Bubba Watson ranks sixth in greens in regulation in 2013 at 71.24 percent. (How/Getty Images)
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
The first major championship of the season has arrived. Bubba Watson will attempt to become just the fourth back-to-back champion in Masters history this week -- joining some pretty exclusive company. How exclusive? And how does Watson rank in statistics compared to last season? Let's take a look by going inside the numbers ...
3 Number of players who have successfully defended their Masters title – Jack Nicklaus (1965, ‘66), Nick Faldo (‘89, ‘90) and Tiger Woods (2001, ‘02). … Will Bubba Watson join them? Watson has 40-to-1 odds to win, according to Sports Book.
4 Number of double eagles recorded in Masters history. … The last one came last year when Louis Oosthuizen holed out from 253 yards with a 4-iron on the second hole on Sunday. Other double eagles: Jeff Maggert in 1994 (No. 13, Round 4, 222 yards, 3-iron); Bruce Devlin in 1967 (No. 8, Round 1, 248 yards, 4-wood); Gene Sarazen in 1935 (No. 15, Round 4, 235 yards, 4-wood).
23 Number of holes-in-one at the Masters. … It happened twice in 2012 when Adam Scott and Bo Van Pelt recorded aces on the 16th hole. Scott used a 7-iron from 202 yards while Van Pelt used a 6-iron from 202 yards.
53.94 percent Driving accuracy percentage this season for Bubba Watson, which ranks 157th on the PGA TOUR. … Watson said in his Masters news conference on Tuesday that his stats have declined from last season to 2013. But that’s not entirely true (More on this in a bit). But his accuracy off the tee has dropped (he was 135th at 58.84 percent in 2012) and his driving distance is also down (315.5 to 301.5).
63 Single-round tournament scoring record at the Masters, which was shot twice. … Nick Price carded a 63 (33-30) in the third round of 1986 en route to finishing fifth. Greg Norman carded a 63 (33-30) in the first round of 1996. Norman, of course, owned a six-shot lead after 54 holes, but finished second to Faldo.
71.24 percent Greens in regulation percentage this season for Watson, which ranks sixth on TOUR. … That mark is actually better than his 69.95 percent in 2012. Watson has also improved in strokes gained-putting (-.285 in 2012 to .232 in 2013) and scrambling (56.58 percent to 61.36). While Watson has seemingly compiled a fairly quiet season on the golf course, but he does have five T25s in six events, including a pair of top 10s.
90 Age of Doug Ford, the oldest living Masters champion. … Ford won the 1957 Masters, starting Sunday three shots behind Sam Snead. Ford ended up winning by three shots. Ford had 19 PGA TOUR victories and 23 runner-up finishes in his career.
270 Four-round tournament record at the Masters, shot by a 21-year-old Woods in 1997. … Woods, who is the youngest Masters winner, finished off his first Masters victory with rounds of 70-66-65-69. He won by 12 shots, another Masters record for margin of victory. He set a total of 20 Masters records that year, this after opening with a 40 on his first nine.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open/Humana Challenge
Week 10: WGC-Cadillac/Tampa Bay Championship
Week 12: Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Valero Texas Open