The 2017 Race to Dubai promised much, and it’s safe to say it more than delivered.
From a successful inaugural year of Rolex Series events, to Sergio finally achieving that elusive first Major victory, to Tommy Fleetwood’s emergence as a world beater, there’s been plenty to look back on in celebration.
But which single performance was the best?
S.S.P. Chawrasia won by a record seven shots at the Hero Indian Open, while Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton’s winning scores of 264 at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, respectively, were the lowest of the year.
However, none of the above were statistically the best performance in the 2017 season.
Thanks to research from 15th Club, we were able to compare who had the single best week of the season, across all tournaments, in comparison to the field’s average score.
Based on these calculations, Brandon Stone’s dominant victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship was the single best performance of the 2017 season.
With the home crowds firmly behind him, Stone fired a super-consistent 67-66-66-67 across the four rounds, holding off advances from Storm, Detry and 11-time European Tour winner Charl Schwartzel, amongst others.
Leading from the second round onwards, the South African finished a staggering seven shots ahead of closest rival Richard Sterne.
Compared to the rest of the field, Stone was 22.4 shots better than average over the course of the week at Leopard Creek.
“I just played some incredible golf the whole week to be fair,” Stone explained after his emphatic triumph. "I think my ball striking this week was superb from the first hole to the last. That score that I shot this week - 22 under par around here is not a simple task - to do that is obviously quite something."
The aforementioned Chawrawsia came in a close second to Stone, while an honourable mention has to go to Masters Champion Sergio Garcia, who, aside from his first Major victory, also claimed two of the top ten best single performances of the 2017 season.
Meanwhile, spare a thought for Messrs Andrew Dodt and Joost Luiten, who recorded two of the top ten best performances – without even winning the event.
Here’s a look at the top ten scores in the 2017 season versus the field average:
22.41 Brandon Stone, Alfred Dunhill Championship
22.36 S.S.P. Chawrasia, Hero Indian Open
20.92 Harold Varner III, Australian PGA Championship
20.55 Brooks Koepka, US OPEN
19.53 Tyrrell Hatton, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
18.92 Andrew Dodt, Australian PGA Championship*
18.90 Sergio Garcia, Omega Dubai Desert Classic
18.64 Sergio Garcia, Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation
17.99 Hideki Matsuyama, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
17.64 Joost Luiten, Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation**Finished runner-up