Strokes Gained: Short Game a Key for Landry

Andrew Landry shot a first-round 66 largely on the strength of his short game, which ranked third among the field from 100 yards and in.
Andrew Landry shot a first-round 66 largely on the strength of his short game, which ranked third among the field from 100 yards and in.  (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Andrew Landry returned to Oakmont Country Club this morning to make one putt, a 10-footer for birdie on his final hole (No. 9) that took on added significance. He grabbed the lead through the weather-delayed first round of the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, having recorded the lowest first round in a U.S. Open at Oakmont with a 4-under 66.
As of the end of the first round, Landry’s 66 gained more than eight strokes compared to the field average of 74.24. Landry gained 3.2 strokes in his round on the strength of his third-ranked short game (off-green shots starting within 100 yards of the hole), highlighted by a near hole-out from the greenside bunker on No. 16. 
The greens were difficult to putt in the first round, especially from long distance. The field lost about one stroke per round compared to a typical PGA Tour course, with 70 percent of the trouble coming from putts starting more than 21 feet from the hole.

Mark Broadie is a Columbia University professor who developed the strokes-gained statistic to compare each player’s performance against the rest of the field.