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PGA Tour Sleeper: Steve Marino

Posted By High Fade On Feb 7 2011 @ 9:44 am In PGA | 3 Comments

When Bubba Watson won his first PGA tournament at the 2010 Travelers Championship, Steve Marino immediately inherited the mantle as the “Best Player on Tour Without a Win”.  This unofficial title says a lot about a golfer’s potential; unfortunately it also underlines their inability to win a tournament.

When you look at Marino’s 2010 actual scoring average of 70.99 verses his final round scoring average of 72, you can see where the problem lies. With a full 1 stoke disparity between the two statistics, the million dollar question (quite laterally) remains, can Marino close?

Marino had a number of chances over the past several years. Tied for the 36 hole lead along with the ageless Tom Watson at the 2009 Open Championship, Marino posted 11 over par on the weekend to fall out of contention.  At the 2009 Crowne Plaza Invitational, Marino played well for all four rounds, however lost in a sudden death playoff against Steve Stricker and Tim Clark.  Tied for the lead heading into the final round at the 2009 Barclays Championship, Marino closed with a final round 77.  Most recently at 2011 Sony Open, Marino was again in contention heading into the final round, however he was unable to get things going until the back nine, posting three birdies in the final four holes, narrowly missing an eagle putt on 18 to send the tournament into a playoff.

Despite the skepticism, at least Marino is trending in the right direction, as golfers that continue to put themselves in contention to win, eventually end up doing so.  To help his own cause, Marino worked diligently on his game and improved his fitness over the off-season, losing 15 pounds.  He also gave up beer for the month of January.  Not sure how that helps his golf game but if abstaining from beer results in his first PGA Tour victory, all the better.

Historically, Marino’s strength has been his ability to make birdies, ranked in the top 5 in total birdies from 2007-2009. (T5-2007, #1-2008, 5th-2009)  Therefore, Marino’s best chance of capturing his first PGA Tour victory is to call upon his strength and unleash a final round birdie barrage.  Nonetheless, be rest assured that which ever way his first victory comes, the mantle as the “Best Player on Tour Without a Win” will no longer be for Steve Marino to worry about; he will gladly pass that distinction onto someone else…cheers!

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