Cam Young’s 64 At The Open: Every Shot Ranked

Cam Young shot the round of the day on Thursday and we can now decipher exactly what made it so outstanding

Cam Young
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What constitutes a great shot is one of the most subjective aspects of the game but, courtesy of Clippd, we now have a different and very clever way of measuring things. Cam Young began his Open campaign with a brilliant 64 at St Andrews; there were eight birdies, no dropped shots, he hit 8/16 fairways (ranked 109th), 18/18 greens (1st), 30 putts (15th) and averaged 336.4 yards off the tee (35th).

Now we begin to draw our own conclusions as to why it all played out so well, and where he could improve, but Clippd take it several steps further by ranking every shot through a Shot Quality measurement. This is ranked from 0-200 with 0 the worst possible outcome, 100 being the expected standard of a tour player and 200 being perfection, ie a hole-in-one or holing a shot from distance.

They also take into account start lie, end lie, course difficulty and the weather conditions. When compared to Strokes Gained, Shot Quality is not as sensitive, Clippd say, to shots at either end of the quality spectrum. Shot Quality thereby reduces volatility in the measure of a shot’s objective quality. 

Young’s 64 added up to an Average Shot Quality of 115 (100 is what Clippd’s algorithms expect of a tour player) – his individual parts were 121 (Off The Tee), 115 (Approach), 172 (Around The Green) and 108 (Putting).

The 115 may seem low, given what the score finished as, but this is an average across all of the shots that he hit and each of the individual categories represent different numbers of shots. Most of his shots were APP and PUTT so they have a disproportionate influence on the overall shot quality.

The Around The Green numbers fly off the page but, such was his accuracy with his irons, they were only based on two shots. 

Open stats

(Image credit: Clippd)

Where the 64 begins to emerge more clearly is through his Shot Quality Tracker which demonstrates all 64 shots and this is the real genius of the technology. Here we get an immediate at-a-glance view of Young’s 64, a score that might not be bettered all week. Of those 64 shots 27 scored 120 or above for Shot Quality including 10 that scored 150 or more.

His three absolute stand-out shots were putts on 2 and 11 while a very adjacent chip from the back of the green at the 9th scored him 178.

“I think we worked our way around the course really well,” Young said. “I don't think that I played a perfect round of golf. I didn't drive it particularly well, I hit it fine off the tee but it wasn't just going where I was looking. You could play every day here for a year and you would just scratch the surface of what you can know about this place.”

Mark Townsend
Mark Townsend

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.