The PGA Championship 2022

The PGA Championship 2022 – Behind the scene

Ian Poulter at PGA Championship

We looked into the data of the players who missed the cut by one shot only… where and why?

Phil Mickelson did not defend his PGA Championship title and Tiger Woods regret it but then what about these 9 players who missed the PGA Championship cut by only one shot?

There are many reasons and areas where to make a score, according to Ian Poulter – who missed the cut by one – the weather is one too. The weather did play an important role during the week-end at Southern Hills Championship Course: rain, wind and even the cold.


PGA Championship: the data behind the scene

As far as purely data speaking, the most frustrated player to miss the cut must be, for sure, JJ Spaun as he made only one birdie out of 36 holes. His putting performance ranking shows everything and explains by itself what made him miss the cut:

  • Strokes Gained Putting: -1.11,
  • Sink 19%,
  • Ranking 124/156

Harry Higgs putting was good enough to make the cut with a Strokes Gained Putting (SGP) of 0.48, sinking 40%, ranking 61/156. We could say that his penalty shot on long game (first round) cost him the cut.

We understand Ian Poulter’s comment saying that with 69 on round 2, he felt it would be a good score to make the cut. However, starting with a 76 (+6) on the first round definitely ruined his week-end. Understanding Poulter’s Inconsistencies’ between Round 1 and Round 2 is well described in the “4 Shots Rules” book (Baradie – Barras 2016). Here are his stats:

  • Round 1 : SGP -1.81 [Ranking 135/156]
  • Round 2 : SGP 2.81 [Ranking 11/156]

“It just feels so bad wanting players to finish not very well so I can get a game this weekend. The wind has completely dropped off 😭😭😭”.

Ian Poulter – Watch his video.
Chan Kim made bogeys on the last 2 holes. We can obviously ask ourselves if he did take time to look at the Leaderboard to know the cut line? Because putting wise he would have made it with his global SGP of 0.35 on the 2 first rounds, sinking 36% of the putts (ranking 67/156)

Other players to miss the cut by 1 shot

  • Min Woo Lee for his very first PGA Championship appearance may have felt the pressure at the end.
  • Branden Grace, from South Africa, only made 3 birdies on his 2 rounds. Not enough at this level.
  • Henrik Stenson situation is summarized in one of his quotes: “I just want to go home”.
  • Kevin Kisner, making a birdie on his last hole was not enough to get in the final rounds.
  • Ryan Palmer is an experienced player. But similarly to Kim, we could say he didn’t correctly manage the leaderboard cut as he made bogeys on both 16th and 17th holes of his second round.


Putting, putting… putting!

Putting was key over the weekend as the 3 best putting guys on the 2 first rounds were respectively:

  • Zalatoris: SGP 3.09 – Sink 56% [Ranking 1/156]
  • Niemann: SGP 2.83 – Sink 50 % [Ranking 2/156]
  • Thomas: SGP 2.55 – Sink 42 % [Ranking 3/156]

With 2 of them finishing at the 2 first positions at the end of the week-end 🏆.


More globally, without saying that putting is everything, we can zoom-in on the global putting stats (4 rounds) of the 2 who went on play-off after 72 holes:

  • Thomas: SGP 1.57 [Ranking: 2/78]
  • Zalatoris: SGP 1.17 [Ranking: 10/78]

Learn more


Written with Stéphane Barras – founder of CaddiePlayer.