Horses for Courses: 85th Masters Tournament

Augusta National Golf Club has provided the back drop since 1934.

The average winner slips on the green jacket in visit No. 6 so course history plays a major part this week!

Good luck!

One more sleep!

A tradition unlike any other returns to its traditional spot on the April calendar for the 85th edition.

The Masters Tournament will be the third major of the season but the second consecutive one hosted by Augusta National Golf Club. For the first time in history the Masters will be played twice in five months.

So we have that going for us. Which is nice.


RELATED: Power Rankings | Expert Picks


The return to spring will also return the course conditions to its traditional playability.

A-1 Penn Bentgrass greens, measuring almost 6,500 square feet on average, will be in peak condition and conditioned to run at the famous “tournament speed”. Ryegrass fairways and the second cut will meander up and down the hilly terrain providing lies of all sorts, except those that are perfectly level. Experienced players know which shots to take on and which shots to take their medicine.

Only 44 sand bunkers impede tee to green but only a few are for decoration only. The six water hazards lend their watery mystique to the proceedings on the back nine and will affect shot-making on holes Nos. 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16. As the saying goes, the tournament usually begins on the back nine on Sunday because of chances to score and also the chance of danger looming on those five holes if shots are not properly execute under stressful conditions.

Dr. Alistair MacKenzie, with help from Bobby Jones and more recently Tom Fazio, converted Fruitland Nurseries into this playing paradise in 1932. The Masters has been played every year since 1934 with the exception of the pause of World War II from 1943-1945. The most recent modification was the addition of a new tee box, and 40 more yards, to Hole No. 5 for the 2019 event.

Augusta National has four Par-5 holes, four Par-3 holes and plays to Par-72 at 7,475 yards. Nick Price (1986) and Greg Norman (1996) share the course record of 63. Neither player won.

As we return to spring, the field will consist of 88 players still pursuing the famous green jacket, trophy and 600 FedExCup points for the winner. Looking back to fall, the prize pool, yet to be announced, was $11.5 million with winner Dustin Johnson taking home $2.07 million for his first victory at Augusta National Golf Club.

Recent Event Winners Stats

Year202020192018
PlayerDustin JohnsonTiger WoodsPatrick Reed
Score20-under13-under15-under
MOV411
Runner-Up(s)Sungjae Im, Cameron SmithJohnson, Koepka, SchauffeleRickie Fowler
Age364327
    
Driving Distance (two measured holes)T6446
Driving AccuracyT13T47T13
Greens in Regulation11T21
Ball-Striking1T23T10
    
Putts per GIR8141
Putting: Birdie-or-Better Percentage13101
    
Bogey Avoidance1T10T14
Par-3 ScoringT1T2T43
Par-4 Scoring1T71
Par-5 ScoringT6T271

Recent Winners and Notables

2020: Dustin Johnson (-20, 268)

Picked up his first green jacket in his 10th start. … Set the new tournament record by two shots. … Won by five. … Led or co-led after every round. … Tied the 54-hole record (-16). … Converted his first 54-hole lead in a major. … Posted two, bogey-free rounds. … Signed for the co-lowest round of the week, 65, TWICE. … Record streak of 11 consecutive rounds (and counting) under par. … Only the eighth player in history to finish second the year before (T2) and win the following year. … Fifth consecutive top 10. … Became the first No. 1 player in the world to win here since Tiger Woods (2002). … Second major championship and 24th TOUR victory. … Entered the week on fire with six consecutive top 10 finishes.

Notables

First time player Sungjae Im (T2) co-led the field in birdies with 24 and became the third-youngest finisher in the top five in history. … Cameron Smith (T2) also made history as he became the first and only player in history to post all four rounds in the 60s. … Justin Thomas (4th) picks up his first top 10 in five starts. … Dylan Frittelli (T5) picked up his first top 10 in any major championship and co-led after Round 1 (65). … Rory McIlroy (T5) opened with 75 but played the final 54 holes 14-under. … Brooks Koepka (T7) has a streak of 10 consecutive rounds in red figures. … Debutant CT Pan (T7) posted a bogey-free 66 in Round 2. … Jon Rahm (T7) was one of five co-leaders after 36 holes, tying a record. … 2018 champion Patrick Reed (T10) also circled 24 birdies. … Corey Conners (T10) matched the round of the week with 65 in Round 2. … Webb Simpson (T10) picked up his second consecutive top 10 finish. … Marc Leishman (T13) led the field in Par-5 scoring on 15-under. … Defending champion Tiger Woods (not entered, injured) was T38. … The top nine players were 10-under or better. … Only 11 bogey-free rounds. … Only top 50 and ties played the weekend (no 10 shot rule anymore). … Cut was 144 (E). … Course played UNDER par for the week (71.752). … Top 12 and ties return this week.

