INSIDE THE FINAL ROUND: THE QUAIL HOLLOW CHAMPIONSHIP

What a Clusterf*ck this turned out to be.

In the morning, I predicted that a score of 14 under would be good enough to do it on Average if the course played like it did the first three days. This turned out to be wrong, for one reason:

The 8-unders or better entering today’s final round absolutely sucked.

The course actually played about .5 strokes easier today than yesterday, but you would never know it by the way the players in contention played.

Collectively, they played about .5 standard deviations worse than their full year averages when adjusted for field:
finalroundchokers
Diff=Difference between Yearly average and final round adj z.

You can see, Tiger, Zach and De Jonge all played significantly worse than their average against the field on Sunday. Not surprisingly, Bubba Watson and Sean O’Hair played the best of this crew, but it is not like they lit the world on fire.

In fact, adding Sean O’Hair’s final round into the mix the winning z-score was an average of .93 standard deviations per round better than the field, which is incredibly low for a PGA Tour event.

The fact is, to beat O’Hair today, It just did not require that good of a round from the 9 unders or better. Here is a look at each players % of beating that winning score:
finalroundchokers2

That makes the biggest choker of the day Tiger Woods. Had he shot 1 standard deviation better than the field(about his average) that would have left him between 69-70, which is either an outright win or going to a playoff.

That may be surprising to hear for some of the people that read my preview this morning, when I was considerably down on Tiger’s chances. But, if you consider the chances that someone went really low near the top of the board, or Zach Johnson played an average round, Tiger winning was not really that likely this morning.

Looking back at what the final number ended up, though, Tiger has to be kicking himself for playing so poorly by his standards.

Another guy that could be blamed for choking is Martin Kaymer, who bogied two of the last three to finish out of the some part of the top-5. However, its tough to blame the choke on his performance on the final three holes.

For the week, Kaymer played those holes in +2(46 strokes), which picked up about 1.5 strokes on the field over 4 rounds. If you want to blame his choke on something, how about the fact that he had 6 bogeys today and only 3 in the first 3 rounds.

All in all, his 71 was about a stroke better than the field today, which is hard to really fault too much, it is just really hard to get into the top-5 of an elite event if your name isn’t Tiger.

I can think of some benefits of Kaymer not finishing in an 7 way tie for 5th, too.

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