August 17, 2014
An eagle can often disrupt the pattern midway through a serene round of golf, catapulting its master straight into the meaty conversation on the day. It is a result that gives the golfer a two stroke advantage, often the distance that separates the men from boys, especially towards the end of a tournament. The season isn’t completely done yet, but as at the end of the PGA Championship last week, we have witnessed 106 eagles on the PGA Tour. In this feature, we look at the men who have made a key contribution to this count.
1. Will MacKenzie
At the top of the heap is an unlikely warrior. Will MacKenzie, a native of North Carolina, leads the chart with 14 eagles from his 70 rounds of golf this season. The American is ranked 111th in the world and 43rd in the FedexCup rankings for the current season. MacKenzie has earned five top-10 finishes for a purse amounting to $1,812,878 from 23 events. The American has made the cut at 12 events and is currently 50th in terms of scoring average with 70.51 being his effort for every round of golf played.
T2. Stewart Cink / Brian Harman / Billy Horschel
There is a three way tie for second on the list with thirteen eagles achieved from a varying number of rounds for each of these men. Cink has his returns from 83 rounds this season, while Horschel has needed 74 and Harman 97 of them to score their collection of eagles. As much as birdies are fairly routine on the PGA Tour, these are numbers that assert the fact that eagles do not happen just as often. It has taken Cink nearly 6.4 rounds of golf for each of his eagles, whilst Harman has needed to go through 7.5 rounds to find one. Horschel has been far more aggressive with clubs, scoring an eagle every for every 5.7 rounds of golf.
T5. Steven Bowditch / Charles Howell III / Matt Jones / Marc Leishman / Patrick Reed / Daniel Summerhays
A dozen eagles in the bag have landed as many as five men into rounding off the top ten on this chart. Leishman has helped himself into this group with a solid outing at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in the run up to the final major of the season. The Aussie finished third at the tournament after carding a 64 in the opening round.
Masters champion Bubba Watson is lying in T14 on the list of players with most eagles. US Open champion Martin Kaymer has a meagre five eagles from his 51 rounds this year, while Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy has seven from 50 rounds of golf.
Feature by Anand Datla