What if Kaymer could putt like Cabrera-Bello

I stumbled over some statistics on the European Tour website the other day and couldn’t resist to do some number crunching. It wasn’t scientifically accurate but interesting nonetheless. Let me give you the basics.

I’m talking about these two numbers:

kaymer_cabrerabello

Being German myself, I feel for Kaymer’s recent plummet and while I wish him well, at the same time I strongly believe he didn’t do himself a big favor to change his swing a couple of years ago while he was in his prime. It was unnecessary (in my humble opinion) and definitely the wrong timing.

But anyway, the story is told, Kaymer kept dropping and dropping in all rankings imaginable.

Looking at the number above (from 17 Nov 2019) 77.9% GIR is a pretty impressive number. On nearly 8 out of 10 holes he puts the ball onto the green in regulation for a birdie putt—which he then mostly misses. Why else would he drop to 68th spot in the Race to Dubai or 118th in the OWGR with 17 tournaments played!

So in other words, he gets the ball onto the dance floor but then fails to execute.

Rafa Cabrera Bello on the other hand shines with a stunning 27.7 average putts per round figure. That’s not more than 1.5 putts per hole on average. Rafa is 21st in the Race to Dubai and 37th in the OWGR with 18 tournaments played.

Now imagine Kaymer could not only put the ball on the green but also putt like Rafa. There’s no easy way to calculate this but by approximation let’s just presume on 14 holes he needs 1.53 and on the rest he’d need 2 putts. That would translate into this staggering calculation:

14 holes GIR + 14 * 1.53 putts + 4 holes with 2 putts (assuming an 18 hole golf course) = 65.42. Even rounded up, Kaymer would still have a stroke average of 66. Rory McIlroy, current 2nd in the world, momentarily has a stroke average of 68.6…

This obviously shows the small likelihood of occurrence, that one player is equally strong in long and short game and at the same time a world class putter, too.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream!

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