Six interesting stats to know entering the third round of the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In prepartion for today's third round, here are some snackable statistics to digest before the main course arrives on CBS this afternoon.


__The 2012 Masters champ holds a three-stroke lead after 36 holes, but halfway leaders often don't find themselves being sized up for green jackets. Since 1989, only five have gone on to finish the job on the weekend (Tiger Woods, 1997; Jose Maria Olazabal, 1999; Mike Weir, 2003; Trevor Immelman, 2008).

Also: none of the last four champions led after any round of the tournament. That's especially interesting because only 10 winners in the history of the Masters never led after 18, 36 or 54 holes.

__2. Adam Scott is defending his title rather well.

__We all know repeat winners are rare at Augusta National, with just three players having done it. But Scott is holding his own compared to other reigning champs. His T-3 position is the best 36-hole showing since Ian Woosnam's T-1 in 1992. During that time period all but four have made the cut, with their average position after 36 holes has 30.2.

__3. There are essentially 14 players who can win this thing.

__If history holds true, that is. Since 1986, the eventual champion has been outside the top 10 after 36 holes just once: Charl Schwartzel, T-12, 2011. Starting Saturday's play, there are 14 players T-10 or better.

__4. Actually, there just might be only six players with a real shot.

__Since 1986, the Masters winner has come from outside the top five after 36 holes only four times. In addition to Schwartzel, Nick Faldo was T-10 when he won in 1990. Mark O'Meara was T-9 in 1998 and Scott was T-7.


__5. Fred Couples is a bad man …

__There are several awesome statistics about Freddie and his impressive play. Here's one: This is the fifth straight year Couples has been in the top 10 after 36 holes at Augusta and the 13th time in 30 overall starts. As for the rest of the players in this year's top 10, only Furyk has ever been in this situation more than twice and combined they have been in the top 10 after 36 holes at the Masters seven previous times.

__6. … But he's got a third-round issue.

__Couples has the lowest stroke average in the history of the Masters for players with 100 or more rounds (71.87). His stroke average in the second round alone is now 71.16. However, his average for the third round is 72.52. While he's broken par 54 out of 114 rounds at Augusta, he's done it in the third round just 11 times and only twice since 2000.

*__Photos: Getty Images