Masters 2019April 11, 2019

Masters 2019: The stat that has Adam Scott in the hunt at the Masters

adam scott 2019 Masters
Christian IoossAdam Scott during the first round of the 2019 Masters Tournament held in Augusta, GA at Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If you're talking about Adam Scott's game, you're usually talking about how pretty his swing is. You're not talking about how far he can hit the ball. But, after his first round in the Masters at Augusta National on Thursday, driving is suddenly part of the Adam Scott conversation.

The 2013 Masters champion came in with a birdie-par-birdie-birdie finish to end the day at three-under 69. He's three back of co-leaders Bryson Dechambeau and Brooks Koepka. Looking at the statistical breakdown of Scott's round, there is one number that stands out: average driving distance. Scott averaged 318 yards off the tee in his first round. If you're thinking , Wow that sounds long for Scott, you're right.

So far this season, Scott has averaged 298 yards off the tee. What has allowed him to average 20 more yards off the tee than usual at the Masters is the fact that the course is wet. Rain on Monday and Tuesday wouldn't make Thursday the day you'd expect to have a career driving performance.

Scott's 2019 season has been uneven, highlighted by a second-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open and a lowlight being a missed cut at the Honda Classic, a month before the Masters. But after his first round at Augusta National, Scott talked about gaining confidence in his game of late.

"It's better, but I don't really have like the results to be screaming that I'm the most confident player here," Scott said, "but certainly, I know where and when my game is coming into really good shape and I can see it coming back and I think I got some good confirmation today with some solid ball striking."

Along with his long driving, Scott hit 14 of 18 greens on Thursday. Solid ball striking, indeed.

Related: Tiger Starts Strong at Augusta National