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The Loop

The Loop

Breaking the Players down by numbers (and tweets)

May 12, 2011

Golf World contributing writer Brett Avery compiles the magazine's extensive Rank and File statistical packages for the four major championships, the Players Championship and the Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup. He also provides running commentary on Twitter (@bwavery) that's heavy on stats--a stream that includes a daily 5-minute quiz at noon (ET). Here's how the opening round of the Players unfolded:

36-hole cuts at TPC Sawgrass since moving to May, backward from 2010: 142, 144, 147, 149. Consider: those '08 and '07 numbers in high winds.

Keep in mind, Woods vs. cut in Players played in May: made it by one last year (WD), by four in '09 (solo eighth), by one in '07 (T37).

So that's, what, fourth PGA Tour WD for Woods as pro? '10 Players, '06 Nissan, '98 Pebble.

Only time Woods has WD'd from same event multiple times.

5-min quiz at noon Q: How many #Players winners led or co-led after first round @TPCSawgrass? Bonus point for each one you can name.

5-min quiz at noon A: Ten #Players champs led or co-led after first round @TPCSawgrass. Calvin Peete '85, McCumber '88, Mudd '90 ...

... More 5-min quiz at noon A: Price '93, @gregnormanstyle '94, Elkington '97, Sutton '00, Scott '04, Mickelson '07, @TheSergioGarcia '08.

Re @TigerWoods WD at #Players: @jacknicklaus 14th major win at '75 PGA, then won three of next 20 majors. Woods winless in last 12 majors.

@RoccoMediate low on course @2011Players afternoon wave, -3 after 4th. Since Open win in October: 12 starts, 6 MC, 3 WD, 0 top 25s.

Scoring average @2011Players hovering around par 72. All-time first-day low: 70.849 in '93. Low since '07 move to May: 71.103 last year.

David Duval -4 after 11 holes @2011Players. Perhaps he wants 67: He began with that for T2 at '10 Pebble Beach, T2 at '09 U.S. Open.

Round numbers: 40,000th birdie in  #Players @TPCSawgrass early in afternoon half of field, closing in on 140,000th par (need 1,489 today).

24th @2011Players start for Mark O'Meara, now -5 through 17 holes. Made his debut in 1981 at Sawgrass CC, year before move to @TPCSawgrass.

More O'Meara (66): Four previous Thurs in 60s at  #Players, ended week top 10 three times (68 in '87, 3rd; 69 in '92, T9; 67 in '93, 5th).

More O'Meara: At -6 he's 2 behind @2011Players leader Nick Watney, who was age 3 when O'Meara won first @PGATour title ('84 Milwaukee).

Scoring avg @TPCSawgrass creeping higher @2011Players, 72.181 with afternoon wave on second nine. Ticked up nearly 0.20 in an hour.

Mickelson -1 at 16th tee @2011Players. Ho-hum: his first-round scores @TPCSawgrass range from 64 ('02, finished T28) to 83 ('00, MC).

More Watney: Began '11 35th in world, now 15th. Two other present top 20s have bigger jumps: @BubbaWatson (32 to 11), Schwartzel (34/12).

@davidtomsgolf, age 44, begins @2011Players with 67, T3. Tops by 1 his '09 opener @TPCSawgrass, when he placed T9 (only #Players top 10).

Anticipating @2011Players cut tomorrow, even-par 72 currently T66 and includes top 78 players. Friday forecast: high 96, winds SW 12 mph.

Scoring average @2011Players remains largely unchanged in last hour, up to 72.193 @TPCSawgrass with last groups 3 holes from house.

Charley Hoffman snaps putter leaving 9th green [@2011Players]( and @GolfChannel shows him tossing one in lake at 13th a few years ago. Timing!

Players champs w/ high rd of wk Thurs: Ames 71 ('06), @TigerWoods 72 ('01), Leonard 72 ('98), @Calvin Peete 70 ('85), Sutton 73 ('83).

10 #Players champs w/ low rd of wk Thurs, 4 of last 7: Scott 65 ('04), Funk 65 ('05), MIckelson 67 ('07), @TheSergioGarcia 66 ('08).

Think @TrevorImmelman is happy with 70? Began @2011Players with 75.25 average @TPCSawgrass. Previous 1st rounds: 79, 80, 73, 71 (4 MC).

@BrandelChamblee talking about doctors telling @TigerWoods to keep weight under 170. Marathon runners can attest every lb is crucial.

First-round average @2011Players was 72.222. 30th year @TPCSawgrass and this ranks 10th-easiest overall. PS: Last 3 years all in top 10.

*-- Brett Avery