Number Crunching 2013: Scott Brown
Over the final two weeks of 2013, we will be breaking down players that rose and fell over the past 12 months. Check out the entire series here.
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Ranking/movement: +522 (No. 646 to No. 124)
Why the rise? To paraphrase an old golf proverb, there’s nothing like a win to cure all ills.
Brown’s 2013 campaign was defined by what he did in only his second PGA Tour tournament of the season, rounds of 68-63-67-70 accounting for a one-stroke triumph at the Puerto Rico Open. While the $630,000 check was the most dramatic reward, the 24 points in the Official World Golf Ranking helped raise Brown’s profile.
“I started the year with conditional status, so by winning, I basically gained status for three years (2013 through ’15),” said Brown. “Having job security, having a place to play would be the highlight of my career.”
That’s a legitimate reflection when you’re 30 and playing on the PGA Tour for just your second year. As someone used to flying under the radar, Brown wasn’t going to thump his chest over the win.
Confirming that he pays enough attention to the stats to know where he needs to improve – Brown was 125th in scoring average, 118th in greens in regulation, 76th in driving accuracy – the Augusta, Ga., native concedes there’s a lot of work to do. The remainder of 2013 accentuated his deficiencies as he had only two top-25 finishes the rest of the way.
“I played good in other places, but I also need to improve my short game,” said Brown, 130th in scrambling.
To improve his PGA Tour fortunes, Brown will continue to rely upon the swing coach he praises as “a hidden gem” – John Tillery.
“He’s helped me a lot, mostly understanding my ball flight, what causes shots to happen, that sort of thing. He’s allowed me to fix things on my own,” Brown said.
Brown says: “I’m focused (in 2013-14) on the wedge game, chipping the ball, getting it up-and-down. Statistically speaking, those are the things that I need to get better at. But I just try to get a little better at everything. I’ve gotten a little better at each level I’ve played, so I’m looking to continue that.”