How Did Ted Purdy Beat the Top 5 Golfers in the World?

A number of theories have been given in answer to this question but the best answer was given by Ted Purdy himself. In his post-game interviews, Ted said something along the following lines (not exact quotes):

I really won the tournament yesterday (i.e., his third round on Saturday). Usually I have one bad round in a tournament and that could have happened yesterday. I had to sink several long putts to save par and I did. I stayed patient and what could have been a 72 or 73 ended up a 68.

I suppose I could have had a few more birdies if I had gone for the pins more but that’s not the way you win golf tournaments.

Ted had no eagles, 20 birdies, and only 5 bogeys in 72 holes for a net of -15.

Sean O’Hair was one stroke back at -14 based on 18 birdies, an eagle and 6 bogeys.

Vijay Singh was 4 strokes back. He had 20 birdies, an eagle but 11 bogeys.

Scott Verplank and J.J. Henry each had 20 birdies, the same as Ted Purdy. Scott tied for 6th thanks to 8 bogeys and one double bogey. J.J., who was first in driving distance, tied for 10th with 11 bogeys. But before you feel too sorry for them, think of poor Craig Perks who had 19 birdies, only one fewer than Ted, but Craig tied for 35th because of 14 bogeys.

Thus, as Ted recognized himself, it was Ted’s smart patient play that produced 27 finishing holes without a bogey. Over that 27 hole stretch Ted had 7 birdies but so did a lot of his competitors. The bogeyless streak is how Ted got his first PGA Tour win and that’s how Ted is likely to get many more wins.

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