From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Want to win at Harbour Town? Make sure you play poorly at the Masters

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It goes without saying that playing consistent golf is the best way to find yourself in contention on Sunday at a PGA Tour event. While some players like Phil Mickelson can catch lightning in a bottle at the right time of the year, even though they may not be playing their best golf, most just can’t flip the switch on a given week and produce.

For the group of players that played poorly last week at the Masters, this week’s Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town brings with it a new tournament and a clean slate, to get back on track. If there was ever a time to arrive at a tournament with a poor finish the week prior, this would be the week.

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the tournament where playing poorly gives you the best chance to put on the coveted plaid jacket on Sunday.

Justin Ray had this tidbit from ESPN.com’s golf blog regarding the success of Masters champions and participants at the Verizon Heritage:

The event has been held the week after the Masters since 1983. Only twice in that span has the winner placed even in the top 10 the previous week. The two instances: in 1988, when Greg Norman finished tied for fifth, and — trivia spoiler alert — Bernhard Langer, who won both tournaments in 1985.

Only twice since 1995 has the winner at Hilton Head even placed in the top 20 at the Masters the previous week. In that same span, the winner either missed the cut or did not qualify for the Masters on seven occasions.

Taking a look at the leaderboard right now; here’s what we’re looking at if you go by last week’s stats for the current Top 10 at Harbour Town: MC, T45, DNQ (did not qualify), DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, T43, T43, MC, T48.

In other words, if you want to win this week, you’d be better miss the cut at Augusta, finish just above the cut line, or hope you don’t get an invite to the tournament. I know it sounds crazy, but the stats don’t lie.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

04/16/2010 at 3:42 pm

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