10 Notes to Know: October 5, 2020

October 5, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. Sergio Garcia birdied the final hole of the Sanderson Farms Championship to finish one stroke ahead of Peter Malnati. It was the eleventh PGA Tour victory of Garcia’s career and his first since winning the 2017 Masters Tournament. Garcia was dominant tee-to-green, leading the field in strokes gained off-the-tee and ranking third in strokes gained approach.
  1. Garcia has now won at least one official event worldwide every year since 2011. Only two other players have an active streak of 10 years or more with a victory: Yuta Ikeda (2009-2019, 11 straight) and Justin Rose (2010-19, 10 straight). Neither Ikeda nor Rose have won yet in 2020.
  1. This was Sergio’s first PGA Tour title since turning 40 earlier this year. Garcia’s golf swing has aged beautifully, as he gained more than 12 strokes on the field for the week tee-to-green. This is the 26th time since 2004 that a PGA Tour winner age 40 or older gained 12 or more shots on the field tee-to-green – amazingly, 12 of the other 25 instances belong to Vijay Singh!
  1. Garcia has now won six times in eight tries with a 54-hole lead or co-lead worldwide since 2017. Among players with five or more final round leads worldwide in that span, only Brooks Koepka (83%), Korn Ferry Tour player Jared Wolfe (100%) and Ikeda (80%) have won at a more successful clip.
  1. Aaron Rai won the Scottish Open in a playoff over Tommy Fleetwood, his second career European Tour victory and sixth worldwide as a professional. Rai started the round five strokes off the lead, but shot a final round 64 to win. Three of the last four Scottish Open champions have shot 64 or lower in the final round en route to the win.
  1. Rai finished the tournament ranked second in strokes gained tee-to-green, gaining almost ten strokes on the field for the week. His eight birdies in the final round were more than he had in rounds one through three combined (seven birdies). Rai is the fourth Englishman in the last 25 years to win the Scottish Open, joining the likes of Lee Westwood (1998), Luke Donald (2011) and Justin Rose (2013).
  1. For Fleetwood, the solo runner-up finish is his best worldwide in 2020. Fleetwood led the field for the week in strokes gained tee-to-green, but was 50th of 66 players to make the cut in strokes gained putting.
  1. A six-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, Mel Reid broke through with her first LPGA victory Sunday at the Shoprite LPGA Classic. Reid’s final round 67 was her first final round score in the 60s in 2020. Only three players hit more greens in regulation for the week than Reid (78%).
  1. With Georgia Hall’s win at last month’s Cambia Portland Classic, this marks back-to-back wins by Englishwomen on the LPGA schedule. It’s the first time that has happened since Trish Johnson and Caroline Pierce won in back-to-back weeks in the fall of 1996.
  1. Next week is a busy one in the world of professional golf: the women will play their third major of the season at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Six of the last seven years, the event has been decided by either one stroke or in a playoff. On the European Tour, a strong field returns to Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship, while the PGA Tour shifts to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.