2019: Tiger Woods (-13, 275)

First time ever winning a major championship when trailing after 54 holes. … Fifth green jacket and 15th major championship. … Second oldest winner (43). … Seventh champion 40 years or older. … Largest gap between wins (2005, 2019). … 81st victory on TOUR. … Won The TOUR Championship previous fall; beaten in the round of eight at Match Play in previous start. … Broke a four year streak at Augusta of first time major champions.

Notables

Dustin Johnson (T2) picked up his first podium in his ninth start. … Brooks Koepka (T2) co-led after 18 and 36 holes plus co-led in Par-5 scoring (-13). … In his second start Xander Schauffele (T2) led the field with 25 birdies. … Jason Day (T5) has hit the top 10 in half of his eight weekend visits. … Tony Finau (T5) shared the low round of the week with 64 in Round 3 and shared honors in Par-5 scoring (-13). … Francesco Molinari (T5) led by two after 54 and 63 holes and led the field in overall putting. … Webb Simpson (T5) also shot 64 and picked up his best payday in his eight start. … Patrick Cantlay (T9) signed for 64 as he hit the top 10 for the first time in three visits. … Jon Rahm (T9) backed up his solo fourth from 2018. … Defending champion Patrick Reed (T36) closed with 69. … Co-first round leader Bryson DeChambeau (T29) has never hit the top 10 in four tries. … All five players tied for the 36-hole lead were major champions. … 17 players were 10-under or better. … Cut was 147 (+3). … Only seven bogey-free rounds and zero in Round 4. … Scoring average was UNDER par (71.865).

2018: Patrick Reed (-15, 273)

Fourth consecutive first-time major champion here. … At 27 becomes the first winner in 20s since Jordan Spieth (2015). … Led by three after 54 holes. … Led by two after 36 holes on 9-under, 14 shots better than the cut! … 104 putts were the fewest for the week. … Led the field in birdies (22) and Par-5 scoring (-13). … Won in his fifth visit. … Sixth TOUR win. … Ripping form as he entered T2, T7 and T9 in his last three on TOUR.

Notables

First round leader Jordan Spieth (3rd) opened with 66 and closed with 64 to pick up another podium finish. … Debutant Jon Rahm (4th) closed 14-under the final 54 holes. … Rory McIlroy (T5) played in the final group, three shots back, and posted 74. … Cameron Smith (T5) closed with 66 for his first top 10 in his second visit. … In his 13th start Henrik Stenson (T5) finally cashed in the top 10. … 2012 and 2014 winner Bubba Watson (T5) claimed his third top 10. … Marc Leishman (9th) sat two off the 36-hole lead in second place but played the weekend in just 1-under. … Tony Finau (T10) hit the top 10 on debut. … Dustin Johnson (T10) makes it three straight in the top 10 at the time. … 2017 winner Sergio Garcia (MC) only beat two players. … Hole No. 5 debuted the new tee box adding 40 yards. … Cut was 149 (+5). … Only four bogey-free rounds and they were all during Round 3. … Spieth’s 64 was the lowest of the week. … Scoring average over par (72.929).

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week. * – Top 10 here since 2015 or past champion

Par-5 ScoringGolfer
Rank*Top 10 since 2015
  
1*Cameron Smith
1Bryson DeChambeau
3*Sergio Garcia
5Ryan Palmer
6*Xander Schauffele
7Max Homa
7*Jon Rahm
9Will Zalatoris
10*Webb Simpson
10Carlos Ortiz
12Matt Wallace
12Brian Harman
12Brendon Todd
12Harris English
16Louis Oosthiuzen
16Joaquin Niemman
16*Brooks Koepka
16*Justin Thomas
16Daniel Berger
21*Patrick Reed
23Viktor Hovland
23*Tony Finau
23*Hideki Matsuyama
23*Sungjae Im
23Mackenzie Hughes
  
Strokes Gained:Golfer
Approach the Green*Top 10 since 2015
Rank 
  
1Collin Morikawa
3*Justin Thomas
4Matt Wallace
5Wil Zalatoris
10Tyrrell Hatton
11*Dustin Johnson
12*Tony Finau
13*Corey Conners
14*Jon Rahm
15Bryson DeChambeau
17*Paul Casey
18Matthew Wolff
21Lanto Griffin
23*Jordan Spieth
25*Brooks Koepka
26*Xander Schauffele
27*Hideki Matsuyama
  
