10 Notes to Know: May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. The TaylorMade Driving Relief match between Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Wolff raised more than $5.5 million for charity. You can contribute to the cause here.
  1. With $1.1 million and six skins on the line, DJ missed a mid-range putt on the 18th hole that would have won the match. The players went to a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker at 17, where Rory narrowly edged Wolff. McIlroy and DJ finished with eleven skins, while Rickie and Matt won seven.
  1. Wolff won both of the long drive holes, hitting it more than 350 yards on each. 32.1 percent of Wolff’s drives on the PGA Tour this season have gone 320 yards or more. That percentage ranks 16th among players with 30 or more drives hit.
  1. Matt’s long drive wins may have been a bit of an upset: since 2010, McIlroy and Johnson are among the leaders in strokes gained off the tee on the PGA Tour. Rory ranks first (0.99 per round), while DJ is third (0.83).
  1. Fowler played the best golf individually, making seven birdies and carding a 67. Fowler entered the day with a 28 percent chance of making the most birdies of the group, according to 15th Club’s probability model.
  1. In regular PGA Tour competition this season, the most birdies Fowler has made in a round is eight – done in the opening round of The American Express. His career-high is nine, which he did in 2017 at TPC Potomac.
  1. McIlroy clinched the win for his team with the last shot of the day – a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker from about 120 yards away. That distance has not been an enormous strength of Rory’s game in recent years – over the last two seasons, McIlroy is ranked 39th of 195 players on approach shot proximity from 100 to 125 yards.
  1. Ranked 101st in the world, Wolff was likely a new name to many casual fans watching on Sunday. Last year, Wolff won the NCAA individual title – and later that summer, the PGA Tour’s 3M Open. Only three players have won the NCAA’s and a PGA Tour event in the same year: Wolff, Ben Crenshaw and Tiger Woods.
  1. Johnson is the only player currently under age 40 with 20 or more PGA Tour victories. Since DJ’s first full PGA Tour season – 2008 – the only player with more wins than him is Tiger, with 21.
  1. Next Sunday, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will team up with NFL legends Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in another charity competition. In their PGA Tour careers, Tiger and Phil have combined for 122 wins and more than $211 million in official earnings.