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Played the best in Florida?

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Just like that the West Coast swing is history as players jump on planes from a very wet California and fly out east to Florida. For many who grew up in the southeast, specially Florida they will leave behind the frustration of putting on bumpy poa annua and playing in cool California days for smooth Bermuda greens and fairways but most of all those folks with Florida roots will feel at home on courses like PGA National and Bay Hill. One unfortunate thing for the first time since 1962 the Miami area and Doral Blue Monster won’t be a part of the PGA Tour, so this year there will only be four events played in Florida. Just a decade ago along with Doral, the tour also had a stop at Disney and on the Palm Coast so unfortunately in a ten year time golf in Florida has been reduced from seven stops a year to just four.
But for many like Matt Every and Daniel Berger and Matt Kuchar (raised in Florida and lives just down the Florida border in Sea Island, Ga.) they will like the change.
Last year’s winners in Florida was a big change from previous years as the five events was won by three foreigners Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Jason Day who all grew up on bermuda grass and areas of high winds. Day was a bit of a surprise because before he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then the Players Championship, he played in 25 previous Florida events and only had one top-15 finish and showed a serious dislike to Florida courses. Still others like Hideki Matsuyama and Bill Haas, who also had a tough time in Florida are now doing good, even the great Tom Watson who in 76 PGA Tour starts in Florida never won but made up on the Champions Tour and won twice in Florida.

So how do we determine who’s best in Florida?
We took tournament results from the start of 2013, the first year that Disney wasn’t on the schedule and looked who did the best in events at PGA Champions, Doral, Innisbrook, Bay Hill and the Players Club. We took the finish of each player from each of those 20 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 Florida events to be a part of the rankings.

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

The best Florida records:
Sergio Garcia | 14.67 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 7 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $3,554,962 Earnings
*Played a total of 52 events in his career in Florida, did win 2008 Players Championship
Adam Scott | 21.87 avg finish |*| 15 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 5 Top-10s |*| 14 Cuts made |*| $4,679,286 Earnings
*He too won the Players Championship back in 2004. Along with his 2 wins in 2016, was T-12th at Palmer & Players
Rory McIlroy | 22.54 avg finish |*| 13 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 7 Top-10s |*| 11 Cuts made |*| $2,560,343 Earnings
*Winner 2012 Honda Classic, T-2nd 2014 Honda, weird since he only has one other top-30 finish, didn’t play weekends 3 times
Russell Knox | 26.17 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $1,351,756 Earnings
*Best Florida finishes, T-2nd 2014 Honda (lost in playoff), T-3rd 2015 Honda. Now lives in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Kevin Na | 27.91 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 5 Top-10s |*| 9 Cuts made |*| $1,729,671 Earnings
*Best Florida finishes, runner-ups at 2010 Arnold Palmer and 2014 Valspar
Bill Haas | 28.18 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 5 Top-10s |*| 10 Cuts made |*| $2,047,253 Earnings
*Best Florida finish, 2nd 2016 Valspar Championship
Jordan Spieth | 29.80 avg finish |*| 10 Starts |*| 1 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 8 Cuts made |*| $2,071,578 Earnings
*Winner 2015 Valspar, he never has played in the Honda or Arnold Palmer
Henrik Stenson | 31.93 avg finish |*| 15 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 7 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $2,918,867 Earnings
*Winner 2009 Players, been in the top-ten the last four Palmers including 2nd in ’15 and T-3rd in ’16, has home in Orlando
Matt Kuchar | 32.00 avg finish |*| 13 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 11 Cuts made |*| $1,288,042 Earnings
*Winner 2002 Honda and 2012 Players, in 49 career Florida starts has 8 top-ten finishes
Jason Day | 33.90 avg finish |*| 10 Starts |*| 2 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 9 Cuts made |*| $3,491,965 Earnings
*Winner last year of Arnold Palmer and Players Championship, only other top-10, T-6th 2011 Players
Rickie Fowler | 35.67 avg finish |*| 15 Starts |*| 1 wins |*| 4 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $2,995,922 Earnings
*Winner 2015 Players Championship, runner-up 2012 Players, lives in Jupiter, Fla.
More top Players:
Lee Westwood | 36.00 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 10 Cuts made |*| $1,129,575 Earnings
Ryan Palmer | 37.00 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 11 Cuts made |*| $1,207,044 Earnings
Jim Furyk | 37.45 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 2 Top-10s |*| 10 Cuts made |*| $1,642,989 Earnings
Jamie Donaldson | 38.58 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 11 Cuts made |*| $1,546,022 Earnings
Jason Dufner | 38.69 avg finish |*| 16 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 14 Cuts made |*| $894,429 Earnings
Justin Rose | 39.13 avg finish |*| 15 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 6 Top-10s |*| 10 Cuts made |*| $2,171,292 Earnings
Jimmy Walker | 39.30 avg finish |*| 10 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 3 Top-10s |*| 8 Cuts made |*| $1,115,693 Earnings
Francesco Molinari | 39.62 avg finish |*| 13 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 4 Top-10s |*| 10 Cuts made |*| $1,357,851 Earnings
Ian Poulter | 41.00 avg finish |*| 15 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 14 Cuts made |*| $883,218 Earnings
Luke Donald | 43.67 avg finish |*| 15 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 4 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $1,230,953 Earnings
Graeme McDowell | 43.88 avg finish |*| 17 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 6 Top-10s |*| 12 Cuts made |*| $1,605,932 Earnings

 

Those that don’t do well in Florida:
You should have these names in the back of your mind as players not to back in events in Florida
Seung-Yul Noh | 75.42 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 6 Cuts made |*| $129,952 Earnings
J.J. Henry | 77.73 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 5 Cuts made |*| $143,084 Earnings
Roberto Castro | 79.64 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $228,805 Earnings
Ben Crane | 80.46 avg finish |*| 13 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 6 Cuts made |*| $318,917 Earnings
Mark Wilson | 83.00 avg finish |*| 12 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 1 Top-10s |*| 5 Cuts made |*| $399,168 Earnings
(He did win the 2007 Honda, but has missed the cut in 8 of his last 18 starts.
James Hahn | 83.27 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $135,970 Earnings
Spencer Levin | 83.60 avg finish |*| 10 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $52,743 Earnings
Charlie Beljan | 83.64 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 3 Cuts made |*| $54,949 Earnings
(He did win in his first Florida stop at Disney in 2012, since has not had a top-40 finish in Florida
Angel Cabrera | 84.45 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $83,627 Earnings
Robert Allenby | 85.55 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $80,104 Earnings
Ricky Barnes | 88.18 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $55,201 Earnings
Steven Bowditch | 92.36 avg finish |*| 11 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $122,080 Earnings
Scott Stallings | 95.23 avg finish |*| 13 Starts |*| 0 wins |*| 0 Top-10s |*| 4 Cuts made |*| $89,196 Earnings

Here is a link to all of the players that have played ten or more events in Florida since 2013

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