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BlogWhat happen in 1st rd of Masters

Masters

April 9 – 12, 2015

Augusta National G.C.

Augusta, Ga.

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $9 million (2014 purse)

with $1,620,000 (2014 first place check) to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bubba Watson

 

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

So what happened in the first round?

Just have to wonder how many of you folks in fantasy golf made that last minute decision to not take Jordan Spieth in the Masters.  After the first round it looks like a bad choice.

It was just as easy not to take him as to take him.  In his last three starts he has gone, 1st, 2nd and 2nd again.  Over the course of those 12 rounds plus his 64 today, Spieth is 41 under and the hottest player in the world.  So many like myself thought, can he keep the good play up?  Answer after the first round, yes he can but it’s a long way to the finish line.

In the first round of the Masters Spieth played 17 spotless holes and made just one mistake that cost him his only bogey on the par 5, 15th hole.  Spieth hit his second shot over the green and found it an impossible task to get it down in three for par.  But he made up for the blunder with nine birdies, the last coming on a 20 foot birdie putt on 18. In looking at Masters folklore, Spieth shot the 64 which is the 13th time 64 has been shot.   The last time someone shot that was by Bo Van Pelt in the final round in 2012.  The lowest Masters round is 63, shot by Nick Price in the third round in 1986 and Greg Norman in the first round in 1996.

Spieth is 21 years, 8 months and 13 days old.  In Masters history, the lowest rounds by players 21 and younger was Tiger Woods who was 21 years old when he shot 66 in the 2nd round in 1997 and then 65 in the third round of 1997.  Also shooting 65 was Rory McIlroy who was 21 years, 11 months and 6 days old when he shot 65 to lead the 2011 Masters after the first round.

Spieth will go down in Masters history as the youngest 1st round leader, the previous was Rory McIlroy who was 21 years, 11 months and 6 days old when he shot 65 to lead the 2011 Masters.

So of course the first question on everyone’s mind, can Jordan keep the pace up?  Not a simple question, the weight of the golfing world is on his shoulders.  We have seen youth at Augusta four previous times.  The first was in 1963 when Jack Nicklaus won at the age of 23.  He did it in 1963 and was able to hold on for a one shot win.  17 years later, another 23 year old Seve Ballesteros had a big lead going into the final round, he started leaking oil but still won the 1980 Masters by 4.  In 1997 Tiger Woods, then 21 years old shot 40 on his first nine holes, but turned things around with a 30 on the back.  He dominated the tournament from then on and beat Tom Kite by 12 shots.  The last time youth dominated didn’t turn out very well as in 2011 Rory McIlroy led by four going into the final round.  He struggled on his front nine, shooting 37 but after a triple bogey at 10 shot 43 and spelled down to T15th. So the question will be which direction Spieth will go.  I think it’s way to early to judge and Spieth has a lot of golf to play so the question will be can he keep up the pace?

So will he keep up the pace?  You can see his youth and cockiness out there.  I have said it for the last month he looks a lot like Tiger Woods in 1997, unbeatable.  I think he is a lot more consistent than Rory McIlroy and feel that Jordan can hold on. But let’s look at a serious stat on leading after the first round.  The last time a first round leader, led was in 2008 with Trevor Immelmann who co-led with Justin Rose.  Before that it was 1984 with Ben Crenshaw so in 31 years only twice has the first time leader won. As for three shot leads the last was Darren Clarke in 2003.  He shot 66-75-74-71 and went on the finish T-28th.  The next time someone else had a three shot lead was in 1982, Jack Nicklaus shot 69 and led by three.  He went on to shot 77-71-75 and fall into a T-15th.  So there is good news and bad news but frankly it’s dangerous leading on Thursday at the Masters.

So what about Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Glen Day?  All three are three shots back.

First let’s look at Hoffman:

Hoffman was the first participate off the tee this morning and it brings up the question has anyone in the first pairing on the first round every shot 67 or lower?

In looking back in this millennium (since 2000) of the 42 players that were in that first pairing on the first day, Hoffman’s 67 is the lowest as only two other players were under par Sean O’Hair in 2011 with 70 and Ross Fisher in 2011 with 69.

Going further back, in 1991 Lanny Wadkins played in the first group and shot 67.  He went on to finish T-3rd.

In all of the Masters a total of 165 players have been in the first pairing on the first day.  On top of Hoffman and Wadkins 67, the only other rounds in the 60s are Bob Murphy’s 69 in 1971, Dave Hill’s 69 in 1976, Don January’s 69 in 1977 and Ross Fisher in 2011 with 69.

