Masters 2022: Five intriguing stats from Saturday’s third round
Cameron Smith plays his shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the Masters.
Saturday’s third round of the Masters saw World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler stay atop the leader board, but with his lead down to three, thanks to strong play from Cameron Smith. The cool, breezy conditions contributed to producing some facts and figures that interested or outright wowed us. Here’s a look at five stats that stood out from Round 3:
Smith has the lone score in the 60s
Smith got himself back in contention with a four-under-par 68 that was the only score of the day in the 60s. The last time there was only one score in the 60s during the third round occurred in 2016, when Smylie Kaufman (remember him?) shot 69. The last time there was no score in the 60s in the third round was in 2007, when cold, windy conditions similar to this year’s third round allowed Retief Goosen to have the day’s low score with a 70.
Sungjae Im plays his shot from the 12th tee during the third round of the Masters.
How far back is too far?
Not since Nick Faldo in 1989 has a player been outside of the top five and won the Masters. With the pace Scheffler is setting at nine under, however, being in the top five still leaves you pretty far back. Not convinced Shane Lowry or Charl Schwartzel, who are seven back, or Sungjae Im (five behind) have a chance? Consider that five times in Masters history a player has come from six or more back on the final day to win and twice it has happened from seven or more shots back (Jackie Burke came from eight behind in 1956 and Gary Player from seven back in 1978). A long shot, yes. Impossible, no.
Rory McIlroy plays his shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the Masters.
Hitting greens proves elusive
How challenging were the conditions Saturday at Augusta National? Consider that during the first two rounds 13 players hit 14 greens or more in regulation. On Saturday, no player found 14 greens. Five hit 13: Schwartzel, Justin Thomas, Kevin Na, Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman.
A brutal finish
Augusta National’s 465-yard 18th hole usually ranks in the top half of difficult holes on the course, but it had more bite than usual on Saturday. The finishing hole played as the most difficult on the course, producing a stroke average of 4.558 and yielded just two birdies on the day. For the week, it ranks as the second-most difficult on the course (behind the 11th). Should it maintain that status, it would be the first time since 2004, when it played to an average of 4.346, that it ranked that high.
Charl Schwartzel celebrates his eagle on the 10th hole with Scottie Scheffler.
The eagles are landing at No. 10
When Schwartzel eagled No. 10 on Saturday, it was the second eagle of this tournament on that hole (Gary Woodland had the other) and marked just the 10th in tournament history, making it one of the stingiest on the course in terms of eagles. Prior to this week, it had been more than a decade since Robert Allenby made a deuce at the lengthy par 4. Here are all the eagles made on No. 10 in the Masters.
Dick Metz, 1940
Doug Ford, 1960
Rick Fehr, 1987
Guy Yamamoto, 1995
Masashi ‘Jumbo’ Ozaki, 1999
Casey Wittenberg, 2004
Brandt Jobe, 2006
Robert Allenby, 2008
Gary Woodland, 2022
Charl Schwartzel, 2022
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