Crunching the Numbers
Masters 2022: Five intriguing stats from Friday's second round
Friday’s second round of the Masters saw World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler rise to the top of the leader board. But there was plenty of other action to take in producing some facts and figures that interested or outright wowed us. Here’s a look at five stats that stood out from Round 2:
Dustin Johnson in position to be the latest in this unusual Masters trend
One of the oddities of the Masters is the number of champions who won their first Masters, failed to defend, then won their second green jacket the following year. It makes sense. Defending is difficult, but a year removed seems to settle things down. Dustin Johnson has put himself in position to join that group, standing at T-6, five shots back of Scheffler, but just one back of second place. The trend dates back to the earliest days of the tournament when Horton Smith won the inaugural in 1934, then again in 1936. Others who have done it are Ben Hogan (1951/1953); Sam Snead (1952/1954); Arnold Palmer (1958/1960); Jack Nicklaus (1963/1965); Phil Mickelson (2004/2006) and Bubba Watson (2012/2014). Palmer, in fact, turned the trick an amazing three times winning in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964.
Tiger keeps working on the weekend
OK, the second round wasn’t what most golf fans were hoping for from Tiger Woods, and it certainly wasn’t what the man himself wanted. But Woods’ two-over-par 74 was good enough to make the cut—something that Woods has done for 22 consecutive starts, which is all of his appearanceas as a pro. That broke a tie with Tom Watson for third-most all-time. Now Woods will have a chance the next time he tees it up in the Masters to tie the all-time mark of 23 set by Fred Couples and Gary Player.
No. 11 is the terror of Amen Corner
Since the turn of the century, the 11th hole at Augusta National has proven to be one of the more difficult holes at the Masters, often ranking either as the first or second hardest. This year, however, alterations to the hole have given it even more teeth. How much more? Consider that during Friday’s second round the hole ranked as the most difficult on the course with a stroke average of 4.6292—higher than the par-5 second, which was at 4.5730. The 520-yard par 4 surrendered just two birdies to a pair of Kevin’s—Na and Kisner. They didn’t pick up the proverbial two strokes on the field, but it was damn close.
Schwartzel finds himself in uncharted territory
In 32 Masters rounds since he finished with a 66 to win in 2011, Charl Schwartzel has had little significant success. A 68-68 weekend in 2017 led to a third-place finish, but other than that Schwartzel had but one other round in the 60s, while half of those 32 rounds have been played in over par. A five-birdie, two-bogey 69, however, left Schwartzel knotted for second place with three others at the halfway point, a position after 36 holes that Schwartzel has not come close to occupying in his Masters career, even in the year he won.
Hitting greens is no guarantee of success
It is a long-held belief (and backed up by the numbers) that greens in regulation is the best indicator of success at the Masters. However, after 36 holes the two players with the most greens hit, Tyrrell Hatton and Sergio Garcia with 29 of 36 for an 80.56 percentage, are nowhere to be found on the first, or even second page of the leader board. In fact, the pair share another stat: tied for 23rd place after two rounds. The leader, Scheffler, stands at 72 percent for greens hit after two rounds—considerably better than the field average of 57 percent.