Golf stats and analysis of the PGA Tour’s 2008 Mercedes-Benz Championship

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5 Things You Didn't Know: Mercedes-Benz Championship A look inside the numbers at the opening event of the 2008 PGA Tour. Chopra was dialed in from long range Daniel Chopra left two putts on the lip of the hole during his playoff with Steve Stricker on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, but for the week he drained more long ones than any other player. Chopra attempted 25 putts at Kapalua from beyond 25 feet and made five of them (20%). In 2007, he ranked T40 in that category, sinking 25 of 376 (6.65%) of the putts he faced from that range.
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Playing second fiddle again Stricker, who won the PGA Tour Comeback Player of the Year award for the second-straight time in 2007, would have earned his fourth career victory had he won the playoff against Chopra. Instead, he earned his third runner-up finish (Wachovia Championship and AT&T National) in his last 14 starts.
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Making short work of long holes Mike Weir's victory over in the Presidents Cup seems to have sparked his career. In October, the Canadian won the Frys.com Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., and he was leading the Mercedes-Benz Championship going into the final round. While his three-under-par 70 on Sunday was not good enough to get him the victory, a key to his solid performance was his play on the par 5s. Weir ranked 102nd on the PGA Tour in 2007 in par 5 scoring average (4.68), but he led the field in scoring on the par 5s at Kapalua (4.19).
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Getting a feel for the new gear Charles Howell III made an equipment change in the off-season, switching from Callaway to Bridgestone. Putting his new sticks into competitive play for the first time, Howell lowered his score every round and finished tied for eighth by shooting 74-70-68-67. Only three other players lowered their score after each round — Hunter Mahan (73-72-69-64, T5), Boo Weekley (80-74-68-66, T23) and Henrik Stenson (76-75-73-68, T28).
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To lengthen Kapalua, just add water Brett Wetterich hit a 437-yard drive on the par-5 12th hole of the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in the first round of the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Championship. That turned out to be the longest tee shot of the season on the PGA Tour. This season, with rain falling early in the week, Rory Sabbatini hit the longest drive, a 398-yard blast on the 17th hole Sunday. The field's average driving distance for the week was just 255 yards.