OPEN GOLF: Royal Lytham by numbers

Golf News

The numbers from the first two days

Back nine tougher?

Not really. So far three of the hardest four holes have come on the front nine. The toughest is the 3rd, followed closely by the 6th, while the 8th, surprisingly, ranks fourth. The toughest hole on the back nine is the 15th.

In addition, the easiest two holes both come on the back nine – the short par 4s, 13 and 16.

Most dangerous hole

At 478 yards and running parallel to the railway line for its whole length, the 3rd is a fearsome par 4. Already there have been 28 doubles and four ‘others’. Just 15 birdies have been recorded.

Hardest hole to make birdie

That would be the 6th, newly converted from a par 5 to a 4. It has yielded just 12 birdies so far. It is 492 yards and what makes it even longer is the sharp dogleg at driving distance that means the driver stays in the bag for most players.

At 478 yards running parallel to the railway line, the 3rd is a fearsome par 4.
Best chance of a birdie

The 16th is only 336 yards and has been downwind for much of the first two days. Unsurprisingly, it has provided the most birdies – 85.

Holes playing under their par

At six holes the overall average is under par – so to build a good round you are looking to pick up shots at, in order, the 16th, 13th, 9th, 7th, 1st and 11th.

Level fours is average

The average score for the week so far is a shade under 72. And to think there were worries that Lytham was too short and easy to test the best these days.

Best putter in the field?

That would be Steven Alker, the New Zealander, who needed just 22 putts on Friday and 28 on Thursday for an average of 25 per round. Of the leaders, Paul Lawrie, Matt Kuchar and Graeme McDowel also come out well in this category, averaging 27 putts or fewer. At the other extreme Anders Hansen averaged 33.5 putts per round.

Power of Scott

Adam Scott tops the driving distance category so far – averaging 312.5 yards. Because Lytham is a course where many players hit 3 woods and irons from the tees, they have based the statistics on just two holes that run in opposite directions – the 7th and 14th. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that not all players hit drivers on those holes either. And Tiger has been doing so on neither. Hence he is well down the list.

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