Fooled by Randomness: France

In his new regular column, Matt Cooper takes a look at the numbers, trends and oddities around the world of golf.

71 reasons

This one takes some understanding.

Graeme McDowell has 11 PGA and European Tour strokeplay victories to his name and nine of them have come on par 71 layouts.

The nine are Kungsangen, Loch Lomond, Celtic Manor 2010, Pebble Beach, Valderrama, Le Golf National twice, Harbour Town and El Camaleon. The exceptions are Pinx and Tolcinasco.

It’s a bizarre set of results. You could maybe understand a fondness for par 70s or 72s, but 71s seems baffling.

It’s a riddle.

Kicking up a storm

All golfers have favourite golf courses – and it really helps a professional tour golfer if his favourite golf course hosts a lucrative event.

Take Simon Khan, for example, who has accumulated 33% of his career earnings at Wentworth, an astonishing return. Imagine if he played well every year at St Omer – not quite as profitable.

Graeme Storm is not quite as successful on one course as Khan, but he certainly has a lot to thank Le Golf National for.

The Englishman has banked €1,098,168 at the Paris venue, as he claimed one win and another seven top 33 finishes. That account for 17% of his career earnings (or one sixth reaped in one week every year).

Going backwards

It’s been quite a season for South Africa’s Zander Lombard: prior to 2016 he’d played five times on the European Tour and not made even one cut. This year he has results that read: 4-12-2-7-47-MC-MC-5-21.

Even that 47 was better than it first looks because he was T5 at halfway. In fact the only thing currently wrong for Lombard is just that: he keeps going backwards.

Here are those results again with his round three position preceding them: (1) 4 – (10) 12 – (1) 2 – (26) 47 – MC – MC – (1) 5 – (6) 21

One man’s choker is another man’s next big thing.

Last week

We pointed out that Pablo Larrazabal has an extraordinary record in June and he maintained it, finishing T9 in the BMW International Open.