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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Breaking Down Andrew Landry - U.S. Open

While there are many plots surrounding the final round of the U.S. Open, perhaps none are bigger than Andrew Landry. The obvious question is, how did he end up in the final pairing of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont? Further down the list of questions are, what is a solid comparison in regards to what he's done / doing?

Who is Andrew Landry?

  • PGA TOUR rookie in 2015-16. 
  • Ranks 624th in the OWGR, which is down from 502nd at the end of the 2015 Web.com Tour Championship. 
  • Ironically, his 624th ranking is his lowest of 2016, even on the heels of his best PGA TOUR finish (T41 in the FedEx St. Jude Open). 
  • Ranks 203rd in the FEC Standings. (Sitting outside the top 200, he would not currently qualify for the Web.com Tour finals.)
  • 2009 University of Arkansas product, where he had a strong amateur career.
Why this week?
  • While he's only made 5 of 11 cuts in 2015-16 on the PGA TOUR, all five have come in his last six starts. 
  • He ranks 11th in SG: Off-the-tee and 12th in SG: Putting. If you can hit it well off the tee and putt, Oakmont could work. 
  • In contrast to ranking 183rd in SG: around-the-green, he ranks a strong 27th in Scrambling.
  • He ranks 1st in Total Putting.
  • At 193rd in par 5 scoring average, he catches a break with Oakmont having just two par 5s. 
  • He ranks 51st in par 3 scoring average.

Why this is completely out of the blue.
  • He managed to finish 72 holes under par on the PGA TOUR just one time all season. That was a 1-under tally at the Valero Texas Open, where he tied for 51st. 
  • Even though he posted a season-best T41 last week in Memphis, he did not break par in any round. Why the heck is he under par at Oakmont, again?
  • He ranks outside of the top 180 in SG: tee-to-green (187), SG: around-the-green (183) and SG: approach-the-green (199).
  • Important to know for Sunday, he ranked 136th in final round scoring average. 
  • While there are some important strengths to his game, he has some very obvious holes (statistically).
Perhaps the biggest question is, why hasn't he come close to putting anything like this together any other time this season?

Should he win, I'm struggling to find a comparison.
  • Probably the closest thing that comes to mind, at least in the 20 years I've been following golf, is the Ben Curtis Open Championship win in 2003. Still, Curtis was 396th in the world at the time, which is almost twice as high as Landry sits today.
  • In terms of the U.S.Open, Michael Campbell in 2005 at Pinehurst was an upset of sorts, especially given what's happened to his game since, but he was much more established than Landry. Had Jason Gore scored the win, that would have been much more comparable. 
  • Lucas Glover won at Bethpage in 2009 as an open qualifier, but Glover played in the 2007 Presidents Cup and had already won a PGA TOUR title, so that's not even close. 
  • Rich Beem in the PGA? Shaun Micheel? Still not the same. John Daly in his PGA win as an alternate? 
History says Landry should shoot a 78 in the final round, just miss breaking the top 10, and be a footnote that nobody remembers in three years. Who knows if he'll follow the script, or rewrite recent history. Either way, there's a pretty good chance he'll at least move inside the top 200 on the FEC standings and earn a tee time in the Web.com Tour Finals later this summer!

And if he wins? At Oakmont? I submit that it will be one of the biggest stories in the history of golf.

It should be fun to watch!

2 comments:

  1. Great read Ryan. You nailed it on the head and Landry shot 78 yesterday. Would've been nice to see him and Shane Lowry do a little better, but no question DJ deserved this one.

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