The Fortinet Threat Score holes played a significant role shaping the on-course drama at the 2022 BMW PGA Championship.
En route to his second career Rolex Series victory, Shane Lowry played the three toughest holes on the course in a combined one under par. Those holes – the first, third and ninth at Wentworth’s West Course – combined to average more than half-a-stroke over par per round for the week. The top 12 players on the leaderboard combined to make 14 bogeys on those three holes over the course of the tournament.
Lowry not only played the toughest holes on the course bogey-free – he didn’t make a single one anywhere all week. In the shortened, 54-hole championship, Lowry became the first player to win any DP World Tour event without making a bogey or worse since Alexander Levy did it at another shortened tournament, the 2014 Portugal Masters. No player has won a 72-hole DP World Tour event without a single dropped shot since Jesper Parnevik at the 1995 Scandinavian Masters.
Difficulty Rank: 1st (+0.24)
The opening hole at the West Course proved to be the toughest all week, averaging nearly a quarter of a stroke over par. Players were greeted with the most difficult fairway to find on the course, with just 30 per cent of the field hitting it over three rounds. Those who did find the short grass off the tee gained nearly two-tenths of a stroke on the field, the fourth highest such value for the week.
This was also the most difficult green to hit in regulation, with just 45 per cent of players finding the putting surface in two shots – and yielded the worst average proximity to the hole (47 feet). This all added up to a mere 23 birdies by the entire field for the week, by far the fewest given up by any hole.
Difficulty Rank: 2nd (+0.15)
Just one hole separated the toughest and second toughest on the course this week. The par four third played to an average score of 0.15 strokes over par, ranking second in difficulty for the tournament. Additional distance was very beneficial here – an extra ten yards off the tee was worth about one-tenth of a stroke over the field, the third-highest margin on the course.
Less than half the field found the green in regulation at the third hole for the week (49%), the second-lowest rate at the West Course. Players that did hit the green in two gained more than one-third of a stroke over the competition, making this the most valuable G.I.R. to hit all tournament long. This elite field was only able to cobble together birdie 11 per cent of the time this week on the third hole.
Difficulty Rank: 3rd (+0.14)
Each of the three most difficult holes at Wentworth came on the front side, with the ninth ranking as the third toughest. While only 27% of all players missed this fairway, those who did were harshly penalised. The debt for missing the ninth fairway was 0.63 strokes, the highest anywhere on the golf course.
The average approach shot at the ninth this week was 177 yards, leading to the fifth-toughest average proximity to the hole (about 35 feet). For the week, there were more than twice as many bogeys or worse (71) as birdies or better (33) at the ninth, leading to a scoring average of 4.14.