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Monday, December 12, 2011

Early Nationwide Tour Preview for 2012

This probably will make about as much sense as a February College Football Preseason Top 25 Poll, but there isn't much going on in golf.  I'll take an early stab at what each member of the 2011 Nationwide Tour who finished in the 26th to 60th positions will need to do in 2012 to finish in the Top 25 and earn their card.  I will exclude those that qualified for the PGA Tour via Q School. 

Today I will cover 26th-35th.

  • 26.  James Nitties - He made 14/23 cuts with 6 top 25's, but only 2 top 10's.  Luckily one of those was a win.  If he could have made just one more cut he would have gotten through.  His stats were strong across the board with the only glaring weakness being his Total Driving (ranked 107th) and 108th in Sand Saves.  If he could make a couple of more cuts and hit a few more fairways, he'll be sitting nicely.
  • 27.  David Lingmerth - He only made 1/2 of his cuts (13/26), but when he did he finished relatively well with 5 top 10's including 2 third place finishes.  He finished 96th in Greens in Regulation and that's really his only category that was below average.  
  • 28.  Josh Broadway - He made 13 out of 19 cuts, so his biggest drawback might have been lack of starts.  He had 4 top 10's and a third place finish.  Weaknesses in 2011 were sand saves (123rd) and third round scoring average (121st).  If he can tighten up the bunker play and move forward instead of backwards on moving day he'll be in good shape.
  •  29.  Brett Wetterich - Former Ryder Cup player had a win, but was a little too feast of famine with only 8 of 18 cuts made.  Case in point, he finished in the top 25 in 6 of the 8 cuts he made.  For Wetterich, success rests on the shoulders of his putter finishing 108th in putting average and 119th in putts per round. 
  • 30.  Jeff Gove - Only made 10/20 cuts, but had a second, 4 top 10's and 8 of his 10 cuts finished in the top 25.  It's ironic that 3 of the first 5 guys just outside the top 25 missed 1/2 their cuts or more.  Like Wetterich, it's all about the putter finishing 113 in putting average and 117 in putts per round.  He finished an impressive 10th in GIR and his scoring average after the cut was great.
  • 31.  Tommy Biershenk - PGA Tour via Q School
  • 32.  Marco Dawson - PGA Tour via Q School
  • 33.  Darron Stiles - He made 13 out of 23 cuts including a second place finish.  Of the 13 times he made the cut, he made 9 top 25's.  He was 116th in driving distance and 92nd in GIR, but putted very well.  If he could make a couple of more cuts and improve the GIR, he could be in good shape.
  • 34.  Matt Davidson - After making 14 of 22 cuts and converting 10 top 25's and 5 top 10's, the only thing missing was a couple of high finishes.  If one or two of those top 10's could have been a top 3, then he would have probably advanced.  The two things that held him back were 3rd round scoring average (100th) and his Par 5 scoring average (126th) probably due mainly to his driving distance (122nd).  He was 2nd in driving accuracy which translated to 7th in Par 4 birdies.
  • 35.  Camilo Benedetti - Very consistently made 18/23 cuts, but only had 2 top 10's.  His stats were very good across the board with the only possible chink in the armour being GIR (71st).  If he could convert a few more of those made cuts into top 10's he could be in great shape.
Check back tomorrow for 36 through 45!

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