Golf news: PGA Tour adds golfer stats, moves tournament from Trump's Doral to Mexico

By Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange  |  June 6, 2016 at 8:20 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

--The PGA Tour announced the next phase of the Strokes Gained statistic to break down its three components: strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained in the approach to the green and strokes gained around the green.

The three new statistics, which were introduced last week at the Memorial Tournament, apply the same foundation as Strokes Gained Putting, to more accurately compare a player's non-putting performance to the rest of the field.

"This completes our holistic view of play under the Strokes Gained umbrella," said Steve Evans, PGA Tour Senior Vice President, Information Systems. "We started with Putting and Tee-to-Green and now we have broken the Tee-to-Green statistic into its component parts.

"This enables us, for the first time, to quantify player performance and explain how a player achieves his success on the course. This is an exciting time for us as we continue to provide modern analytics to our sport."

The Strokes Gained Putting statistic was unveiled in 2011 and Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green was added in 2014.

They have become key statistics that the PGA Tour uses to augment traditional stats.

"The Strokes Gained concept provides us with numerous future opportunities," Evans said. "Now that we have computed the baselines and statistics for each phase of the game, we can focus on how to leverage this data when telling the story of the best players in the world.

"Strokes Gained gives us the ability to explain performance and objectively compare multiple player performances. It also allows us to leverage the baseline data to compute probability for each player situation. People have seen this executed in our telecasts for putting. Now we can bring probability to the rest of the game."

ShotLink, powered by PGA Tour technology partner CDW, is the organization's real-time scoring system that was implemented in 2003 and captures data on every shot struck during competition.

--Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, ripped the PGA Tour for moving what has been the WGC-Cadillac Championship from Trump National Doral to Mexico next year.

Tour officials announced the move to Club de Golf Chapultepec near Mexico City and said the tournament will be sponsored by the Grupo Salinas conglomerate because no sponsor was found to replace Cadillac at Doral.

"The PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition," Trump said. "This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for president of the United States.

"It is a sad day for Miami, the United States and the game of golf, to have the PGA Tour consider moving the World Golf Championships, which has been hosted in Miami for the last 55 years, to Mexico. ...

"They're moving it to Mexico City which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance."

Trump purchased Doral in 2012 and led a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Blue Monster course, where the PGA tournament has been played.

The PGA Tour has held a tournament at Doral every year since 1962, when Billy Casper won the inaugural Doral Country Club Open.

"As we anticipated, some of the reaction revolves around the feeling that somehow this is a political exercise, and it is not that in any way, shape, or form," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "It is fundamentally a sponsorship issue. We are a conservative organization. We value dollars for our players. We have a strong sense of fiduciary responsibility. So we make decisions that are in the best interests of our players, short term and long term. ...

"The decision made here was based on the reality that we were not able to secure sponsorship for next year's WGC at Doral or for (other) years for that matter. At the same time, we had an opportunity to build what we think is going to be a spectacular event in an area that is strategically important to the growth of the sport and the activity of the PGA Tour that has been focused in South America and Central America for the last good number of years.

"At the same time, however, we want to make it clear that we have enjoyed our relationship with the Trump organization. We think that the work that was done after the acquisition of Doral by the Trump organization to rebuild the golf course was done in a very positive way, and the product was a result of that."

Trump owns several golf courses around the world, but golf organizations have been moving away from associations with him after he made inflammatory remarks about Mexicans and other immigrants, and called for a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States.

--Aaron Wise gave Oregon its first national individual title, taking a two-stroke win over Rico Hoey of Southern California on his home course in the NCAA Championships at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.

Wise, a sophomore from Lake Elsinore, Calif., overcame two double bogeys on the back nine to shoot 1-over-par 71 after taking the lead with a 64 in the third round. He made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in the last round.

"It makes it harder, knowing this is my last event in front of my teammates, my family, my friends," said Wise, who is turned pro after the NCAA team championship. "My family came up just because it was my last event. All that brings pressure -- being on your home course, everything. There was a ton of pressure on me today. I'm happy with the way I was able to calm down before the round and go out there and execute.

"It was one of those putts (on No. 17) I actually struggled to read. I called in (assistant coach Van Williams). He settled me down and said, 'You've got to trust what you do.' Obviously, I read it right. When that thing went in, I let out some emotion. ... The roar from the crowd there was amazing."

