going to run away with this one, as he was making Arnie’s course seem like his own personal playground. Matt Every clawed his way back into contention, however, and was able to hold off Scott, Jason Kokrak, and a late-charging Keegan Bradley to claim his first victory in 93 starts on the tour. After Bradley’s 30-footer for birdie on 18 failed to drop, Every showed just how emotional he was in his post-round interview. It was great to see somebody win and know that it truly meant something to them. This wasn’t just another paycheck for Every, and on top of taking home career victory number one, he’ll be playing in his first Masters come April.

LPGA Breakdown

096359-karrie-webb

Karrie Webb took home the Founders Cup (in honor of the LPGA’s 13 founders) with a course record 9-under 63. Needing a birdie out of the final three holes to jump into a tie with Webb, young sensation Lydia Ko closed with straight pars finish one back.

Surprising Stats of the Week

putting image

When I first started really watching PGA tournaments, it seemed like nearly every putt that was being hit was dropping. Double-breaking 45 footer? No problem. I had always assumed that to play on the PGA you had to be an absolute sniper on the greens, and watching putt after putt drop on broadcasts certainly doesn’t challenge that. But in reality, outside of 15 feet, players simply don’t sink a high percentage of putts. From 15-25’, tour leader Bubba Watson is only hitting at about 25%. Dustin Johnson? 13%. Where tour putters do excel, however, are on putts inside of 10 feet that us amateurs seem to be professional at lipping out on. Tour leader Graeme McDowell is hitting putts inside of 10’ at a 92% clip. Even 170th ranked (in this statistic) Kyle Stanley is hitting at 80%. While tour players don’t have magic putters from long distance, they are incredibly efficient at making sure they get down in two. So make sure you keep practicing those 8-footers. (Here is a link to the PGA Tour’s putting statistics)

Why I Haven’t Broken 80 Yet

Starting with a birdie on Sunday was a great beginning to my 10th round of the year. Following that up with a quad-bogey 8, however, was not. I knew it was going to come back to bite me, and of course, I closed with a 3-over 39 on the back-nine to shoot 81. Frustrating, but promising. Like every round of golf, ever.

Upcoming

The PGA Tour heads to the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio while the LPGA moves to the west coast for the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California.

Stay tuned to Bunker’s Paradise for ongoing coverage, updates, and reviews!

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