Friday, May 25, 2012

Waggle, Waggle, Waggle...

No offense to Zach Johnson. He had a great day Thursday, posting a bogey-free 64 to take the lead at 6-under at Colonial. He drained putts from everywhere and, while he hit a paltry half of his fairways, he did hit 78% of his GIR.

Nothing against Kevin Na, who posted a respectable even par round while trying to incorporate his new faster pre-shot routine into his round. He made 3 birdies and 3 bogeys, but it was clear his new routine affected his play as he hit only 64% of his fairways and 56% of his GIR.

I could point out the sterling play of Harris English after blitzing British Open qualifying earlier this week with rounds of 60-63, followed by a 65 in the first round at Colonial, or the possible resurgence of both Tommy Gainey and Sergio Garcia, who posted 4-under rounds in the windy Texas conditions. I could even mention John Daly's even par round, which means his improved play is continuing.

But let's just admit it. The real story is that the hottest player on Tour, the guy who won 2 of the last 4 events (and got married in-between), is back in the hunt again.

Jason Dufner calmly hit 79% of his fairways and 67% of his GIR on his way to a 5-under 65. He took a mere 26 putts and was 11th in that mysterious new "Strokes Gained - Putting" stat. All-in-all, a typically boring Waggler round that sent him racing up the leaderboard.

As an aside, Zach's SG-P stat was nearly double Jason's but he took the same 26 putts. Go figure. Knowing what I do about their rounds, I suppose the new stat takes the "footage" of putts made into account.

Of course, that doesn't mean the tournament's over by any stretch of the imagination. But it's amazing how consistently competitive Dufner has been on so many different types of courses. In a world of players who seek every possible edge they can find, the Waggler is getting the job done with a simple swing and sound course management. And it doesn't look like he plans to change either.

That's the real story... and I hope everybody's paying attention.

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