Scheffler, Woods and McIlroy, all the numbers

Numbers help understand how to win and lose a Masters. They reveal what lies beyond the final score, what worked and what didn’t, where the winner executed their best shots and where those who fell behind need to work and improve.

It’s the anatomy of a world number one, and once again, of Augusta National. Scottie Scheffler dons his second green jacket in his fifth Masters (the first in 2022), while his wife Meredith, expecting their first child, could call him at any moment.

In this case, she would have joined him in Texas, but it didn’t happen that way. He wins with a score of 66-72-71-68, 277 strokes, 11 under par (278 in 2022, 69-67-71-71). He hits 79 percent of the fairways (average distance 279 meters), then reaches the green 64 percent of the time, needing 109 putts overall to complete the 72 holes of the tournament.

Hideki Matsuyama handed him the green jacket two years ago, Jon Rahm did it yesterday.

Masters, results

And then there’s Tiger Woods. It doesn’t matter if he’s undergone countless knee, back, and ankle surgeries. It doesn’t matter if he’s played only 24 holes this year before the Masters.

And it doesn’t matter if he keeps the world on edge until the last minute: will he play or won’t he? But when Tiger Woods puts the ball on the tee of the first hole, everyone expects the champion of old, especially him, who takes the field only to win.

Or, as he has done time and time again, to rewrite history. This week, he made the cut at the Masters for the 24th consecutive time, another record. Then over the weekend, he finished the leaderboard in 60th and last place among those who remained in the field.

Where did he struggle? Too many balls out of position off the tee (fairways hit at 60 percent), greens not hit often enough (only 43 percent), and too many putts, 119 in total. The course, in its complexity from start to finish (regardless of weather conditions), confirmed its toughest holes.

The most challenging were played day by day on the 11th and 18th, but in the end, the 11th won, the first taste of the Amen Corner, where 115 shots were lost compared to the 109 of the last hole. Rory McIlroy was the longest in the field with an average of 291 meters.

Max Homa was the most accurate in approaches, hitting the green 71 percent of the time. Cameron Smith excelled in recovering from off-position shots around the greens, with an excellent 86 percent. Patrick Reed putted the best, but with only 101 putts, it wasn’t enough to place better than twelfth.

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