ScramblingGolfer
Rank*Top 10 since 2015
  
2*Webb Simpson
3*Patrick Cantlay
5Harris English
7Ian Poulter
11Si Woo Kim
13*Paul Casey
14Matt Jones
15*Sergio Garcia
16*Francesco Molinari
17*CT Pan
23Ryan Palmer
24Brian Harman
27*Cameron Smith
28Abraham Ancer
  
  
Player (Rounds)Stroke Average
*minimum 25 rounds 
  
Phil Mickelson (98)71.3
Jason Day (29)71.55
Rory McIlroy (38)71.61
Jusitn Rose (52)71.73
Dustin Johnson (30)71.83
Hideki Matsuyama (26)72
Bubba Watson (38)72.11
Matt Kuchar (46)72.13
Charl Schwarzel (28)72.25
Adam Scott (64)72.39
Lee Westwood (66)72.42
Ian Poulter (50)72.56
Sergio Garcia (66)72.74

Horses for Courses

PlayerTopTopMostRecent Others
(Starts/Cuts Made)10s25Recent 
     
Dustin Johnson (9/10)56Win (2020)5 straight top 10s; T2 2019; best two are last two
Sungjae Im (1/1)11T2 (2020)Worst round was 70 once
Cameron Smith (4/4)22T2 (2020)T5 2018
Justin Thomas (5/5)144 (2020)Trending here: T39-T22-T17-T11-4
Rory McIlroy (11/12)610T5 (2020)Last six of seven T10 or better; Career Grand Slam if he wins
Dylan Frittelli (1/2)11T5 (2020)Rounds of 65 and 67 in November
Brooks Koepka (5/5)24T7 (2020)T2 2019
CT Pan (1/1)11T7 (2020)Posted 10-under for the week with 74 in Round 3
Jon Rahm (4/4)33T7 (2020)Solo fourth on debut in 2018, T9 2019
Corey Conners (2/3)11T10 (2020)9-under in 2 trips as pro
Webb Simpson (6/9)23T10 (2020)Last 3 are his best 3 (T18, T5, T10)
     
Xander Schauffele (3/3)12T2 (2019)T17 fall is best other
Francesco Molinari (6/9)13T5 (2019)54 hole leader; co-36-hole leader
Jason Day (8/10)47T5 (2019)T2  debut 2011; MC Fall
Tony Finau (3/3)22T5 (2019)T10 debut 2018
Patrick Cantlay (3/4)12T9 (2019)T17 fall is best other
     
Patrick Reed (5/7)23Win (2018)T10 2021 best 2 in last 3
Jordan Spieth (7/7)463 (2018)First five visits resulted in four T3 or better; last 2 are worst 2
Henrik Stenson (10/15)17T5 (2018)Only top 10 in 15 starts
Bubba Watson (11/12)35T5 (2018)2012, 2014 champ
Marc Leishman (5/8)239 (2018)T4 2013; 4 straight to date
     
Sergio Garcia (14/21)46Win (2017)MC next two; Covid DNS fall
Justin Rose (14/15)5122 (2017)MC 2019; T23 fall
Charl Schwartzel (7/11)243 (2017)2011 champ
Matt Kuchar (12/14)48T4 (2017)Streak of 10 straight ended in the fall
Paul Casey (10/14)586 (2017)2017 concluded a run of T6 or better over
Adam Scott (17/19)510T9 (2017)First and only top 10 since 2013
     
Danny Willett (3/6)12Win (2016)T21 fall next best
Lee Westwood (16/19)610T2 (2016)2nd 2010; T3 2012
Hideki Matsuyama (8/9)25T7 (2016)6 straight all T32 or better
Matthew Fitzpatrick (5/6)12T7 (2016)T21 2019; T46 Fall
Daniel Berger (3/3)11T10 (2016)T32, T27 in 2018, 2017
     
OthersTopTopMostRecent Others
 10s25Recent 
Bryson DeChambeau (4/4)01T21 (2016)Best finish is as amateur
Abraham Ancer (1/1)01T13 (2020)12-under thru 54 on debut before 76 Round 4
Louis Oosthuizen (8/12)162 (2012)6 consecutive weekends
Ian Poulter (14/15)39T6 (2015)6 consecutive weekends
Jimmy Walker (6/6)13 6 consecutive weekends
Bernd Wiesberger (5/5) 2 5 consecutive weekends

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