One of the most accomplished global players yet to have a PGA TOUR win, Tommy Fleetwood has played some of his finest golf courses in the US in Florida. As of 2017, Fleetwood has ranked among the top 10 Florida events in the Strokes Gained: Total, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, and Strokes Gained: Off the Tee categories.
He particularly shone at this week’s event, The Honda Classic. In two starts, a total of five players finished ahead of him (he finished fourth and third). Of the 101 players with eight rounds or more at PGA National since 2018, none have a better point average than Fleetwood.
During his young PGA TOUR career, Sam Burns was a very good putter. In each of the last three seasons he has placed in the top 30 in Strokes Gained: Putting per round, topping a top 10 finish a season ago. But bring Burns to Florida’s consistent Bermuda putting surfaces, and he morphs into some sort of Faxon-esque flat-stick savant.
Burns has averaged a staggering 1.28 strokes won per round during his Florida career, the best average of any player with 20 or more rounds since 2018. Across the rest of the TOUR roster, Burns averages 0.27 strokes won: putting per round.
Venues on the Florida Swing tend to be more challenging, especially when the wind picks up. As of 2010, players who win the four major Florida tournaments (The Honda Classic, Valspar Championship, THE PLAYERS Championship, and Arnold Palmer Invitational) have had an average Strokes Gained: Approach rank of 11.7. That’s slightly better than all other PGA TOUR venues in the same range (13.5).
Corey Conners has only played 30 rounds of the PGA TOUR in Florida in his career, but his strong approach play spoke for itself. Conners has averaged .86 shots gained: approach per round in Florida, an average trailing only Tiger Woods and Talor Gooch. Conners finished third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and THE PLAYERS Championship last season and seventh in consecutive weeks.
With victories at three different stops on the PGA TOUR in Florida, it’s no surprise that Rory McIlroy has been one of the Sunshine State’s top-ranked stats over the past decade. Since 2012, among players with 20 or more rounds in Florida, McIlroy has led all players in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green per round (+1.69). He is also #2 in Power Off Tee and #3 in Strokes Gained: Total.
McIlroy has been in the top 10 at both the Bay Hill Club and the Lodge for the past five years, including a win in 2018.
Propelled by two top 3 finishes last year in Florida, Viktor Hovland has been on several statistical lists here in recent years. Hovland is gaining 1.14 strokes per round on the field with his ball strike, about a quarter of a shot more than any other player since 2019. He also leads all players in Birdies or better per round and Strokes Gained: Total per round in Florida to that range .