This week, the LPGA Tour and KPMG unveiled the first in-depth look at the data collected for KPMG Performance Insights, a statistical development that will transform the way players, coaches, media and fans experience women’s golf. With the data gathered since the LPGA MEDIHEAL championship in June, the KPMG team will provide players with a wealth of information that can help them customize their games through detailed statistical information.
Tuesday’s first report released the first LPGA Tour statistics on Strokes Gained, which calculates a player’s performance in a given case versus that of their competitors. Austin Ernst takes second place in Strokes Gained on Approach with 2.02 and provides her with concrete data to back up what she already knew in her heart – her iron game is one of her best competitive advantages.
“Of course being able to see that statistically and say, okay, I’ve been second on the tour with it since we started the statistics, that confirms that. That’s one of the things I always know that it’s one of the strengths of my game, ”said Ernst. “When I drive and putt well, I’m usually at the top of the leaderboard.”
Ernst clinched her first professional win at the 2014 Cambia Portland Classics in her second season on tour. She felt it would be the first of many wins, but instead remained without a win until Ernst took two wins last year. This winless drought could easily bring a player to his knees, but by focusing on benchmarks other than just wins, Ernst managed to prevail and continue a very successful career.
“I got better every year. I was a much better player in 2017 than in 2014. I was just talking about how much lower the talent level came out of here, ”she said. “So every year I felt like I was making progress and until last year I thought my best year on tour was 2018, even though I didn’t win. I’ve had my most consistent year. Second, I think twice this year, little things like that.
“I think that’s what drives me. I want to get better every year, every week. I obviously want to win and have a lot of success, but when I can look back and say that I’m a better player than last year it also gives me the confidence that I’ll be in the race and that I can do the job when I am in this position. “