Today was a rare day when we got to see what was at one time common place on tour. A short hitter up against a very long hitter… in this case Pavin vs Bubba Watson.
I used to enjoy seeing this kind of rivalry.
Pavin was being out driven often 100 yards… which is really remarkable that he could end up in a sudden death playoff.
It really goes to show the value of properly controlling your golf ball, and clearly Pavin did so much better by far than anyone in the field.
In a three way playoff with Pavin, Verplank, and Bubba Watson, Corey had to hit driver hybrid into the first playoff hole, while Bubba flipped a sandwedge.
Although Pavin had to get up and down from a bunker to save par which he did, he exited early, after both Watson and Verplank birdied.
I would say that he may have been unfortunate to have had to play that particular hole as the first playoff hole. If the first hole were a tight driving hole where any kind of miss directed drive would make the players hesitate to pull driver in the first place, Pavin might have had a significant edge. In this case he clearly did not.
However, a golf event is played over 18 holes, and in this case 72 holes, so clearly there must have been some holes out there where Pavin was able to make up for lost ground against players driving it 100 yards by him at times. I really found it quite inspiring to see… and with Tom Watson at age 60 still being competitive in majors where you DO have to control the ball more often than not, I hope that motivates some of the other players to come down from the broadcast booths and play the kind of golf that could be a real eye opener for many golf patrons. I don’t suspect the general golfing public really understands what they are seeing here.
Driving Distance 262.0
Driving Accuracy 89%
Putts Per GIR 1.643
Sand Save Percentage 1-1- 100%
B. Watson Stats:
Driving Distance 321
Driving Accuracy 66%
Putts Per GIR 1.63
Sand Save Percentage 3-4 75%
This is really compelling, because though B. Watson is driving the ball 60 yards by Pavin on average… however…Pavin hits more greens.
Watson found 4 bunkers, Pavin just one… even from striking the ball 60 yards behind Watson. I think this speaks very loud and clear as to the sophistication of Pavin as a ball striker and shotmaker. Driving the ball straight does have value on many golf courses.
I certainly don’t know this for a fact, but I would guess that B. Watson would have a hard time keeping up with Pavin from 260 off the tee into the greens… even if he is hitting less club in number… which would produce a higher shot.
I don’t spend much time looking at stats, but I found this comparison worth paying attention to. It’s inspiring to say the least.
Watson did play well and deserved the win of course.