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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 WGC—Cadillac Championship

Winner: Nick Watney

Around the wider world of golf: Michael Bradley won the Tour's alternate field event, the Puerto Rico Open, in a one-hole playoff against Troy Matteson; and Nick Price won the Toshiba Classic on the Champions Tour. The JLPGA events have been cancelled for obvious reasons.

Nick Watney at the WGC-Cadillac
Click on the photo to read the Golf Digest article.

So Tiger, Phil, Lee, and Martin didn't figure into the final standings at all. (Although Tiger did post a 66 Sunday and looked -- for the most part -- like he knew what he was doing. Maybe that's some good news among the big boys.) But that didn't mean the second WGC event of the year wasn't exciting. I typically have some idea who the Limerick Summary will be about with four or five holes to go, but this one went right down to the wire.

Watney has said he knows his short game is his weak spot and he's been focusing on it lately. Sunday that practice payed off. Dustin Johnson stayed near the lead all day until the end, when Watney's amazing par saves and 18th hole birdie finally put it out of DJ's reach. Except for Anders Hansen's last minute run, nobody was able to hold it together for 18 holes besides Watney -- a far cry from past performances where he himself said he let some get away.

No one will accuse him of that now. Sunday's performance, especially on the 18th where he knocked it in the water for bogey on Saturday, will be what people remember this time.

If you go to Nick Watney's PGA bio page and look at the six key stats they list, you'll see that he beats the averages in all six. I know I go on and on a lot about my "Rule of 67" but if you look at the Driving Accuracy, GIR, and Scrambling percentages, you'll see that the PGA Tour average is below 67% on all three (Scrambling is a pitiful 58%!) and Nick Watney is above 67% on both GIR and Scrambling. This, along with some good putting, is why he has five Top 10s with a WGC in five starts.

At 70.79% in Scrambling -- the part of his game that he's been working on most -- Nick is now 2nd on Tour. His Driving Accuracy was at 79% and 64% the first two days this week, and his GIR was 78% those days. If he improves that Driving Accuracy stat, with his putting touch he could become a dominant player on Tour.

When I did Saturday's listing of possible contenders at Augusta, I considered putting Nick Watney on the list because he's been playing some consistent golf lately -- four Top 10s in four events. In the end, I decided to leave him off because he hadn't won in over two years. With this WGC win, which also gives him five Top 10s in five events, I now feel good about adding him as the sixth member of my little Augusta fantasy league.

So today our Limerick Summary recognizes the newest member of the "Young Guns with WGCs" club:
The biggest win ever for Nick
Featured chipping and putting so sick
That he made up-and-downs
From both sand traps and mounds.
His new practice drills did the trick!


  1. HA ! I love it ! Take an extra gallon of jet fuel for "your" new cart. (lol)

  2. I really missed being at Doral this year. I had been going for the past 3 years. It was the first time I felt homesick:-(