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BlogThe weekend at the 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 on Friday?

So we are at the halfway point and the talk of the first two days is the great play of Jordan Spieth.  He may of shot 66, two worst than his 64 on Thursday but on Friday he made no bogeys and about the only fault was maybe missing a six footer at 18 for birdie.  Still he is at 14 under, 130 which not only broke the 36 hole record but ties the 36 hole low total in majors, more on that in a bit.

Five shots back is Charley Hoffman, who has to be a bit disappointed.  Hoffman shot 67-68 and most of the time would be going into the weekend with the lead.  But with Spieth posting a 14 under total, Hoffman is five back.  Now how good is being at 135?  Hoffman would of led every Masters with the exception of 1976 when Raymond Floyd was at 131.  In 1996 Greg Norman was at 132, Chris DiMarco was at 134 in both 2001 and 2005 and in 2011 Rory McIlroy was at 134.  So Hoffman has this to think about.  All of those 36 hole leaders we mentioned, of the five years the only winner was Floyd in 1976.

Before we go on, should tell you some of the nuggets on Spieth’s first 36 holes:

  • *Spieth has made only 1 bogey, joining 30 others in Masters history to play 36 holes with just one bogey. (Masters history five have played bogey-free first 36 holes)  On that list with one is Masters champions Byron Nelson in 1942 and Jack Nicklaus in 1972
  • *Spieth has made 15 birdies which now is the most made after 36 holes.  Previously 14 was the most by Raymond Floyd and Ted Schultz in 1992 and Greg Norman in 1996. (Floyd made 13 in 1976)
  • *Spieth got to double figures with a birdie on the 5th hole in the 2nd round.  Only Greg Norman in 1996 got to 10 under faster, he did it in 20 holes while Spieth did it in 23 holes.
  • *Spieth is 2 under on the par 3s, the most is 5 under
  • *Spieth is 6 under on the par 4s, the most is 8 under
  • *Spieth is 6 under on the par 5s, the most is 9 under

So the big question, can Spieth do it?  He should but we said the same thing about Rory McIlroy in 2011.  That didn’t turn out very well.  But Spieth seems totally different, a better fit for the pressures and problems associated with leading the Masters.  It’s weird, normally you look at the stats to see why, of course his putting has been terrific but he is also hitting the ball well hitting 28 of 36 greens (only two others have it more).  The thing that I like is that he is playing smart golf, when he misses a fairway or a green his focus is to play safe in trying to just make par.  To think he has only made one bogey over 36 holes and that is on a par 5.

Can Charley Hoffman win?  I don’t think so, this is his 16th major and he only has made the cut in half of them.  His best finish was T27th at the Masters in 2011 and you just don’t see a guy with a poor record in the majors content on the back nine on Sunday.

Who should Spieth be the most worried about?  I would say Dustin Johnson.  Of course I didn’t like him coming into this event but he has proved me wrong as he is having one of his best Masters ever.  Johnson has eight birdies but can you believe he made three eagles today?  Johnson is the first to have three eagles in one round.  40 times the Masters has seen 2 eagles in a day, but never three.  Another record that Johnson has, he has played the par 5s today in 7 under which will be a new Masters record for most under on par 5s for a single day.  The previous best was 6 under by Claude Harmon in 2nd round, 1952; Steve Jones in final round, 1999 and Ernie Els in final round, 2004.  I feel that Johnson will be a force and start to nickel and dime on that lead.  He may be seven shots back but can see him backing up some of those shots on Saturday.

How about Justin Rose?  Another of those I didn’t like the beginning of the week, Rose didn’t play as well on Friday with a 70 but he is still in it.  Do I think he will contend, still think he won’t.  Just hasn’t been able to play a solid 72 holes and I see that trend continuing over the weekend.

Can Phil do it?  Damn right he can.  After a 70 on Thursday, he shot 68 with five birdies and one bogey.  He has hit 23 of 28 fairways and 25 of 36 greens but more importantly he seems to be doing better with the putter taking only 58 putts (8 more than Spieth) but he looks better with it than he has all year.  Still Phil is 8 shots back, but anything can happen and if Phil can post 67-67 who knows.

