Monthly Archives: November 2017

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Tiger Woods is the richest golfer on the planet, but a closer inspection of his career earnings shows that he makes an incredible amount of money every single time he swings a club.

Noob Norm calculated the per-shot earnings on the PGA Tour of the top 10 players in the world, and found that none of the world’s current best makes quite as much as Tiger Woods.

Woods leads the PGA Tour in all-time earnings by a colossal amount, and even with his recent struggles, his consistency in his prime meant he was always at the top of the money list. Over the course of more than 300 tournament starts, Woods has just over $110 million in career earnings, around $26 million more than Phil Mickelson in second place.

According to Noob Norm, Woods has taken just over 85,000 shots on the PGA Tour in his career, which means he’s made an average of $1,282 per shot.

Woods has also had some truly stunning years. His record year for per-shot earnings was 2008 ($4,191), but that stat is skewed by the fact that he destroyed his knee at the U.S. Open and played less than usual. Woods has made more than $9 million in five seasons (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009). For context, just one nine million season would put Woods around 200th on the PGA Tour career earnings list.

Jordan Spieth leads the world’s top 10 in per-shot earnings currently.

You can read extensive year-by-year breakdowns of the data here.

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Dell Technologies Championship – Round Two

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Dell Technologies Championship - Round Two

If you are looking for guarantees, the sports world is the wrong place to search. We’ve seen sure-things such as basketball’s Greg Oden and football’s Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell become busts, while other can’t-miss athletes such as Tiger Woods and LeBron James have become icons.

As much as we want to be sure about players, we never definitively know who will shine and who will become the answer to a trivia question. But Jon Rahm, who just completed his first full season as a pro, has lived up to a lot of his hype.

Coming out of Arizona State, he was pegged to be a star, so the only surprising thing about the Spaniard is that he has rocketed up the Official World Golf Ranking this fast. A year ago he was No. 125; after winning his third event of the season two weeks ago, the DP World Tour Championship, nine days after turning 23, Rahm is ranked No. 4. He also was named the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year despite spending most of his year

on the PGA Tour.

Rahm played just enough of the PGA Tour’s 2015-16 season not to be eligible for this season’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award, but that does not mean we can’t compare his first full season on the Tour to the first full season of modern stars to see how he stacks up.

The chart on these pages shows Rahm’s 2017 was better, statistically, than his closest competition’s first seasons. (For this article, a player’s first PGA Tour season is considered to be the first year he played at least 40 measured rounds. Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka have an asterisk next to their names because they played full seasons in Europe before joining the PGA Tour.)

Rahm finished the season with a strokes gained: off-the-tee average of 0.935, which means he was nearly a full shot better than the average PGA Tour player based solely on his driving. Over the course of a 72-hole event, that’s a 3.74-shot edge and more than twice the advantage Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Koepka and Justin Thomas had during their first PGA Tour seasons. It is significantly better than McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.

From the fairway, Rahm’s strokes gained: approach-the-green average of 0.535 is second only to Koepka’s 0.598. Rahm also ranked third among the players in this group in greens-in-regulation percentage at 68.61, behind Fowler (69.9) and Thomas (68.92), but Rahm’s season-ending ranking in that category is slightly higher.

Rahm’s short game needs the most attention for improvement. With a strokes gained: around-the-green average of 0.07, it is not hurting him, but it is not a strength either. Thomas and Spieth were both better than Rahm as rookies, but it is worth noting that Johnson, Fowler, Day, Koepka and McIlroy all had a negative strokes gained: around-the-green average their first years on Tour. The only one of those players to not improve during his second year on Tour was McIlroy.

The biggest surprise to a lot of people will be that the big-hitting Rahm was a better putter during his first PGA Tour season than Spieth, Fowler (who finished second in strokes gained: putting this season) and the other players on this chart. He is not a great putter, but like other good ballstrikers, he does not have to be an elite putter to win because he creates so many birdie chances.  

(Note: This story appears in the Nov. 27, 2017 issue of Golfweek.)

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Hero World Challenge – Round Three

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Hero World Challenge - Round Three

Here is a look at the tee times and pairings, as well as the TV schedule, for Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in New Providence, Bahamas:

How to watch: 12:30-4:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)

Tee times

OFF NO. 1

11:10 a.m.: Hideki Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari

11:21 a.m.: Charley Hoffman, Kevin Chappell

11:32 a.m.: Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger

11:43 a.m.: Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood

11:54 a.m.: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren

12:05 p.m.: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas

12:16 p.m.: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka

12:27 p.m.: Kevin Kisner, Rickie Fowler

12:38 p.m.: Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth

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