The numbers game
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- So not everybody is coming to the Greenbrier Classic to see K.J. Choi get up and down from a greenside bunker. Some want to see Kenny Chesney and/or Aerosmith, with golf an optional diversion.
On the course, many fans are just as happy with a beverage in one hand, a fried green tomato sandwich in the other and the anticipation of a 350-yard cannon shot off a pink driver. Bubba long, baby, Bubba long.
Want to see the longest driver and other facets of the game? We're here to help.
The PGA Tour keeps so many statistics they make the Bill James Baseball Abstract look like a pamphlet. You don't need to know them all, but with the Classic field set, we'll rank some of the best players in a few choice categories.
Gary Woodland, who has overshot the 616-yard 17th hole at Old White TPC in two strokes, is next at 302.5. Jason Kokrak, Graham DeLaet and Ryan Palmer also average 300-plus yards.
Chez Reavie has a 70.31 percent mark, with Jeff Maggert right behind at 69.84 percent.
Anyway, DeLaet is the best on the tour, with Classic entrants Weekley, Trahan and Watson close behind.
The Tour averages the number of holes per eagle and Tiger Woods leads the Tour at 82.3. He's not coming here, but rookie phenom Jordan Spieth (99.0) is, along with Kokrak (100.0) and James Hahn (104.4).
Birdies per round is tallied, and the always-aggressive Phil Mickelson (4.44) leads that category, followed by Horschel (4.42) and Watson (4.23). Also good to follow are Palmer (4.07) and Jimmy Walker (4.02).
Jin Park, Peter Hanson and Woodland haven't missed from 3 feet. Mickelson and Horschel are the best at putts for birdies. Brian Gay has the fewest putts per round (27.29).
But the most bizarre - and perhaps accurate - putting stat is the strokes gained-putting category. In simplest terms, putts are compared from the different distances against the rest of the field and translated into an average of strokes gained or lost per round.
Otherwise, don't ask. Just take the nerds' word that Stephen Ames gains 1.013 shots per round, or more than four per tournament. If he scores his fifth career Tour win, assume he'll do it on the green.
Or you can just watch the guy putt. Or Watson hit it 300-plus. Or Spieth eagle the 12th.
And you can do it like it's meant to be, with a fried green tomato sandwich and a peach tea.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.