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How can you not like Brandt Snedeker? He plays with enthusiasm, vigor and he doesn't hesitate once he pulls the club from his bag. Some seasoned veterans could learn a thing or two about not letting doubt get the best of them.
First: apologies for getting this out late this week---been caught up with the "life happens" stuff.
I'm going to deviate a little this week and rather than compare Brandt Snedeker's numbers to the overall leader in each statistical category, I'm going to see how his numbers in his win and his year-to-date numbers stack up with 2012.
For clarification with any of the statistical terms, go to my blog entries at Golf Stats 101 or Golf Stats 102.
Driving Distance: In the At&T at Pebble Beach, Snedeker was ranked T41 in Driving Distance at 277.4 yards. No surprise there. This is not, and never has been, a statistical category "Sneds" does well in. In 2012, he ranked 108th on the TOUR at 288.7 yards. So far this year he is ranked 156th at 278.3 yards. Snedeker has never been inside the top 100 in this category.
Driving Accuracy: At the AT&T, Snedeker hit 78.18% of his fairways and was T14 in the category. This is a stat to keep an eye on for the rest of the year. Why? Well, in 2012, he was no. 106 in driving accuracy; so far this year he is ranked no. 15. He's had had some nice years in the accuracy department in the past---in 2009 he was no.21--but something about his driving game looks very different this year. The best putter in the game also now has some good stuff off the tee box too.
Greens in Regulation: Another category in which Snedeker does not usually fare well . In the AT&T, he was T6 as he hit 77.78% of his greens. Aside from 2006 when was no.46, Snedeker has never finished in the top 100 in GIR. So far this year he is no.6 at 77.19%.
Proximity to Hole: In the AT&T, Snedeker was no .19 in proximity at 27 feet 10 inches. In 2012, he was no. 71 at 35 feet 4 inches. In 2013, he is at no. 70 at 34 feet 2 inches.
Scrambling: If there was one single stat to focus on over the course of the year, my choice would be scrambling. The ability to save par when missing a green in regulation is a hallmark of the some of the very best players in the world. And Snedeker has bought into that concept. In the AT&T, he was T6 at 75%. In 2012, he was no. 10. Currently, he is no. 2 on the TOUR this year at 73.08% as he has saved par or better on 57 of 78 missed greens. In 2008, he was ranked no. 100 and his progression since then has gone like this: 2009/no.25, 2010/no. 43, 2011/no.22.
Strokes Gained-Putting: The 2012 statistical leader in SGP, Snedeker was no. 9 at the AT&T at 1.929 strokes gained per round. On the final day, even with three-putt at the ninth hole, his SGP number was approaching 4. In 2012, his number was .860 strokes gained per round. Currently he is no.19 at .892 strokes gained per round.
One look at these numbers and it's understandable why many people are bullish on Snedeker picking up a major this year.