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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering The Masters

Ed Cushing

Ed Cushing

Cushing covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire, bringing a sabermetric approach to golf stats. Retired and living in the mountains of North Carolina, Cushing is in the running for the Most Interesting Man in Fantasy Sports. He's golfed the Doral Blue Monster, Harbour Town GC, Hilton Head and Augusta National, among many other tough courses. A classically trained pianist, Cushing still plays professionally. He roots for the University of Virginia because the Cavaliers may lose the game, but they ALWAYS win the party. He also made a fortune off the '72 Dolphins.

PGA TOUR STATS: The Masters

Each week we'll list the statistical breakdown of the upcoming PGA Tour event. Below are the results of last week's Houston Open and the top finishers from last year's Masters. For last year's full-season results, go here.

2012 PGA Tour Events

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR STK GN PUTTS EAGLES BIRDIE BOGEY DBL BOG
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK /PUTT RNK
TOC Stricker -23 66.7 11 268.3 15 81.9 13 1.25 3 1 26 3 1
Sony Wagner -13 41.1 56 276.4 68 70.8 10 1.58 3 2 17 8 0
Humana M. Wilson -24 74.1 18 279.3 69 80.6 73 1.04 4 2 24 4 0
Farmers Snedeker -16 P1 58.9 13 284.8 47 70.8 33 1.03 12 0 24 8 0
Phoenix K. Stanley -15 60.7 24 287.5 70 79.2 3 1.14 11 2 18 7 0
Pebble Bch Mickelson -17 61.8 62 272.8 58 75.0 3 3.33 1 1 19 4 0
Nor. Trust Haas -7 P1 55.4 50 279.8 30 50.0 58 2.25 3 1 15 10 0
Mayakoba Huh -13 P1 73.2 8 279.3 44 81.9 1 N/A 28 1 18 5 1
Honda McIlroy -12 60.7 37 297.6 8 66.7 10 1.57 5 0 17 5 0
WGC-Cad. Rose -16 57.1 78 290.0 28 65.3 17 0.11 33 0 23 7 0
Transitions Donald -13 P1 73.1 9 261.1 75 66.7 43 2.59 1 1 17 6 0
Arnold Palmer Woods -13 64.3 29 294.6 11 79.2 1 1.45 4 0 20 5 1
Houston Mahan -16 67.9 33 279.9 50 86.1 1 1.61 5 0 18 2 0
AVERAGE 62.7 32.9 280.9 44.1 73.4 20.5 1.58 8.7 0.8 19.7 5.9 0.2


Last Week's Houston Open

Hunter Mahan's win emphasizes the productive benefits of greens-in-regulation (GIR). Mahan hit 86.1 percent of his greens - that's 62 of 72 greens. To date, that is the best raw numbers for GIR.

Avoiding bogeys is helped by getting on the greens in regulation. So, Mahan's GIR accomplishment paid off as he was bogey-free in rounds one and two and had just one bogey in rounds three and four. To date, he has the lowest number, two, of bogeys for a full 72 holes.

This Week's Masters

EVENT WINNER DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE GIR GIR PUTTS PUTTS EAGLE/ BOGEY/
%of56 RNK DIS DIS RNK %of72 RNK Per GIR RNK RND RNK BIRDIE DBL
2011 Masters Schwartzel -14 66.1 31 278.4 44 68.0 31 NA NA 26.8 2 2/17 7/0
J. Day -12 69.6 20 287.3 18 72.2 6 NA NA 28.5 11 0/23 9/1
Scott -12 62.5 36 287.1 19 70.8 11 NA NA 27.8 3 2/17 7/1
Woods -12 66.1 31 287.8 15 73.6 5 NA NA 30.0 32 1/19 11/0
Ogilvy -10 75.0 7 289.0 13 69.4 16 NA NA 27.8 3 0/20 8/1
Donald -10 67.8 26 280.3 39 56.9 47 NA NA 25.5 1 1/21 11/1
Cabrera -9 85.7 1 292.0 9 75.0 3 NA NA 29.3 21 0/19 10/0
VanPelt -8 69.6 20 282.5 31 66.6 28 NA NA 28.5 11 2/15 11/0
Choi -8 64.3 34 279.4 41 68.0 18 NA NA 28.5 11 0/18 10/0
Palmer -6 73.2 10 287.1 19 70.8 11 NA NA 28.8 16 2/15 9/2
AVERAGE 70.0 21.6 285.1 24.8 69.1 17.6 NA NA 28.2 11.1


The Masters is administered and produced by the Augusta National Golf Club with sanctions with PGA Tour and Royal and Ancient (R&A). Official prize money is registered on the money lists of the PGA Tour and R&A.

Last year's winner, Charl Schwartzel, birdied the last four holes tieing Jack Nicklaus who, in 1986, also navigated the final four holes, eagle-birdie-birdie-par, in 4-under.

Schwartzel and Angel Cabrera were the only players with four rounds under par. This course and its pin placements are not easy, but isn't as tough as a U.S. Open.

Cabrera ranked first in driving accuracy and third in GIR. Hitting the greens at Augusta National is important, but where on the green is even more important getting in a wrong position produces a bogey or worse. The tournament has been given a humorous secondary title given by a media maven, "The East Georgia Putting Contest."

Luke Donald bested the field in total putts per round, 25.5, but came in four shots short of the winner. Donald averaged 10.2 GIR, showing a poor GIR performance that handcuffed the best putter in the tournament. This is a second-shot course.

In 2009, Cabrera missed the cut at the Houston Open but went on to the win the Masters the week after. One doesn't know who will benefit from the Houston track and capture the green jacket a week after.

Only three players have won the Masters in their first Masters appearance, the last being aFuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Keegan Bradley's 2011 win at the PGA Championship gives hope for a first-timer to win the Masters.

Attributes: Experience here counts. A combination of good driving that leads to a important second shot that puts the ball in good position for a birdie or better. Driving distance helps. Rough is usually short. Strong putting will prevail.