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Ryder Cup statistics: How Europe and USA compare when it comes to driving, putting, scrambling and experience

Joe Hall
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2016 Ryder Cup - Team Photocalls
Are Team Europe's players in superior form this season? (Source: Getty)

Can Europe make it four from four Ryder Cups this weekend or can USA harness home advantage to win the famous trophy for just the second time this millennium?

To get a more detailed idea of where the cup might be won and lost in Hazeltine, City A.M. analysed how the two 12-man teams have performed this season across five different metrics to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Read more: Ryder Cup - Golf's "godfather of analytics" says America can catch up with Europe through data

Driving accuracy


Henrik Stenson has the best driving accuracy this season of any player at the Ryder Cup (Source: Getty)

On average, Europe's 12 representatives have a driving accuracy of 61.1 per cent in European and PGA Tour competition this season — nearly three per cent higher than USA's 58.3 per cent.

Europe's Henrik Stenson has been the sharpest shooter from the tee in 2016, hitting 76.2 per cent of fairways played.

American Jimmy Walker has had difficulties with the driver this season and has an average driving accuracy of 48.31 per cent, making him the only player in the field with a driving accuracy below 50 per cent.

Greens in regulation


Super Spieth? The Texan wonderkid has the lowest greens in regulation percentage of any player in Hazeltine this weekend (Source: Getty)

Europe's players have also been more consistent than their American opponents at hitting the green this season – not accounting for the differences in courses between the European and the PGA Tours – with an average 71.5 per cent success rate compared to USA's collective 65.9 per cent.

On an individual basis, the players with the top eight greens-in-regulation score so far this season are all playing for Darren Clarke.

"Iceman" Stenson is again top of the pile with a 78.2 per cent hit rate. More surprisingly perhaps, the worst score of the 24 players present belongs to world No4 Jordan Spieth who has hit the green in regulation 63.52 per cent of the time.

Putts-per-round


Only Spieth has a better putts per round score than Phil Mickelson on the PGA Tour - will it make Team Europe green with envy at the Ryder Cup? (Source: Getty)

Yet while Spieth's approach play this year may have left him behind the competition, no one has bettered him on the green.

The 23-year-old's field-leading putts-per-round average of 27.8 helps towards the USA team's average of 28.6, putting them narrowly ahead of Europe on 29.6.

In stark contrast to their performance when measured by greens in regulation, American players picked for this year's Ryder Cup account for the eight best putts per round averages heading into the tournament.

Scrambling


Will Rory be able to dig Europe out of a hole this weekend? (Source: Getty)

If Europe needed another reason not to get too comfortable should their American opponents fail to reach the green, it's the respective scrambling scores — how often a player has scored par or better after missing the green in regulation — for each team.

On average, America's men still make par after missing the green around 60.87 per cent of the time, trumping Europe's 58 per cent.

However, Europe's Ryder Cup rookie and captain's pick Thomas Pieters has the best individual score at 66.1 per cent.

Read more: How Europe's Ryder Cup team was finalised on a WhatsApp group

Experience

Finally, Europe have more experience of the intense pressure and raucous crowds that come with playing in the Ryder Cup.

Although much attention has been paid to the fact Europe's team includes six players making their Ryder Cup debuts, Clarke's men still have 122 matches between them compared to America's 101, more wins — 62 to 39 — and fewer losses, 38 to 42.

Evergreen Phil Mickelson is the most experienced player present having competed in 10 previous Ryder Cups, but it is Clarke captain's pick Lee Westwood who has more wins, with 20 from 41 matches.

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