Bryson DeChambeau's spine-tingling round of 58 on LIV Golf last week has been ranked by one golf data company as the, wait for it... '328th best round on Tour since 2004' when it comes to gaining strokes on a field.
Okay, I've honestly heard it all now...
Ever remember Ken Duke's third-round 65 at the 2016 Players Championship?
No? Come on that's poor of you!
Let's try another...
How about Robert Karlsson's 62 in round three of the 2010 BMW PGA Championship?
How could you possibly forget that one?!
Right, third time lucky perhaps...
Surely you can't have forgotten JB Holmes' 62 in the first round of the Cadillac in 2015?
Oh, I give up with you now...
No seriously, all three of the above rounds rank in the top 10 for best rounds on the PGA Tour since 2004 according to golf data.
DeChambeau's round of 60 at the 2021 BMW Championship does at least crack the top 10.
But even he's likely forgot about that one.
So what about Bryson's 58?
Pfft... don’t be silly now.
The big-hitting American's scintillating record-setting round at the Greenbrier last Sunday, which wrapped up his maiden LIV Golf title by a commanding six strokes in the process - at a former regular PGA Tour venue might I add - has been ranked by Data Golf and their not-so-advanced A.I. 'Letzig' as the 328th best round ever recorded on Tour in the SG on the field category since 2004.
Over to another SG for my thoughts...
While I fully understand and appreciate how the strokes-gained on a field category works, I can't help but take this sort of stat with a pinch of salt.
There are so many other variables in a round of golf that need to be considered, especially in a final round when it's all on the line.
Yes, the Old White was there to be had on Sunday with its softened conditions as a result of the weather, but if it was really that p*** then all of the best players on LIV Golf would have been breaking 59 with ease.
I'll also add, how many times do players flop badly after a low one the day before? A lot.
Don't believe me? Ask LIV's Sergio Garcia:
Sergio Garcia spoke about Bryson’s 58 from this past weekend.— Tour Pro (@OfficialTourPro) August 9, 2023
“To me, it’s not just the 58 that’s impressive, it’s the 61 the day before. I don’t think people realize how hard it is to shoot two rounds like that back to back.”
Bryson has been getting a lot of pushback from… pic.twitter.com/D9UoSvwCOs
Bryson hit a 61 on Saturday, and then went three strokes lower on Sunday.
That takes some balls that no strokes-gained category can measure in 2023.
LIV Golf events also comprise 48 players. On the PGA Tour, you're looking at 70 players on a weekend, and double that at the start.
It therefore seems a fairly pointless exercise to even consider matching PGA Tour with LIV Golf stats in the first place.
Bryson DeChambeau made history at the weekend, shooting 58 in the final round of LIV Golf Greenbrier, but was it a visit to @ScottsdaleGolf in Warrington a few days earlier that made all the difference?— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) August 9, 2023
If you look at the top 10 best rounds for strokes-gained on a field, which you can view in full below, only one of them was a victorious final round.
That belongs to Rory McIlroy's breathtaking 62 at Quail Hollow in 2010.
...and I think it's fair to say we all remember that one!
PGA Tour star Jon Rahm made this point clear earlier this week:
Throw in the fact Bryson was going in search of his first LIV Golf title, on top of trying to lay down a marker for a potential Ryder Cup pick, and there are some things that a strokes-gained on a field category simply cannot highlight.
From the the power and precision to the length of putts and clutch four-birdie finish, it was genuinely the first round of LIV Golf that I have been gripped by from start to end.
There are few players who get you on the edge of your seat quite like Bryson, especially when he is at full throttle like he was last weekend. To follow up a 61 with a 58 was quite simply first class. Not 328th-class.
But anyway, *sighs*, let's see those stats...
Here's what Data Golf had to say about Bryson's final round 58 at Greenbrier:
- The par 70 Old White GC played almost three strokes under par for the week, averaging 66.74 in the final round
- Therefore DeChambeau only gained 8.74 strokes on the field
- Only three courses have yielded a lower single-round scoring average on the PGA Tour since 2004
- Despite their star power and limited size, LIV Golf fields are still average in terms of their overall player skill (see Letzig #18).
- Bryson's +8.74 raw strokes-gained doesn't warrant a significant strength-of-field adjustment
They then move on to reveal the Top 10 rounds around the world since 2004.
From this week's newsletter, some data on Bryson's 58: pic.twitter.com/O0yXcOVAOk— data golf (@DataGolf) August 9, 2023
All rounds are measured based on true (strength-of-field adjusted) strokes-gained:
1. Jim Furyk: 59 (2013 BMW Championship, Round 2), +12.1 Raw SG, +13.1
2. J.B. Holmes: 62 (2015 WGC Cadillac, R1), +11.4, +12.0
3. Scottie Scheffler: 59 (2020 Northern Trust, R2), +10.5, +11.2
4. Ken Duke: 65 (2016 Players, R3), +10.6, +11.2
5. Robert Karlsson: 62 (2010 BMW PGA, R3), +11.2, +11.2
6. Cameron Tringale: 61 (2022 Scottish Open, R1), +11.0, +11.0
7. Rory McIlroy: 62 (2010 Quail Hollow, R4), +10.7, +10.9
8. Tiger Woods: 61 (2013 WGC Bridgestone, R2), +10.2, +10.9
9. Bryson DeChambeau: 60 (2021 BMW Champ., R2), +9.9, +10.9
10. Jim Furyk: 58 (2016 Travelers, R2), +10.7, +10.9
328. Bryson DeChambeau: 58 (2023 LIV Greenbrier, R3), +8.7, +8.7
Data Golf then determines DeChambeau's round was the ninth best round in 2023.
In terms of 2023 rounds, we have Bryson's as 9th best. Still a great round, just not historically so.— data golf (@DataGolf) August 9, 2023
You can read the full newsletter here: https://t.co/lDW0OaoZG5
Make of that what you will.
It just feels like more Bryson bashing to me.
What do you make of this data? Is Bryson's round of 58 really the 328th best round of golf on Tour since 2004? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.