Best Golfers of 2021: These 10 PGA Tour Stars Statistically Outperform the Rest of the Year

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There are thousands of ways to rank golfers in a given year. Most wins, the most in the top 10, the most money, or the best performance at major championships are variations on the answer to the same question: Who played the best golf of the season? prize? Sometimes all are appropriate answers, but today there is a different quantification and it’s a way you may not be completely familiar with.

Reach stroke is a scary phrase that actually has a very simple definition. In its simplest form, how much better you are than the course average in any golf tournament. If your average on the course (sum of all scores divided by all golfers) is 280 and you shoot 276, you’re on four strokes or one stroke per round. This won’t help you win many events (typically a winner is 12-20 strokes better than the course average for a given week, depending on the quality of the course), but it does. helps you better understand the most popular (and best) statistics in golf.

For the sake of today’s exercise, there are a few things you need to know. Data Golf adjusts their shots hit to account for course quality and then generates the numbers for singles rounds, single events, and the full year. These numbers, though not perfect in individual categories such as strokes achieved by driving and placing, because not all leagues beam their tracks to calculate specific events. that’s possible, but overall it’s pretty accurate. You don’t need a laser to just look at the leaderboard and calculate the hits and in fact we can do so from 100 years ago as long as we have the numbers from a certain event.

The world’s top 50 golfers average just under one stroke per round. The world’s top 10 golfers average less than two strokes per round. The top five golfers in the world average two strokes per round. Those are your standards as we review the 10 best spots for 2021 golf with some comments on them below. Here’s the list, according to Data Golf.


Jon Rahm



Patrick Cantlay



Daniel Berger



Viktor Hovland



Bryson DeChambeau



Jordan Spieth



Paul Casey



Louis Oosthuizen



Justin Thomas



Collin Morikawa


Here are some notes on what these numbers mean and why some of them may (or may not) be surprising.

  • Rahm is so brilliant in 2021. Very good. Incredibly, he’s also the best golfer in the world by strokes from January to December 2020. He sits a little higher that time (2.36 overall), but the The statistics tell a unified story: for many years now, Rahm has been ranked as the best player on the planet. The only reason this hasn’t resulted in more than one of his wins at the US Open is because even though he’s played superbly for 11 months in a row, he’s only had a couple of elite weeks. In golf, as Collin Morikwa has demonstrated, the game lasts more surreal 4 days than having 10 or 11 month runs at a high level.
  • Cantlay’s numbers aren’t surprising either, but it’s interesting to note that he did all that without breaking into the top 10 at a major championship. He couldn’t believe the non-specialists.
  • Daniel Berger in 3rd place is pretty amazing. I haven’t seen that one come. He’s only won once but he’s finished in the top 10 in nine of the 20 tournaments he’s played in in the last year. Possibly the best player in the world.
  • About 60% of Bryson DeChambeau’s hits were achieved by the driver.
  • Paul Casey is the highest-ranked player on this list, who hasn’t won a PGA Tour event in 2021.
  • Louis Oosthuizen is the highest-ranked player on this list, who hasn’t won a PGA Tour or European Tour event in 2021. That’s perhaps not too surprising given he’s had the summer – three times in the top five at majors – but that speaks volumes for his golf prowess. Crazy, it didn’t lead to any wins at all.
  • Statistically speaking, Justin Thomas had a better year than people thought. Something to watch for will happen in 2022. Interestingly, he and Collin Morikawa have almost identical statistical years. Elite approach play, solid numbers from the tee and negative putters. It certainly looks like Morikawa had a better 12 months overall.
  • This, again, is related to what I mentioned earlier. In golf, unlike many other sports, it can be better to be excellent for two or three weeks and then terrible for the rest of the year than to be solid for just 52 weeks in a row. This is the story of Phil Mickelson. Lefty has lost 13 of 19 events this year, and he’s won a lot of strokes during the week of the PGA Championship. While I think the hits prove that Oosthuizen is much better at golf than Mickelson did throughout 2021, Mickelson still has a title that Oosthuizen doesn’t.

That fact must be very frustrating for golfers competing at this level, but it also makes the game incredibly fun to talk about as we head into the new year. Who will take on the role of Mickelson over the next 12 months? Can Morikawa keep up the pace with two or three wins a year? Does JT need to improve his hitting? Is Oosthuizen’s clip durable? And if so, does it lead to victory? All of these answers simply generate more questions as a year goes by. That seems angry at times, but to me it only leads to more intrigue as 2022 gives us another year to tackle and a different set of players, events and themes to try and find out. . Best Golfers of 2021: These 10 PGA Tour Stars Statistically Outperform the Rest of the Year

Huynh Nguyen

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