Wise, who claimed his third victory of the season and fourth of his career, finished with a score of 70-70-64-71--275. Hoey, a junior from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., totaled 70-69-69-69--277.

Matthias Schwab of Vanderbilt posted a score of 71-68-67-73--279 to tie for third with Jon Rahm of Arizona State, who came in at 71-68-69-71--279.

Beau Hossler of Texas was fifth at 70-70-67-73--280, while Robby Shelton of Alabama shot 70-66-72-73--281 to tie for sixth with Lee McCoy of Georgia, who finished at 69-70-70-72--281.

Charlie Danielson of Illinois wound up at 72-69-70-71--282 to tie for eighth with Antoine Rozner of Missouri-Kansas City, who totaled 70-72-70-70--282. Collin Morikawa of Cal carded a score of 73-69-70-71--283 to tie for 10th with Justin Suh of Southern California, who wound up at 68-67-75-73--283, and Thomas Detry of Illinois, who finished at 73-70-73-67--283.

--Host Oregon, even though individual national champion Aaron Wise lost his match, defeated top-ranked Texas 3-2 to capture its first NCAA Championship at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.

The Ducks became the first host school to win the national title since Oklahoma claimed the crown in 1989 at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Okla.

Edwin Yi of Oregon beat Gavin Hall 4 and 3 to pull Oregon even at 2-2, and Sulman Raza gave the Ducks their winning point by rallying to defeat Taylor Funk with a 7-foot birdie putt on the 21st hole.

"I just felt like everything was on my shoulders and I handled it great," said Raza, a junior from Eugene. "It's the best feeling I ever felt in my life."

Texas standout Beau Hossler was forced to concede his match to Zach Foushee before hitting a shot because of a left shoulder injury he sustained while leading the Longhorns past USC in the semifinals.

Scottie Sheffler of Texas knocked off Wise 4 and 3, and Doug Ghim gave the Longhorns their other victory with a 2-and-1 decision over Thomas Lim.

"It was just so much fun to do this here, with all the support that we got this week," said coach Casey Martin of Oregon, a native of Eugene who played on Stanford's 1994 NCAA championship team with Tiger Woods.

"It's a special group, and it's just so awesome to bring it to Oregon. This is a track school, a football school, a basketball school. Now it's a golf school, too."

Funk, son of PGA Tour Champions star Fred Funk, took a 1-up lead over Raza with a 7-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole, but Raza pulled even by winning the 17th with a par before they went to extra holes after pars at No. 18.

--Graham DeLaet withdrew from the Memorial Tournament last week because of what he said was "anxiety" with his short game.

The 34-year-old Canadian, who has won four times as a pro but not on the PGA Tour, has made 16 starts this season, missing the cut five times, including in his last two starts at the Players Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson.

"I'm dealing with incredible anxiety while chipping/pitching right now," DeLaet said in a post on Twitter. "It's not fun. I needed to WD to get it sorted out and get back ASAP."

DeLaet has two top-10 results this season, a tie for seventh in the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for fifth in the Valspar Championship, but he has really struggled since a tie for 77th in the Wells Fargo Championship early last month.

DeLaet's short-game statistics have dropped off in recent seasons. He ranked 51st on the PGA Tour in scrambling during the 2013 season, dropped to 85th the following year, was 133rd last season and was 186th as of last week.

--England's Ian Poulter, who seems to play his best golf for Europe in the Ryder Cup, announced that he will be out for about four months because of a right foot injury.

That means he probably will miss the Ryder Cup, which starts Sept. 30 at Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

"I am obviously disappointed to be in this situation, especially during a Ryder Cup year," said Poulter, who has won 16 times as a pro. "Right now, rest and rehab take priority in me returning to full strength later this season. I look forward to resuming a full schedule as soon as I am able."

Poulter has been dealing with an arthritic joint in his right foot for more than two years, and recently it has made it difficult for him to practice and to walk a golf course.

He missed the cut in his last two PGA Tour events, the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, and his only top-10 finish in 13 events on the circuit this season was a tie for third in the Puerto Rico Open.

Poulter, 40, has not won since the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions, and last week he was No. 85 in the World Golf Rankings, his lowest position since 2003.

Poulter has a 12-4-2 record in five Ryder Cup appearances, and there is speculation that European team captain Darren Clarke will select him as a vice captain.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories
Loading...