PALM HARBOR, Fla. – If Bud Cauley isn’t in a sophomore slump yet, he’s getting awfully close.
After withdrawing from the Tampa Bay Championship prior to his second-round tee time due to illness, Cauley has now failed to reach the weekend in five of seven starts on the PGA Tour this season.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., perhaps the warmer weather on the Florida Swing would’ve gotten things going, but that’s not been the case. He missed the cut at the Honda Classic two weeks ago after shooting 73-69. He shot 3-over 74 in his opening round at Innisbrook.
The couple times he has made the cut, he’s been solid. He was T-37 at the Humana Challenge and T-24 at the Phoenix Open. But for the most part, he’s not the same player he was in 2012, when he made 21 of 28 cuts, notched six top-10s and finished 35th in the FedEx Cup standings – he’s 134th in the FedEx Cup race so far in 2013.
Looking at the numbers, Cauley’s troubles seem to boil down to a couple things: his struggles with the putter and his inability to find greens. He was 83rd in strokes gained-putting in 2012, but has dropped to 156th this season. He was 50th in greens in regulation percentage last season, but so far in 2013, he’s 107th.
It is early, and Cauley, Rookie of the Year runner-up last season, still has time to turn things around. But one has to wonder when he’s going to start.
One thing is for sure, it won’t be this week in Palm Harbor.