Winged Foot Key Fantasy Stats

U.S. Open

September 17th – 20th, 2020

Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course)

Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,477

Purse: $12.5 million (2019 purse)

with $2,250,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Gary Woodland

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

The U.S. Open is going back to Winged Foot, a course that held the Open in 1929, 1959, 1974, 1984 and then 2006. The course also held the PGA Championship in 1997. The course also has held the 1940 and 2004 U.S. Amateur.

This is the 120th edition of this event, the six-time the Winged Foot is hosting a U.S. Open. The last time the U.S. Open was at Winged Foot was in 2006 and won by Geoff Ogilvy by a shot over Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, and Colin Montgomerie. Ogilvy won with a winning score of 5 over par. In the five times Winged Foot has held the U.S. Open, there have been 750 entries, and only two players have broken par for 72 holes, Fuzzy Zoeller and Greg Norman at 4 under par. In the 2115 rounds played in the U.S. Open, only 77 have broken par. Of the 750 entries, the average score is 76.30, so we can say that Winged Foot is a challenging course. Look for that trend to continue as this year’s Open.
The course will play 213 longer than it played in the 2006 U.S. Open. The most significant change will be flipping the 5th hole from a 515-yard par 5 to a 502-yard par 4. Then the 9th hole, which was a 514-yard par 4 in 2006, will be a 565-yard, par 5.
But the charm of the course is the par 3s and par 4s. Of the par 3s, three are over 200 yards, with the 3rd the longest at 243. The shortest is the 7th at 162.
Of its 12 par 4s, only two, the 6th and the 11th, will be under 400 yards. Of the rest, nine of them play over 450 yards. Of course, the fairways will be narrow, holes 6, 11, and 15. The shortest of the par 4s will be between 22 and 28 yards wide. The others will be a bit wider as the USGA will have three different rough levels to penalize shots further offline. With the heavy rains the last two weeks, the rough will be long and thick. Look for players to have a tough time playing out into the fairway in some cases.
Despite the rain, look for the greens to be bone dry. They are 6,600 square feet with a lot of undulation. They will be wicked fast. The greens are a combination of Poa annua (80%) and bentgrass (20%). They have been redone since 2006, and the restoration recaptured their original size and contours. The person who will win at Winged Foot is the one that makes the most putts from 4 to 10 feet. Since there is a lot of poa annua, the greens will be tricky to read, making it hard to make putts. Another vital part of the game will be lag putting. Players will have many putts in the 20 to 50-foot range, and with all the contours, it’s hard to cozy that long putt close to the hole. So the winner this week will be a good putter. As a major championship course is the opposite of PGA Championship Harding Park, poor putters could do well on those greens.
Still can’t stress the importance of finding the fairway off the tee and making sure to get the ball on the green in regulation.

Since we have very little data to base our conclusions for our four categories, we will take an educated guess on which stats will be needed to succeed this week at Winged Foot for the U.S. Open. Like any tough U.S. Open course, the importance is keeping the ball in the fairway and hit as many greens as possible. If you miss the fairway just a little and have a good lie in the first cut of rough, getting it on the green is possible. But from the second stage to third stage of rough the going is hard. Those with poor lies in the rough it’s best to gauge it back into the fairway and try to scramble for a par. But what gets players in trouble is trying to muscle it onto the green and most of the time they advance the ball back into the rough by the green, making the next shot impossible and then bringing the possibility of double bogey in play. So keeping it on the short grass is the key for a good week. There will be more bogeys than birdies, in 2006 U.S. Open only 344 birdies were made while there were 1,148 bogeys and 170 double bogies.

The things to watch for, Accuracy off the tee will be the key to winning at Winged Foot, not only in driving accuracy but precious iron play into the greens. In 2006 Winged Foot ranked the 4th hardest course to keep it in the fairway as the players hit 50.30% of the fairways. In hitting greens, Winged Foot was the hardest course in Greens in Regulation which makes sense Winged Foot demands great shotmaker and when you miss a green you will have to show the skill of being able to handle both sand play and pitch shots from gnarly rough around the green. In 2006 during the U.S. Open the course was 1st in Scrambling for the year as players got it up and down just 40.05% of the time If that isn’t enough, a poor putter won’t cut it on this course. The greens have a lot of undulations and mounds, so good lag putting is required along with the nerves to be able to make most of those nasty five and six-footers. When Winged Foot held the 2006 U.S. Open it played to a 74.97 scoring average which was the hardest course on tour in that year, makes sense when you think each player averaged five-shot over par for a round. I don’t expect that to happen, still, an average of around three shots per round is what I figure.

So this is based on the most important stats for the Winged Foot, based on what I feel is important, and using data from all the players in this week’s field with stats from 2020. Of course, weather plays a factor in scoring, and with the course being a tad wet from all of the rain the last couple of weeks I can see it drying out as the sun has hit it lately and the temperature has been high. I see no rain and limited wind, still the USGA has a knack of drying out greens and making them rock hard.
The most important item is keeping it in the fairway, without that you can’t score so Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee is our most important category. Next up is Greens in Regulation, you have to hit greens to score well on the course. Now our third category is Scrambling just because all players will miss greens and it’s important to get it up and down for par when a green is missed. Our last category is strokes Gained Putting. This is a great way in determining how a player does overall on the greens and since putting is a key to winning at Winged Foot I don’t see any stat better to end this stat look with.

*Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee: This determines how many strokes are saved or wasted in driving off the tee, figuring hitting the fairway and hitting it far.

*Greens in Regulation: Number of greens hit from the fairway or rough.

*Scrambling: This stat figures out who gets it up and down the most when green is missed.

*Strokes Gained Putting: This is a great way in determining how a player does overall on the greens by determining the length of the putt and calculating the percentage the player should make the putt and coming up with stroke figure.

Of the 144 players in the field, 83 have stats on the PGA Tour for 2020:

One other keynote.  This was done on Monday afternoon and I updated the field based on the withdrawals of Brooks Koepka, Sam Horsfield and Scottie Scheffler.  There were replaced by  Paul Waring (has no stats), Rory Sabbatini, and Branden Grace.

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.


  1. Mike, I had to change over this file since you were right on Dan McCarthy, so your post is gone. Thanks for the catch.

  2. says

    Clicking on ytd gives an error message??

  3. Irishmull, we are aware of the problem, has something to do with switching from 2020 season to 2021. We also still have to figure out how to do the U.S. Open and Masters. Even though it’s played in the 2021 season, both of these will be 2020 season events but at the same time we have to make them show up in 2021.
    Trust me when I say lot’s of problems in making this work.
    It’s going to take a couple of weeks to sort out, sorry.
    But I am going to have an answer for the year to date, we are working on giving you guys a player guide for the U.S. Open that will make getting around easier.

  4. Sabbatini not in FIELD

  5. Grace not in FIELD

  6. Ok everyone. First the problem with YTD has been fixed. It wasn’t a problem, what was happening was the link before was set to send you to their records in the 2021 season. Since most of the field did not play at Safeway, if there is no record then it looks like a broken link because it can’t find a 2021 season for the player. So what I did was change the program to make it link to the 2020 season. This is easy because if they have a record for 2021, on the top for the year it would have a arrow pointing right next to the 2020. So that problem is fixed.

    Now Mike, you are wrong. Field was updated on Monday, Rory Sabbatini replacing Sam Horsfield who tested negative for COVID-19, also Scottie Scheffler is out due to a positive COVID-19 test, he is replaced by Branden Grace. So that is why you see Sabbatini and Grace in the field.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.