One more tale on those shooting low in the very first pairing in the first round.  In 1968 Bob Goalby was playing with Lee Trevino. Goalby shot 70, then rounds of 70-71-68 to win the tournament.

How about Justin Rose?

Rose 67 today is the second time he has shot 67 in 37 Masters rounds.  His other 67 was in the first round in 2004 he went on to finish T-22nd.

Rose has had good fortune in first rounds at the Masters, he was the first round leader in 2004 and co-led in 2007 & ’08.  Rose best Masters finish was T-5th in 2007.

And Ernie Els?

Els is playing in his 21st Masters and in his 71st round shot a 67, the 12th time he has shot in the 60s and his 31st under par round.  Els low round was a 66 in the 2nd round in 2003, a year he finished T-6th.  For Els he has been in the top-ten, six times and he finally corrected a fault in his previous 20 first rounds.  Els had never shot below 70, so Els can now say that he has shot a round in the 60s in every Masters round.  Another note on Els round, he had an eagle on the 15th hole it’s his 16th eagle in the Masters.  The record in the Masters of player with the most eagles is Jack Nicklaus with 24 and Raymond Floyd with 22.

Jason Day:

He has a great record, in four starts a T-2nd, 3rd, T-20th and WD.  He seems to have a touch around Augusta and today’s 67 wasn’t a surprise.  He played the par 5s in three under and the par 3s in two under which was the strong points of his game.  I fear him the most for a possible victory.

What was the most important thing of the first round?  That nobody took themselves out of contention.  Favorite Rory McIlroy shot a first round 71 and did it with just two bogeys and three birdies.  Have to think he is in very good shape.  The same for Dustin Johnson, he shot a very quiet round of 70 with five birdies and three bogeys, which came in his first 7 holes.  So he will be in good shape on Friday.  Phil Mickelson also posted a 70, which is a score that is in perfect shape to contend on Friday.  Mickelson had an eagle three on 8 that got him going, he probably wasn’t happy with his bogey on 17.

How about Tiger Woods?  What can we say, I predicted a 74 from him, he shot 73.  The good news his short game was really good, it was his long game that didn’t help him.  He had this special calmness in finishing his round and hitting balls on the driving range, don’t be surprise to see a 68 or 69 out of him on Friday.

Anyone else?  have to say that Patrick Reed had to be happy with his 70.  Just like Mickelson and Johnson he will be in touch with the leaders.

Below is a list of the top-40 players on the leader board going to even par which is 8 shots back of Jordan Spieth

Those that have played well of late:

Of the top-40 on the leaderboard, who is playing the best: for the Masters

Player Shell Houston Valero Texas Trophee Hassan Arnold Palmer Valspar Tshwane Open WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Africa Open Honda Classic Joburg Open Northern Trust AT&T Pebble
Jordan Spieth
(366 pts)
T2
(100)
2
(100)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T7
(18.33)
Dustin Johnson
(245.33 pts)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
T4
(26.67)
Patrick Reed
(170.33 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP T29
(7)
Paul Casey
(140.33 pts)
9
(45)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Cameron Tringale
(119 pts)
T5
(70)
T40
(10)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP T44
(4)
DNP T47
(1)
DNP
Ryan Palmer
(111.33 pts)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Keegan Bradley
(103 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP T49
(1)
DNP DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Bubba Watson
(102 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
DNP
Billy Horschel
(96 pts)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP T43
(7)
DNP DNP T46
(4)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
Phil Mickelson
(94 pts)
T17
(33)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(90 pts)
T11
(39)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Adam Scott
(88.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(88.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Henley
(85 pts)
4
(80)
DNP DNP T49
(1)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP T44
(4)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(82.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Padraig Harrington
(79 pts)
T67
(0)
DNP DNP T49
(1)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T56
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jason Day
(78.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
Rory McIlroy
(77.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(73.33 pts)
70
(0)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(71.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(70 pts)
DNP T26
(24)
DNP T21
(29)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Zach Johnson
(69.33 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP T49
(1)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Webb Simpson
(58.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T43
(7)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Danny Willett
(49 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T29
(21)
DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Camilo Villegas
(48.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 16
(22.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Bill Haas
(41.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Chris Kirk
(30 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-40 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well: for the Masters

Player Shell Houston Valero Texas Trophee Hassan Arnold Palmer Valspar Tshwane Open WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Africa Open Honda Classic Joburg Open Northern Trust AT&T Pebble
Graeme McDowell
(-21.67 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Angel Cabrera
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Thomas Bjorn
(-11.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
John Senden
(-11 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Anirban Lahiri
(-10 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T71
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Seung-Yul Noh
(-6.33 pts)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T22
(9.33)
T65
(0)
Justin Rose
(-0.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Stephen Gallacher
(6 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Streelman
(8 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP DNP T67
(0)
T40
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Charl Schwartzel
(10.33 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(6)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP
Ernie Els
(17 pts)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jonas Blixt
(27.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Chris Kirk
(30 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

Jordan has the game but Augusta is one of those places that is hard for a guy to win from start to finish.  That stat that only two first round leaders in the last 31 years should stick in everyones mind.  Also there have been ten wire to wire winners, the last was Trevor Immelman in 2008.  Before that was in 1980, with Seve Ballesteros but that is still 35 years ago.

