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BlogPlayed best on West Coast?

Since the advent of professional golfers playing in tournaments 90 years ago, the then PGA Tour season started it’s events in December and would play all around California in tournaments like the Sacramento Open, the Monterey Peninsula Championship, the San Jose Open, the Long Beach Open, the San Diego Open and starting in 1926 the grandfather of all the West Coast events the Los Angeles Open. Most of the pro’s clubs in the Northeast of the United States was covered in snow, it was a chance for a bit of adventure at the start of the year and possibly make a dollar or two.
In 1969 when the modern day PGA Tour was put together, the West Coast swing became more of a reality with the first event opening the year at the Los Angeles Open, followed by events in Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Hawaii, Palm Springs and Pebble Beach. For close to 50 years the West Coast swing changed very little, with the old Tournament of Champions moving to it’s place as the first event of the year (in 1986) and then the start of the WGC-Match Play Championship (in 1999).
Before the wrap around schedule with the season starting in January at Kapalua, the west coast swing was important to get players off and running before things moved to Florida, then the Masters followed by the other majors.
Right around the time that Kapalua became the first stop of the year in 1999, the importance of the west coast swing lost some of it’s luster as key players from Europe and Australia decided not to play the PGA Tour until the tour moved to Florida.

So how do we determine who’s best in the West?
We took all the tournament results from 2010 and looked at the results of all the SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, CareerBuilder (Old Bob Hope), Farmers Insurance (Torrey Pines), Waste Management Phoenix Open, AT&T Pebble Beach and Genesis Open (old Los Angeles Open). We also took the results of the Mayakoba Classic which it was played in February (til it switched in 2013) and we also added the WGC World Match Play Championship (till it switched dates in 2014). We took the finish of each player from each of those tournaments. For those that missed the cut, we ranked them per score & place, so those that played terrible were someplace between 140th and 156th. We also didn’t include those players that either withdrew or were disqualified.
So we added up the places for each player and divided it among the number of events they played in. We then ranked them based on who had the lowest average finish. A player had to play in ten west coast events to be a part of the rankings.

Still it’s an important segment of the year, as up until the last couple of years the winner of the FedEx Cup and before that, the money list would play well on the west coast as it help get his year off to a good start.

So here is a look at those that played the best in the west and those that had the worst record:

Matt Kuchar | 22.06 avg finish |*| 31 Starts |*| 1 wins |*| 16 Top-10s |*| 29 Cuts made |*| $6,085,323 Earnings
* It doesn’t matter were or when or on any certain grass, Kuchar is always solid. Best at Sony and CareerBuilder
Bubba Watson | 26.03 avg finish |*| 30 Starts |*| 3 wins |*| 13 Top-10s |*| 26 Cuts made |*| $7,434,777 Earnings
* Is always solid the beginning of the year with wins in L.A. and Torrey, along with good finishes in Phoenix
Steve Stricker | 27.74 avg finish |*| 19 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 9 Top-10s |*| 16 Cuts made |*| $4,673,169 Earnings
* He may not matter this year since his best finishes were at the Tournament of Champions, event he’s not in
Hunter Mahan | 28.85 avg finish |*| 34 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 11 Top-10s |*| 31 Cuts made |*| $6,426,934 Earnings
* Been in a deep slump, needs to play well on the west coast to turn around his fortunes
Dustin Johnson | 28.97 avg finish |*| 33 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 15 Top-10s |*| 28 Cuts made |*| $7,195,240 Earnings
* He can easily win at either Kapalua, Pebble, Phoenix or Riviera, good record in his west coast starts
Justin Rose | 30.55 avg finish |*| 20 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 17 Cuts made |*| $1,505,115 Earnings
* Probably see him in Torrey and Riviera, seems healthy again after a good ski holiday in Europe
Jim Furyk | 30.63 avg finish |*| 19 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 17 Cuts made |*| $1,598,817 Earnings
* Look for him at Pebble and Riviera, has struggled on the west coast
Brandt Snedeker | 30.83 avg finish |*| 36 Starts |*| 4 wins |*| 16 Top-10s |*| 30 Cuts made |*| $9,308,257 Earnings
* Pair of wins at Torrey and Pebble, also has come close at Phoenix, Sony and Kapalua. Could be the best for 2017
Webb Simpson | 31.10 avg finish |*| 30 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 9 Top-10s |*| 26 Cuts made |*| $3,115,954 Earnings
* Best at Kapalua but he didn’t qualify to play there again
Zach Johnson | 31.27 avg finish |*| 30 Starts |*| 1 wins |*| 7 Top-10s |*| 26 Cuts made |*| $3,378,622 Earnings
* Ditto for Zach, don’t see him being a force in the west
Jimmy Walker | 32.56 avg finish |*| 39 Starts |*| 3 wins |*| 15 Top-10s |*| 31 Cuts made |*| $7,276,515 Earnings
* Always a contender at Waialae and Riviera
Paul Casey | 33.20 avg finish |*| 10 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 7 Cuts made |*| $1,867,747 Earnings
* Riviera is his ticket as the course is good for his game
Phil Mickelson | 33.46 avg finish |*| 28 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 8 Top-10s |*| 24 Cuts made |*| $5,643,052 Earnings
* Question mark after two hernia surgeries in the fall, best bet at Phoenix and Pebble
Bill Haas | 34.14 avg finish |*| 37 Starts |*| 3 wins |*| 14 Top-10s |*| 31 Cuts made |*| $6,419,885 Earnings
* Always plays well in the west in Palm Springs, Riviera and Phoenix. Been poor last two years due to injury, baby
Patrick Reed | 34.35 avg finish |*| 17 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 5 Top-10s |*| 14 Cuts made |*| $3,839,541 Earnings
*Watch him at Kapalua were he is 43 under in last two years, also plays well at Pebble and Palm Springs

