Friday, April 18, 2008

Some Quick Masters Numbers to Consider

There has been a bit of a backlash by some about the tidal wave of writers calling for a return to the old Augusta. Some have said that they like the tougher conditions and the higher scoring. Some have said that things really have not changed. Instead of just arguing, let's use some numbers.

First, the average all time winning score at Augusta is -8. Since Mark O'Meara's 1998 win (the beginning of Tigerproofing), that score has not been exceeded five times - twice on the average. Basically, half the time, the trend is bucked.

Second, in the history of the Masters, the winning score has reached double digits 31% of the time. Since 1998, that has happened 4 times. This means that scoring has outpaced the average number of winning scores below 279.

The longest run of winners with a score below 279 was five straight years from 1974-1978. 1990-1993 is the second longest run. 1995-1997 and 2000-2002 are tied for third. While the 2000-2002 streak happened in the Tigerproofing era, they happened before the massive changes of 2002. Of course, also, always consider conditions when taking into account these scores.

In short, the complaints should not be about winning scores and I do not think they really are. They are about the potential for lower scores not being there. 66 is not out there at Augusta anymore. Unfortunately, I don't have data to tell you who was the last guy to shoot 66 at Augusta. If anyone has that, this would make my piece complete and prove my point.

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