Fri

09

Aug

2013

THE PGA: What The 2nd Round Lead Means And What To Look For Saturday

More than any other major in the past ten years, Saturday has been moving day for recent PGA Champions

 

There is the old saying that Saturday is moving day at a golf tournament. In the case of the PGA Championship, it may actually be true.

 

The "moving day" is sometimes more fiction than fact. As we noted for the U.S. Open, Saturday is typically a day in which you already need to be in the hunt and just hold on. Saturday is more "milling about day" in the case of the U.S. Open.

 

As for the second round lead, it has not been overly significant at the PGA Championship. Over the past ten years, while the second round leader has won 50% of the time (not unusual for majors), players in the lead or tied for the lead have actually fallen outside of the top ten over 33% of the time. It is also notable that the leader was also dropped out of the top 5 over 33% of the time (6 players of the last 17) on Saturday. Moving also refers to moving down the leaderboard at the PGA.

  

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[click to enlarge]

 

PLAYERS MAKING A MOVE SATURDAY

 

As we noted before, the somewhat less punishing course set up of the PGA permits scoring and moves on Saturday that could include winning.

 

Consider a look back at the last 10 winners of the PGA Champsionship.

 

50% of the time the winner has come from outside of the last two groups (essentially outside the top 4) on Saturday to move to at least a tie for 4th (only Kaymer in 2010 was not in the final 2 groups despite being T4). In each of those five cases, the champion shot his best round of the championship on Saturday to make the move.

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[click to enlarge]

 

This is in contrast to the other three majors. Over the same 10 year period, this is the same number of Saturday moves for all of the other three majors combined (from outside the top 4 into the last two groups for the final round). Since 2003, for the Masters, only Mickelson (06) and Schwartzel (11) made such moves. In the Open, only Michael Campbell (05) made such a move - and even that move was modest from T6 to T4. At the Open, Hamilton (04) and Harrington (07) made such Saturday moves. 

 

Oak Hill looks fair and fantasticThe weather looks great for the weekend and the greens fair despite Tiger's worries last week. As punishing as the rough is, the course has also shown to be receptive to scoring from all kinds of players. With the recent history of significant moves by champions on Saturday (50% of the time in the past 10 years), look for moving day to live up to its reputation at the PGA Championship.

 

 

Douglas Han

@theteesheet

 


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