PINEHURST, N.C. – Want an idea as to how gentle Pinehurst No. 2 played in Round 1? Consider that Martin Kaymer hit 13 of 14 fairways and only finished joint sixth in that category.
That’s because five players went perfect: Brendon de Jonge, Harris English, Henrik Norlander, Billy Hurley III and Stewart Cink.
As for hitting 11 of 18 greens, not a bad day for Kaymer. But a whopping 54 players fared better, including de Jonge and Paul Casey, both of whom hit 16. Four other players – Kevin Na, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas and amateur Cameron Wilson hit 15.
Some other statistical entries:
• The field average was 73.231. It was a cumulative 74.547 in the 1999 U.S. Open and a cumulative 74.166 in 2005.
• The toughest hole was the par-4 11th, with a field average of 4.468. Take a bow, Henrik Stenson, Marcel Siem and Jim Furyk, the only ones to make a birdie there.
• Easiest hole? No surprise, it was the par-5 fifth, with a field average of 4.788.
• Nick Watney made the only double-bogey at the par-4 18th, Chris Thompson recorded the only double at the par-4 13th.
• The toughest green to hit was the second, where only 31 percent succeeded.
• The fifth green was easiest to hit in regulation, at 78 percent.
• Toughest fairway to hit was 18, at just 51 percent.
• Easiest fairway to hit was No. 1, at 89 percent.
• While it’s no surprise to see that Nicolas Colsaerts (337.5), J.B. Holmes (329.5) and Dustin Johnson (322.5) ranked 1-2-3 in driving distance, clearly Bubba Watson hit some crooked ones on the measured holes because he ranked 24th, at 300.0.
• Five eagles were recorded, all at the par-5 fifth. Lucas Bjerregaard, Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na and Geoff Ogilvy did the honors.
• Kaymer’s 65 was no mystery, for he required just 25 putts, tied with Fran Quinn and Zac Blair for tops in that category.
• As for the notoriously difficult greens, they didn’t confound too many players in Round 1 because 59 players went without a three-putt, Kaymer included.
• Then again, Cameron Wilson in his amateur farewell struggled mightly. He three-putted seven times. Perhaps more stunning is that Luke Donald and Webb Simpson each three-putted three times.
• Amateur Will Grimmer didn’t have an unforgettable day – he shot 77 – but he did lead the field of 156 in one category: Fewest putts per greens hit in regulation (1.50).