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HITS and MYTHS
STEVE BESLOW
June 13, 2011
Four Open revelations: You don't have to hit every fairway to win; you'll be playing a different course if you enter a Tour stop at an Open venue; the real Moving Day isn't Saturday; and the best player isn't always ID'd
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June 13, 2011

Hits And Myths

Four Open revelations: You don't have to hit every fairway to win; you'll be playing a different course if you enter a Tour stop at an Open venue; the real Moving Day isn't Saturday; and the best player isn't always ID'd

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  WINNERS FIELD
Rd. 1 Avg. 69.75 74.35
Rd. 2 Avg. 67.88 74.26
Rd. 3 Avg. 70.63 73.85
Rd. 4 Avg. 70.44 73.99

Drive for Dough

Conventional wisdom holds that, because of the unusually penal rough, long hitters don't have an advantage at the U.S. Open. That was once the case. From 1989 through '99, Open winners averaged only two more yards off the tee than the rest of the field, but they were 13% more accurate. Since Tiger Woods's first Open victory, at Pebble Beach in 2000, however, winners have tended to follow his bomb-and-gouge style of play. They have averaged 16 more yards off the tee than the field and are missing the fairway significantly more often than the winners from the previous decade (63.96% versus 71.43%).

2000--10 FIELD

DRIVING DISTANCE 284.65 YDS

DRIVING ACCURACY 57.21%

2000--10 WINNER

DRIVING DISTANCE 300.41 YDS

DRIVING ACCURACY 63.96%

1989--99 FIELD

DRIVING DISTANCE 261.65 YDS

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