After 13th win at FBR, Perry's goal not so far off
At 48, Kenny Perry needed 22 years and three playoff holes to claim his first FBR Open victory. But he shows no signs of stopping now. Perry openly admits that setting the goal to make last year's Ryder Cup team was the first time in his career that he set any goal. Perry's new focus: 20 PGA Tour victories.
Golf Stats: The Numbers That MatterEvery golfer and golf fan knows the sport is a game of numbers. One of the most distinct characteristics of golf is that any player's efforts are summarized by an absolute and final statistic: the score. However, as any visitor to the 19th hole knows, the story of the game cannot be told in full by the tally at the end of the round. "Golf Stats: The Numbers That Matter" is your weekly source of insight into the numbers that make a difference in golf, focusing on the PGA Tour. Whether you're looking to wow your buddies in your Saturday foursome or get a little extra help for your fantasy team or are just a stats junkie, this blog is for you. Every week, this sliver of the Internet will be your one-stop shop for the unique and significant golf stats that best tell the stories beyond the scores.
"Y'all may think I'm crazy, but I want to get 20 wins," Perry said at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship. "I've got 12. Somehow I've got to win eight more times, and I turn 50 in a year-and-a-half. Is that a realistic goal? I think it is. I think I can play well up into my mid-50s and be successful out here."
When you consider the following statistics, and his recent 13th victory, Perry might not be as crazy as his new goal sounds:
• Perry has won four of his last 15 PGA Tour events (26.7 percent). Prior to this hot streak, Perry had won nine out of 550 events (1.6 percent).
• Perry has won 10 times on the tour since turning 40. Last year alone, Perry claimed three victories. He is the oldest player in PGA Tour history to win that many times in a single season.
• In 2008, Perry won a career high $4.66 million to finish fifth on the money list. He also capped his season with a 2-1-1 record as the U.S. won back the Ryder Cup.
• With his win at the FBR Open, Perry moves to No. 1 on the money list this year for the first time in his career. Perry earned more money this week ($1.08 million) than he did in his previous 21 starts at the event ($1.04 million).
• He is the oldest winner in FBR Open history at 48 years, 3 months and 21 days.
How'd he do that?
Kenny Perry had a very rough start on his way to victory last week. He began the tournament 4-over through 14 holes. He was able to right the ship and go 3-under on the last four holes for a 1-over 72 during his first 18 of the week. Perry carried this momentum over to Friday where he tied for the low round of the tourney with a 63. That is an amazing streak of 11-under through 22 holes. And his winning score was 14-under-par 270.
• Perry tied for the lead in 3-putt avoidance, going all 72 holes without a three putt.
• He did not miss a putt from 4 feet or under, going 50 out of 50.
• Perry led the field for most consecutive greens in regulation with 16.
• He also led the field in par-5 going for the green percentage, getting home in two 66.7 percent of the time. This lapped the field that averaged 24.1 percent.
Kenny Perry at a glance
Here's how Kenny Perry fared this week in some of the major statistical categories:
|Category||Rank (this week)||Stat (this week)||Leader (this week)||Tour Avg. (this week)||Leader (YTD)||Tour Avg. (YTD)|
|Driving distance (in yards)||9||311.1||Nick Watney -- 319.9||300.5||Robert Garrigus -- 317.8||290.5|
|Driving accuracy||T-57||44.64%||David Toms, Brian Gay -- 69.64%||50.48%||Mark Brooks -- 81.82%||61.46%|
|GIR||T-3||73.61%||Chad Campbell, Zach Johnson -- 75.00%||61.87%||Trevor Immelman -- 86.11%||68.65%|
|Putting average||T-33||1.755||Aaron Baddeley -- 1.548||1.777||Aaron Baddeley -- 1.548||1.738|
|Eagles (holes per)||T-9||72.0||Parker McLachlin, Kevin Streelman -- 24.0||169.5||2 tied -- 36.0||131.5|
|Birdie average||T-6||5.00||Charley Hoffman -- 6.00||3.49||Stephen Ames -- 5.71||4.13|
|Scoring average*||T-1||67.76||Kenny Perry, Charley Hoffman -- 67.76||71.00||2 tied -- 68.36||71.26|
|Sand saves||T-69||0.00%||David Toms, Michael Letzig -- 100%||47.95%||2 tied -- 100%||50.52%|
|Total driving||T-33||66||Jonathan Byrd -- 11||70||Jason Gore -- 39||178|
|Ball striking||T-17||36||Jeff Maggert -- 12||69||Charley Hoffman -- 13||177|
|All-around ranking||39||627||David Toms -- 204||618||Charley Hoffman -- 217||697|
|FedEx Cup points||1||500||--||50||Zach Johnson -- 647||87|
|Money leaders||1||$1.08 M||--||$45,455||Kenny Perry -- $1.281M||$145,349|
|• More PGA Tour statistics|
Not to Mention
• Phil Mickelson missed the cut in a season-opening event for the first time in his career. Prior to this year, he had finished in the top-10 five out of six years at the FBR. This ends his streak of 18 consecutive cuts made.
Inside The NumbersWant more stats? Dive right in.
• PGA Tour money list
• FedEx Cup points list
• Official World Golf Rankings
• Driving distance
• Driving accuracy
• Greens in regulation
• Putting average
• Most top-10 finishes
• Sand-save percentage
• Birdies per round
• Total eagles
• Most cuts made
• PGA Tour schedule, results
• Lefty employs two of the most revered instructors in the game: swing coach Butch Harmon and short game coach Dave Pelz. Mickelson might need them now more than ever. He spent significant time in the offseason on his short game and just got his new driver approved in time for the Buick Invitational.
Let's cross our fingers for Phil. He hit an abysmal 28.6 percent of his fairways in his two rounds at the FBR. His short game did him no favors, either. He averaged 30 putts per round and had a meager 35.71 percent scrambling success rate. "The Big Break's" James Nitties (T-4) led the field in scrambling at 88.46 percent.
• Charley Hoffman and his unforgettable blonde surfer hair skyrocketed up the world golf rankings with his runner-up finish. Despite being heckled by the raucous crowd at TPC Scottsdale for his "mullet," Charley moved from 250th in the world to 124th. Hoffman has finished a round with the outright lead only once in his career -- after Round 5 of his 2007 victory at the Bob Hope. Otherwise, he has never led outright after any of the first four rounds.
• Hoffman birdied the par-4 10th hole in all four rounds. Unfortunately for the San Diego native, he was only able to halve Perry with a par when the two played the 10th as the second of their playoff holes.
• Nine of the top 11 players at the FBR are Nationwide Tour alum, including Hoffman.
• The only amateur in the field was 20-year-old Ricky Fowler from Oklahoma State. Fowler played on a sponsor's exemption and was able to make the cut, finishing at 1-over and T-58 for the week. He is currently the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world (behind U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee.) Last year, as a freshman, Fowler was an All-American, the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, a Walker Cup team member, and the first freshman to win the Ben Hogan Award. Keep an eye on this kid.
• Third-place finisher Kevin Na has excelled at the FBR. Na has three top-5 finishes in the last four years there.
• Brian Gay is off to the best start of his 11-year PGA Tour career. Gay placed T-6 at the FBR Open and has four consecutive top-25 finishes.
• On the European Tour, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy made history by winning the Dubai Desert Classic at 19 years, 273 days. He is the sixth-youngest winner in European Tour history. If his victory had come on the PGA Tour, he would have been that tour's youngest champion.
Send comments, suggestions, and corrections to Nathan.J.Easler@espn.com.