Masters 2022: 5 intriguing stats from Thursday’s first round | Golf News and Tour Information

Thursday’s first round of the Masters was Tiger all the time, but there were plenty of other actions to take to produce facts and figures that either interested or outright amazed us. Here’s a look at five stats that stood out from the first round:

Scheffler seeks to reverse curse #1

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler opened with a three-under-par 69 to end the day in the T-3 position. It’s an unusually good place for the best player in the world (at least according to the rankings). Since the rankings began in 1986, those who dominate it have struggled in the first round of the first major tournament of the year. Only two: Greg Norman in 1996 and Dustin Johnson in 2020 finished top 18 or tied for the lead. Sixteen times the player shot over par and only four times before Scheffler shot in the 60s – and remember, Tiger Woods held that spot for 12 of those Masters.

Cameron Smith had quite the day, opening and closing with a double bogey and still shooting 68 to reside in second place. Although he fell within a shot of the first lap lead, he was within reach of rare company. The last player to win the Crystal Vase for having the lowest score after 18 holes with a double bogey on the card was Dennis Paulson, who shot 68 to take the lead in 2000 despite shooting a 6 at the par-4 11th . The upside for Smith is that hopefully his fate will be better than Paulson, who failed to break par in any of the following rounds, shooting 76-73-72 to finish T-14.

Nine times in Masters history a player has finished second and won the green jacket the following year. Will Zalatoris finished second in his first Masters last year and got off to a strong start Thursday with a 71-under par as he seeks to join Ralph Guldahl (1937-38); Byron Nelson (1941-42); Arnold Palmer (1961-62); Jack Nicklaus (1964-65); Billy Casper (1969-70); Nicklaus again (1971-72); Ben Crenshaw (1983-84); Jordan Spieth (2014-15) and Dustin Johnson (2019-20). Zalatoris is looking to join Nelson, Casper, Crenshaw, Spieth and Johnson as those who won their first major a year after finishing runners-up.

Two players hit all 14 fairways Thursday at Augusta National—Bernhard Langer and Louis Osthuizen. But being a perfect 14 for 14 didn’t yield the desired results on the scoreboard as Langer – a two-time Masters champion – and Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 Open Championship, shot four over par 76.

Bryson DeChambeau’s double bogey 6 on the par-4 14th continued a worrying trend for DeChambeau, namely his penchant for big numbers. Playing in his 21st competitive round at the Masters, DeChambeau now has 13 double bogeys at Augusta National plus a quadruple at No. 3 in the second round of 2021. For a man who once said Augusta National was a par 67 for him , it is quite difficult to reach this number with a double box on the map.


Michael C. Ford