Augusta is brutally tough on players.  You have to be mentally tough to endure everything and frankly a 21 year old like Jordan Spieth hasn’t been tested.  When young players like Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods accomplished the Augusta fame at an early age, all of them were battled tested in major championships.  We saw what happened to Rory McIlroy who had Augusta eat his lunch in 2011, could the same happen to Jordan.  Guess we will find out in three days.

Who to watch for at the Masters the next 3 days

Still good bets:

Jordan Spieth

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
Win T2

Great first round, question will be if he can keep it up. As we said, Jack, Seve and Tiger was able to, Rory wasn’t. The question will be if Jordan has that special mojo for three more days.

Jason Day

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T20 3 WD T2

Great first round, he is in perfect shape to climb up the leaderboard.

Justin Rose

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T14 T25 T8 T11 T20 T36 T5 T22 T39

He has always been good in the first round and then died afterwards, but he now is a major winner and knows how to handle things better.

Best of the rest:

Bubba Watson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T18 Win T50 Win T38 42 T20

Looked a bit unlucky on Thursday, the second round will be his day to shine or not.

Adam Scott

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T31 T14 Win T8 T2 T18 CUT T25 T27 T27 T33 CUT T23

Still didn’t look great, but doesn’t look bad either

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 CUT T13 T38 T38 T30

Solid first round keeps him in the running

Phil Mickelson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 CUT T54 T3 T27 Win 5 T5 T24 Win 10 Win 3

Game seems to be improving, can it improve enough for him to win on Sunday?

Rory McIlroy

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T18 T8 T25 T40 T15 CUT T20

Very solid first round, in good position for Friday.

Others that are close:

Ernie Els

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 CUT T13 T47 T18 CUT CUT CUT T27 47 2 T6

This guy should of won a bunch of majors, but the Masters hasn’t been kind to him. Does his game suit Augusta, yes but can he keep it together for three more days?

Charley Hoffman

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T27

We will see if the first day was a fluke.

Sergio Garcia

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T6 CUT T8 T12 T35 T45 T38 CUT CUT 46 CUT T4 T28

Always seems to keep tight in the early going, we will see if he can get better on Friday

Russell Henley

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T6 T31 CUT

Guy lingers at a lot of tournaments. We will see on Friday if he is good enough to linger even more.

Bill Haas

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T8 T20 T20 T37 T42 T26

A good golf course for him

Friday will be important for them

Paul Casey

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T8 CUT T38 CUT T20 T11 T10 CUT T6

Played bogey-free for 17 holes, this is the stuff he needs to improve on.

Patrick Reed

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 CUT

Game was ok, in a good position for Friday after playing his last 8 holes in three under

Tiger Woods

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T41 T4 T40 T4 T4 T6 2 T2 T3 Win T22 T15

Short game was great, if he can turn his long game around he could turn in a 68 and jump into contention. I think he will make the cut.

Comments

  1. Michael B says:

    In the last nine Masters, the winner has been in the top 10 after 18 holes every time and in the top seven eight times.

    So basically the odds and history are telling you to choose a winner from: Hoffman, Rose, Els, Day, Henley, Sergio, Haas, Casey, Webb or Palmer

    I picked Day over Spieth so I have to stick with him.

    Els however is dominating those Par 5’s. He’s -5 on the Par 5’s, that’s huge. Nobody else in the group listed above is better than -3.

    Els, Haas and Palmer to me had the best round outside of Spieth in terms of projecting forward. Tomorrow will be a similar day but with a gustier afternoon than we saw today.

    So I’d say Els, Day, and Palmer could benefit.

    We’ll see!

  2. I agree, the odds on Spieth are tough because of the history of the place and how demanding it is to play 72 holes at top of your peak. Spieth also had luck in which one wayward drive hit a tree and bounced back into the fairway.
    But what bothers me the most, he has played so great for such a long time, it was great for Tiger in his prime, but for others we haven’t see this kind of streak in a while.
    So we can go too ways, the first on how Spieth is a youngster that has staying power, or Spieth that will do what Rory Mcilory did in 2011.

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