The Roar
The Roar


A military tribute at the Greenbrier: Prediction and preview

(Shawn Carpenter CC BY-SA 2.0)
Roar Guru
3rd July, 2018

Last week saw Francesco Molinari blow away the field in the final round to record his first PGA Tour victory at the Quicken Loans National.

This week the tour turns its focus to the Old White TPC in West Virginia. This tournament was famously cancelled in 2016 when localised flooding put the course underwater and out of play.

With many eyes being drawn towards the upcoming Open Championship and the top-four finishers not already exempt, getting a ticket to Carnoustie in a fortnight means there’s a lot to play for this week.

The course is a 7,286-yard par 70, which plays relatively easy compared to the tour average. The fairways and greens are relatively easy to find, with the average fairway and green percentage much higher than the PGA Tour average, thus placing a far smaller emphasis on proficiency off the tee than your average week.

The greens are bentgrass and putting is highly predictive to success at The Old White TPC. The top-ten for strokes gained putting on bentgrass over the last 50 rounds are:

  1. Peter Malnati
  2. Whee Kim
  3. Brian Harman
  4. Kevin Kisner
  5. Harris English
  6. Xander Schauffele
  7. Patrick Rodgers
  8. Ben Silverman
  9. Cody Gribble
  10. Steve Marino
Golf ball

(Shawn Carpenter CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Greenbrier sits 2000 feet above sea level and, subsequently, distance is not essential to success. Due to the shortness of the course and how readily most players will hit driver, the majority of approach shots are played from 125 to 150 yards.

As is the case each week, strokes gained approach is critical. The aggregated top ten over the last 24 rounds for proximity from 125 to 150 and strokes gained approach are:

  1. Keegan Bradley
  2. Ryan Moore
  3. Scott Piercy
  4. Joaquin Niemann
  5. Vaughn Taylor
  6. Robert Garrigus
  7. Wesley Bryan
  8. Cameron Tringale
  9. Kevin Streelman
  10. Nick Watney

Russell Henley has been in scintillating form over the last month, gaining at least five strokes on the field in his previous three starts, including a sixth place at the Travelers. Henley is fourth in total strokes gained at the TPC Old White since 2012, including a fifth place in his last two starts here. Henley is also first in the field for proximity from 125 to 150 yards over the past 24 rounds.

Ryan Moore has recorded six top 30s in his last eight events and has recorded four top tens this season. As well as leading the aggregated approach stats, Moore sits inside the top ten for proximity from 125 to 150 yards over the last 12, 24, and 50 rounds.

Wesley Bryan has been one of the best putters on tour for the last two years. The American has made four straight cuts despite losing at least 2.7 strokes off the tee in all but one event this year. As was previously mentioned, The Old White TPC is very forgiving off the tee. Bryan is seventh in the aggregated approach statistics and a proven winner.