Rafael Cabrera-Bello finished off the week the same way he started it – atop the leader board – and we’re going inside his bag to find out the key to his desert dominance in Dubai.
In previous weeks when analysing the stats of the winners on The European Tour there has been a clear pattern that has usually seen them perform to an extremely high level across the statistical board, however in Cabrera-Bello’s case, this is not quite how it played out.
Like any winner, he did most things well, but there was only one statistical area that he was dominant in, and that was his ability to hit the greens in the right number, eventually tying for first with runner-up Stephen Gallacher.
Out of the 72 holes played throughout the four tournament rounds, both managed to only miss ten greens in regulation, which adds up to a percentage of 84.7. This is indeed impressive, but as a result both rank much lower on the putting statistics, with the champion Spaniard finishing 25th and 43rd in putts per GIR and putts per round respectively.
This is completely understandable as more greens hit in regulation is bound to amount to more putts, as you are chipping and one putting less, and are often further from the hole as a result.
In the driving categories Cabrera-Bello is again solid, but by no means top of the tree, hitting just under two thirds of the fairways to rank 32nd in the field and averaging 288.6 yards from tee to rank 17th.
The most interesting observation comes when comparing the champion’s stats for the week against the man who finished a shot adrift, Lee Westwood. The Englishman hit 80.6 per cent of the greens in regulation, slightly fewer than Cabrera-Bello, but in everything else he was better. He drove it straighter, hitting 73.2 per cent of the fairways, and longer, averaging 291.3 yards from the tee, as well as supposedly putting better ranking 13th in putts per GIR and 24th in putts per round.
However, the great adage in golf has always been: “It doesn’t matter how, it matters how many”, and in this case the victorious Cabrera-Bello edged the only statistic that mattered, posting a scoring average of 67.50, some 0.25 better off than those he beat into second. Proof that you don’t have to dominate the stats to be victorious on The European Tour, and further evidence to the fact of just how fine the margins are out there between winning and second place.
Here is what he had in his bag:
|Ball || || || || || || ||Titleist, Pro V1 X (11)|
|Shoe || || || || || || ||FootJoy|
|Driver || || || || || || ||Titleist, 910 D3 - 8.5°|
|1st Fairway Wood || || || || || || ||Titleist, 910 F-D - 13.5°|
|2nd Fairway Wood|| || || || || || ||Titleist, 910 F - 17° |
|3 - 9 Iron || || || || || || ||Titleist, 712 MB|
|Pitching Wedge || || || || || || ||Titleist, 712 MB|
|Sand Wedge || || || || || || ||Titleist, Vokey SM4 - 54°|
|Lob Wedge || || || || || || ||Titleist, Vokey SM4 - 60°|
|Putter || || || || || || ||Titleist, SC T10 Select Newport 2|
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