Last Pairing Dominance

Wonder why the most exciting thing about a PGA Tour final round telecast is the latest Villages ad? (By the way, where would the PGA Tour be without their most consistent advertiser!?).

Anyway, reader Josh picked this up on, where Jason Sobel writes:

Most unbelievable fact on the PGA Tour so far this season? It has nothing to do with Watson's driving prowess or the multiple-victory seasons of Woods, Mickelson and Appleby. Instead, it's this: Through 20 stroke-play events, the eventual winner has come from the final grouping of the tournament in all but one. What does that tell us? That today's players, many of whom are putting increasing emphasis on the mental side of the game and remaining calm in high-pressure situations, are learning to become winners, with fewer final-round leaders choking away the lead coming down the stretch. Oh, and that one champion who did not come from the last grouping? If you guessed Kirk Triplett at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, give yourself a pat on the back.

Okay, the bit about learning to become winners does sound like Golf Channel punditry gone bad.

Naturally, I'd blame the lack of come-from-behind finishes on the anti-birdie, pre-vent anyone-from-noticing-the-distance-issue-course setup mentality. Is that enough dashes for you in one sentence?

Sure it's early, but the 2006 final round scoring average is 72.0. It was 71.5 in 2005, 71.1 in 2000, 71.3 in 1995.

Now, we've been told the players and fields are better than ever, that courses are better conditioned than at any point in the history of the game and the equipment better than ever. Oh, and their mental calm is better than ever from all of that Adderall great mental preparation.

And yet the final round scoring average going up?