After profitable the FedEx Cup in September, Justin Thomas revealed an inventory of thirteen objectives for his 2016-17 PGA Tour season that he saved on his iPhone in February. He achieved most of them, together with qualifying for the Tour Championship, profitable a serious championship and making the U.S. Presidents Cup staff.

Thomas, 24, additionally exceeded a number of of the analytic objectives he set for himself, which included ending the season with a strokes gained: tee-to-inexperienced common above (he completed at 1.33) and a strokes gained: placing common above zero.25 (he completed with zero.289).

Having gained 5 occasions final season, together with his victory at Quail Hole within the PGA Championship, Thomas was the apparent selection as PGA Tour Participant of the Yr. However as robust as his season was, in comparison with earlier Participant of the Yr award winners within the ShotLink period, Thomas’ 2016-17 PGA Tour season was not distinctive.

Let’s make one factor clear – this isn’t a knock on Thomas. He clearly deserved to win the Jack Nicklaus Award. However in case you examine his efficiency statistics to the final 12 Gamers of the Yr, Thomas’ season didn’t stand out.

The previous College of Alabama All-American had the second-highest scoring common among the many POY winners since 2005, with solely Matt Kuchar’s sixty nine.606 common in 2010 greater than Thomas’ sixty nine.359.

Evaluating season scoring common throughout the years is an imperfect science, as a result of programs change and gamers compete in several occasions, particularly prime gamers who compete in all of the majors and World Golf Championships. That’s the place strokes gained classes come into play, as a result of it offers a greater apples-to-apples comparability as a result of every participant is gauged towards the Tour imply for the season.

As seen within the tabular chart above, Kuchar and Vijay Singh are the one gamers with a strokes gained: complete common decrease than Thomas’ 1.619. Strokes gained: complete is derived by including a participant’s averages in strokes gained off the tee, strategy the inexperienced, across the inexperienced and placing. It isn’t a statistic that’s referred to typically, however it supplies a way of how a participant’s general recreation compares to the typical golfer throughout that season.

As could be seen in the identical chart, the gold commonplace amongst Participant of the Yr seasons since 2005 is Tiger Woods’ 2006 marketing campaign. Woods gained the British Open at Royal Liverpool and the PGA Championship at Medinah, and he had a ridiculous strokes gained: complete of three.443. Most of that quantity got here from his lengthy recreation (his strokes gained: tee to inexperienced was 2.982). Woods ranked twenty first that yr in strokes gained: placing, and his sixty hundred fifteen adjusted scoring common was 2.981 photographs higher than the PGA Tour common.

Two of the objectives Thomas failed to realize in the course of the 2016-17 season – being ranked within the prime 30 in scrambling and being underneath par on the par 3s – is perhaps close to the highest of his listing of analytic objectives for the 2017-18 season, however focusing an excessive amount of on attaining these objectives is perhaps a mistake.

Thomas generates a number of clubhead velocity together with his driver and averaged 309.7 yards off the tee final season, eighth greatest on the PGA Tour, but he isn’t benefiting as a lot as he ought to from his energy. Dustin Johnson (1.002), Jon Rahm (zero.935) and Rory McIlroy (zero.878) every completed final season with a strokes gained: off-the-tee common that was twice as giant as Thomas’ zero.398.

Thomas ought to take a look at that stat as an excellent alternative.

If he might hit a number of extra fairways every occasion and elevate his driving accuracy proportion from fifty five.05 % (ranked 162nd) to 60 % (ranked No. one hundred and one final season), he doubtless would hit extra greens in regulation and enhance his scoring common.

So whereas Thomas’ 2016-17 Participant of the Yr season will not be as robust, analytically, as others, perhaps the scary factor for his competitors is there clearly are elements of Thomas’ recreation that may (and doubtless will) get higher.

(Notice: This story seems within the Oct. 9, 2017 concern of Golfweek.)