By Dave Tindall. Last Updated: 13/03/14 11:11am
Take a look behind the numbers.....
From Phil Mickelson in 2004 to Adam Scott last year, we take a look at the key stats that helped the last 10 winners land the Green Jacket.
The standout stat in Mickelson's first Masters win was his ninth place position on the Driving Accuracy stats. Normally known for spraying it off the tee, his average ranking in that category in the noughties was 34th so to find so many fairways was key and also helped him finish top of the Greens In Regulation stats. His untypical straight hitting meant he also had less blemishes on his scorecard than anyone in the field (just six - five bogeys and a double).
Tiger hit just 57.1% of Augusta's fairways (his second worst performance in the Masters' Driving Accuracy stats) as he looked for more distance off the tee (he was fourth for Driving Distance as opposed to 19th and 21st in the previous two years). But the rest of his game was in tip-top shape as he ranked second in Greens In Regulation and first in Putting Average. He also played the par fours three shots better than anyone in the field (-5 for the week).
Mickelson put two drivers into his bag for the 2006 Masters - one to hit controlled fades and the other to get some "extra pop" and help him attack the par fives. The plan worked a treat. He topped the Driving Distance stats and played the four long holes in a combined 13-under - his joint best showing on the par fives and better than anyone else in the field that week. His putting was solid (seventh in Putting Average) but perhaps just as important was the self-belief he'd gained from his breakthrough 2004 Masters triumph.
Perhaps something different was required to triumph in the first Masters since 1956 to be won with an over par score. And Johnson provided it with his strategy of not going for any of the par fives in two. The plan worked perfectly as, thanks to some brilliant pitching, he played the four long holes in a combined 11-under par - two shots better than anyone else. Third in Driving Accuracy, Fourth in Greens In Regulation and Sixth in Putting Average, Johnson won this Masters with guile and precision.
The South African seemed to do everything well when scoring a surprise win in 2008 and the stats bore that out. He was ranked first in Driving Accuracy, fourth in Driving Distance, tied second in Greens In Regulation, tied fourth in Putting Average, made fewer bogeys (five) than anyone in the field and played the par fours in 10-under - a massive seven shots superior to any of his rivals. No wonder he led from day one and was never caught.
The powerful Cabrera had hit it longer and often straighter in previous Masters but in 2009 he did the important thing well - he got the ball into the hole. His sometimes under-appreciated short-game skills saw him finish sixth in Scrambling and seventh in Putting Average and only once before, when ninth in 2002, had he taken fewer putts on Augusta's treacherous greens. A Masters career best 20 birdies combined with a Masters career low eight bogeys was also perfectly synchronized.
For the fifth time in his Masters career, Mickelson was ranked in the top two for Driving Distance. He also hit 75% of his Greens In Regulation (ranking him third in that category) and when he did miss the green, his short game kicked in superbly. The left-hander, just as he did in his first Masters win, finished second in the Scrambling stats and took the same number of putts (116) as he did when winning in 2006. A career best three eagles combined with a tournament low six bogeys and another assault on the par fives (he played them in 12-under, second only to Tiger) all contributed to a third green jacket.
The 26-year-old's triumph was built upon his success on and around the greens. He was no slouch at hitting the greens in regulation (he hit 68%, ranking 19th in the field) but only one player took fewer putts than his total of 107 and no-one scrambled better than he did (he made par or better 70% of the time he missed the greens). Another key was his ability to safely negotiate the par-fours which he played in four-under-par (only Angel Cabrera played them in fewer shots). Also crucial was his ability to avoid bad holes - he lost only seven shots to par all week (nothing worse than a bogey) which was the best effort of anyone in the field.
As he did for most of the season, Bubba was able to hit greens despite missing fairways. The left-hander was fourth in Greens In Regulation for the week (73.6%) and, when he did miss them, his short game was sharp too. He was 15th in the Scrambling stats, getting up and down over twice as often as he did the previous year (52% compared to 25%). Overall his tally of 19 birdies was just one off the tournament high of 20 while he kept the big numbers off his card too, avoiding any double bogeys or worse.
Scott conquered Augusta by following the path of many previous champions and topping the Greens In Regulation stats. The Aussie found the putting surface in the right number 76.4% of the time and his excellent iron play was key. When Scott did miss the green, he made a superb job of saving par, finishing third in the Scrambling stats. Interestingly, he also found just one greenside bunker all week, while hitting just 11 fairways out of 28 on the weekend didn't hurt him.
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