Here we go again. The one every golfing lover looks forward to. The one that captures the imagination of those sporting fans who ‘don’t mind golf.’ The one that makes a superstar from a field of stars. This is the 2015 Masters.
For those that have followed us over the past few years, you will know that we like to preview the Majors once or twice before our ‘main’ preview with finalised selections. This year will be no different and we begin with this naughty treat looking at the trends and historic stats at Augusta.
Obviously, the field has not been officially finished, but we do know the majority as it stands, so we’ve grabbed all those players and whittled them down those that don’t meet the criteria to see who we’re left with.
The players listed below the bolded trend or stat, are the guys that have failed to achieve whatever is being said and after our research, we were left with 3 golfers. One of them is relatively obvious, whilst 2 are complete shocks to us and will probably be to you.
As we’ve said, we have done this the past couple of years and looking at the players who’ve matched all the trends/stats and where they finished makes for interesting reading –
Tiger Woods – T4
Justin Rose – T25
Adam Scott – WON
Adam Scott – T14
Jason Day – T20
Rory McIlroy – T8
Dustin Johnson – MC
Looking at those guys, it clearly shows you will get someone who gives you a run for your money. Last year, all these guys barring DJ had one round that cost them, but were in the mix. Obviously 2013 says it all.
But anyway enough drivel, here’s that magic list:
Each of the past 15 winners made the cut at The Masters the year before –
Ryan Moore, Victor Dubuisson, Sang-Moon Bae, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Marc Leishman, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Charl Schwartzel, Harris English, Ian Woosnam, Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Graham DeLaet, Mark O’Meara, Patrick Reed, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Tim Clark, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw
The past 23 Major winners had at least one top 10 in the same year – so far this year, will update weekly. (Bear in mind that the last 12 Major winners all had MULTIPLE top 10s before their win…)
Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, John Senden, José María Olazábal, Vijay Singh, Mike Weir, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Thomas Bjørn, Jonas Blixt, Kevin Stadler, Ben Crane, Brian Harman, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Hunter Mahan, Ben Martin, Seuny Yul Noh, Kevin Streelman, Camilo Villegas, Morgan Hoffmann, Geoff Ogilvy, Cameron Tringale, Mikko Ilonen, Marc Leishman, Joost Luiten, Steve Stricker
There has only been one first-time PGA Tour winner at The Masters since 1948. (Bernhard Langer in 1985) –
Anirban Lahiri, Benrd Wiesberger, Alexander Levy, Erik Compton, Shane Lowry, Danny Willett
Only one person in the modern era has won at Augusta on the first attempt (Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979) –
Brooks Koepka, Robert Streb, Brendon Todd,
Changes were made in 2008 to combat a certain Tiger Woods and since then every winner hit GIR of at least 68% during the 4 days. We are looking at players with at least 67% GIR on either Tour for the season. 16 of the top 20 for GIR over the 4 days in 2014 finished inside the top 20 –
Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Bill Haas, Pádraig Harrington, J.B Holmes, Brandt Snedeker, Russell Henley, Kevin Na, Jamie Donaldson, Ian Poulter
Past 7 winners were in the top 60 for driving distance on Tour and averaging 290 yards throughout the season –
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jim Furyk, Thongchai Jaidee
The last 7 winners had driving accuracy of at least 57%, so we feel around 57% accuracy of the tee is required. 8 out of the top 14 averaged 70% of fairways hit last year –
Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day, Gary Woodland, Freddy Couples
10 of the last 13 winners were inside the top 20 for putting average during the tournament, so we are looking at around the top 90 in putting stats. 5 of the top 6 finished inside the top 20 for putting stat –
Henrik Stenson, Charley Hoffman, Ryan Palmer, Stephen Gallacher
The last 8 winners have been inside the top 63 for scoring average across the season –
No one. (that’s not a player that’s simply just no one………)
So that shows the magic list of players and we have been left with 3 guys. We will be updating this post over the coming days to write a full description in regards to these 3 players, the guys that came close and a full description of the entire field.
So, for now here is the 3 stalwarts who ticked every box –
Adam Scott (20/1 Coral)
Third year in a row the Australian has made it through these trends and who would deny him another fight for the jacket? Change of putter yes, but his stats at Doral on the greens were ridiculous. He has since gone on to miss his first cut in 45 starts (a current record) and was 141st out of 144 for putting. A real mixture.
Martin Kaymer (50/1 various)
On paper it seems a massive surprise. But when you properly look at it, you can’t deny that he has been playing some good golf. We will all remember that horrific collapse from a 10-shot lead in Abu Dhabi, but the German is still an absolute monster on his day. He’s number 12 in the world for a reason. He is the reigning US Open champion for starters and during that week shone through as someone who can completely charge away if his game is on.
Lee Westwood (66/1 Coral)
We nearly fainted. Realising the perennial putting perpetrator made it through the trends gave us a complete mix of joy, sadness and confusion. Should we back Lee? Should we ignore everything he’s done in the big tournaments previously and join the ‘it’s this year’ bandwagon? Some real conundrums to think about. But one thing is for sure, the Englishman suits every trend for this years Masters and to be fair his form has been so consistent it’s understandable. Couple of top 10s and even his putting hasn’t been that bad… Plus don’t forget a worst finish of T11 in his last 4 appearances at Augusta…
Honourable Mentions: (the lads who only missed out by one or two trends)
- Rory Mcilroy
- Henrik Stenson
- Ryan Palmer
- Bubba Watson
- Jason Day
- Brooks Koepka
- Charley Hoffmann
- Stephen Gallacher
So, that is all for now, but do check back across the coming week to see our 2nd preview, which will be a complete, in depth look at the whole field and what trends/stats they fit!