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The most important strokes gained statistics to win on the PGA Tour

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The winning formula in golf has long been debated. Luckily, the advancement of statistics has helped golf fans develop a deeper understanding of what it takes to win on the PGA Tour.

Lou Stagner, stats guru of Decade Golf, illuminated how winners have done in the four key strokes gained statistics: off the tee, approach, around the green, and putting since the inception of strokes gained data in 2004.

The results were eye-opening.

Iron play and putting were neck and neck as the two greatest indicators of success. Strokes gained off the tee was not massively far behind, but around the green play was only found to be about 34 percent as impactful as putting and approach in terms of winning golf tournaments.

The beauty of strokes gained statistics is that it helps us understand the game on a more in-depth level. If we’ve learned anything from Stagner’s study, the saying, “drive for show, putt for dough,” may need to be amended to include iron play in with putting as where the real money is made.

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka was asked if a 59 was possible at this year’s Masters. His answer did not disappoint

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During Brooks Koepka’s pre-tournament press conference for this week’s Masters Tournament, the five-time major champion was asked a bit of a silly question and gave a brilliant response.

Q. It sounds like the course is already pretty dialed this week, but under softer or optimal scoring conditions do you think 59 is obtainable on this golf course?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Have you played here?

Q. Not yet.

BROOKS KOEPKA: I can tell by the question.

Q. What number is attainable in your mind? 63’s the low.

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, now, anything’s attainable. But, yeah, if you want to go play the members tees and maybe play like 15 holes, yeah, I could do that.

With the course record being 63, it’s somewhat unclear why the reporter thought a soft golf course would be enough to result in a score four shots better than the record.

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19th Hole

Viktor Hovland reveals surprise swing coach changeup ahead of 2024 Masters

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In what’s already been a topsy-turvy season, Viktor Hovland is making another swing coach change.

While speaking at his pre-tournament press conference, for the Masters, the reigning Tour champion spoke openly about the struggles he’s been having with his swing.

Earlier this year, Hovland parted ways with his short game coach, Joe Mayo, after Mayo had helped him make significant strides around the greens. He then announced his new swing coach would be Grant Waite.

However, at the press conference, a new swing coach, Dana Dahlquist, was alongside the Norwegian.

“I’m still kind of looking for some opinions out there, but I feel like I’m on a good track right now and we’ll see where that takes us. It’s one of those things. I was playing great golf last year, but it’s not like I’m trying to change my golf swing.”

Hovland then spoke about the change to Dahlquist.

“I liked what he thought was the best strategy to get back to a lot of that movement from that time. I thought it made a lot of sense, and so we’ve been working together a bit now. Then we’ll see how it goes.”

The 26-year-old added that he didn’t feel his game was sustainable after his magnificent run during the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

“I had to find my way back to where I think I’m going to play my best golf. Even at the end of the last year, I still felt like, yeah, I was playing great, but I got a lot out of my game, and it didn’t necessarily feel sustainable. But it’s not like I consciously went in and said, hey, we’re going to change everything up.”

“There has been a bit too much back-and-forth. It has been difficult to see the way forward, what exactly is the answer, and what exactly I need to do. I feel that now I’ve decided that ‘this is right, this works.’ I have to get on with it. Then we’ll see how it goes. I feel things are going in the right direction, but it has been more difficult than we would have liked.”

Coming into the season, Hovland was one of the favorites to win the Masters. As the tournament approaches, it feels as if the young star has more questions than answers.

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19th Hole

‘Everybody’s exchanging information all day long’ – Brooks Koepka addresses rules controversy from the 2023 Masters

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One of the biggest stories of the 2023 Masters was when Brooks Koepka and his caddie, Ricky Elliot, were accused of letting Koepka’s playing partner, Gary Woodland, know which club he was hitting on the Par-5 15th.

The rules committee eventually decided that night that no rules were broken.

Koepka was asked about the situation once again on Tuesday during his pre-tournament press conference for the 2024 Masters.

“I mean, everybody’s exchanging information all day long,” he said. “Looking in guys’ bags, caddies are signaling all day long.”

“But who knew? I think I was just foreshadowing what was going to happen.”

Koepka went on to win the PGA Championship the following month, so his foreshadowing was alluding to his capturing the 5th major.

The five-time major champion went on to talk about why he performs so well in the biggest events.

“If you can’t get up for the biggest events, I think there’s something wrong with you.”

“It’s what I always dreamed of when I was a kid. When I was practicing at my dad’s course when I was younger it was always to win a major championship.”

“Even today, that’s what I first see, that’s what I think you’re judged by, your legacy, what you’re defined by. I can tell you exactly how many Jack, Tiger, Arnold, Tom, all these guys, how many majors they won. It’s tough to tell how many events they won, but I know that there’s one sure-fire way to figure out who is who is by major championships.”

If Koepka manages to win a green jacket, he will be a claret jug away from the career grand slam.

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