Anybody else has a chance?  Before we talk about those with a chance, here are those I don’t like.  Ernie Els surprised us all with a 67 on Thursday, but he shot 72 on Friday and I just don’t think he can do it.  I also don’t like Paul Casey, every time I looked up he was not doing well, still he has shot 69-68 and could be a force.

How about Rory and Tiger?  Tiger played better shooting a 69 and I think that he will be better.  But even with a pair of 66s I just don’t see him making up 12 shots.  As for Rory McIlroy he shot another 71 and just doesn’t seem right.  I think that he is coming back but it won’t be this week.

Below is a list of the top-18 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-18 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)
Kevin Na
(158.33 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T6
(60)
T10
(26.67)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Paul Casey
(140.33 pts)
9
(45)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Ryan Moore
(101 pts)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
DNP
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
Hideki Matsuyama
(82.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Jason Day
(78.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-18 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
Angel Cabrera
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Justin Rose
(-0.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
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)
Bill Haas
(41.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jason Day
(78.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

Saturday will be moving day at the Masters.  If Spieth can shot a 70, I think that he will have an 7 or 8 shot lead going into Sunday.  Can’t see him losing.  But if Spieth is shaky a lot of shots could get wasted and his five shot lead could get cut.  I like Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson making a move and possibly Tiger but he is too far back.  Like we have said before, Spieth controls his own destiny.  He shots 70-70 he wins.  The weather is going to be OK Saturday and terrific on Sunday so with the lack of wind Spieth could have a stroll in the park but honesty it’s rare to see a stroll in the park at Augusta on the weekend.

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Who to watch for at the Masters this weekend:

Only one Best Bet:

Jordan Spieth

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
Leads by 5 T2

He is playing so great and his destiny is in his hand. 70-70 and they put the green jacket on him on Sunday, I think it’s in his wheel house and he will do it. Forget about what happened to Rory McIlroy five years ago, Jordan is a totally different person and should be able to handle anything this weekend.

Who could give Jordan some problems:

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T37 shots back CUT T13 T38 T38 T30

If this guy can make three eagles in a single round, he could shot 67-67 to put some pressure on Jordan. But remember this, Johnson may be T-3rd but he is still seven shots back, that is a lot of shots to make up on.

Phil Mickelson

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

Looking good and he has to be very cocky that his game is peaking at just the right time. So if he can go low and Jordan slips, Phil will be there.

Adam Scott

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T1211 shots back T14 Win T8 T2 T18 CUT T25 T27 T27 T33 CUT T23

Yes he is 11 back but you never know. Have to think that he needs 65-65 to have a chance, but he is playing better.

A big maybe:

Justin Rose

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T37 shots back T14 T25 T8 T11 T20 T36 T5 T22 T39

Just hasn’t shown that he can play a solid 72 holes. We will see on Saturday, if he shots 69 or better there is a chance for a big comeback for Rose.

Kevin Na

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T810 shots back 59 T12 CUT CUT

Normally I would not bet on him in not only a regular tournament but a major. Seems that he is happy with a top-five or top-ten, so I think this is possible but not a win.

Paul Casey

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T37 shots back CUT T38 CUT T20 T11 T10 CUT T6

Has played well this year, his life is in a better place. Still needs some great play to be there at the end, I just don’t see him putting the pressure on Jordan

Anything is possible?

Tiger Woods

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T1912 shots back T4 T40 T4 T4 T6 2 T2 T3 Win T22 T15

He surprised half the pressroom in making the cut, I can see his game getting better each day. Only problem, 12 shots is way too much ground to pick up over 36 holes but if anyone could prove me wrong it’s Tiger

Ernie Els

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

Sorry, would love to see him win a Masters just don’t think it can happen.

Charley Hoffman

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
25 shots back T27

Same thing, he is in a position that he has never experienced before and I just see him going low over the weekend.

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