More top Players
Adam Scott | 34.43 avg finish |*| 14 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 4 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $1,496,873 Earnings
Harris English | 34.54 avg finish |*| 26 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 8 Top-10s |*| 25 Cuts made |*| $2,750,871 Earnings
K.J. Choi | 35.52 avg finish |*| 33 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 6 Top-10s |*| 29 Cuts made |*| $3,006,640 Earnings
Charles Howell III | 35.74 avg finish |*| 39 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 10 Top-10s |*| 34 Cuts made |*| $3,558,751 Earnings
Jason Day | 35.92 avg finish |*| 25 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 11 Top-10s |*| 20 Cuts made |*| $5,523,463 Earnings
Ernie Els | 35.94 avg finish |*| 17 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 15 Cuts made |*| $1,625,859 Earnings
Ryan Moore | 36.52 avg finish |*| 29 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 8 Top-10s |*| 24 Cuts made |*| $2,701,573 Earnings
Nick Watney | 37.29 avg finish |*| 31 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 10 Top-10s |*| 25 Cuts made |*| $3,263,228 Earnings
Keegan Bradley | 38.33 avg finish |*| 30 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 4 Top-10s |*| 24 Cuts made |*| $2,598,182 Earnings
Jordan Spieth | 38.81 avg finish |*| 16 Starts |*| 1 wins |*| 7 Top-10s |*| 11 Cuts made |*| $3,443,851 Earnings
J.B. Holmes | 39.94 avg finish |*| 32 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 9 Top-10s |*| 26 Cuts made |*| $3,563,232 Earnings
Ryan Palmer | 40.39 avg finish |*| 33 Starts |*| 1 wins |*| 8 Top-10s |*| 26 Cuts made |*| $3,839,110 Earnings

Those that don’t do well on the west coast
You should have these names in the back of your mind as players not to back on for the next seven weeks.
Luke List | 81.82 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $291,591 Earnings
Troy Merritt | 82.07 avg finish |*| 27 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 9 Cuts made |*| $468,082 Earnings
Davis Love III | 82.42 avg finish |*| 24 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 11 Cuts made |*| $574,811 Earnings
Kevin Kisner | 84.00 avg finish |*| 23 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 8 Cuts made |*| $483,564 Earnings
Tim Wilkinson | 84.18 avg finish |*| 17 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 6 Cuts made |*| $328,070 Earnings
Scott Brown | 90.65 avg finish |*| 23 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 8 Cuts made |*| $209,085 Earnings
Charlie Beljan | 91.18 avg finish |*| 28 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 10 Cuts made |*| $1,590,470 Earnings
Cameron Percy | 91.29 avg finish |*| 17 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 6 Cuts made |*| $110,714 Earnings
Troy Kelly | 94.38 avg finish |*| 13 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 5 Cuts made |*| $65,835 Earnings
Andres Gonzales | 98.13 avg finish |*| 16 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 3 Cuts made |*| $193,970 Earnings
Here is a link to all of the players that had enough starts since 2010

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