Daily Archives: April 4th, 2012

Tiger vs. Phil: An 18-stat comparison of their Masters rounds

The 9th hole on the par-3 course at the August...

Augusta National Golf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The 76th Masters tournament begins play tomorrow at Augusta National Country Club in Augusta, Ga.

With his win two weeks ago, Tiger Woods again has the eyes of the golf nation on him as he tries to win his fifth green jacket. Phil Mickelson will also garner a considerable amount of attention based on the fact that he has won the event three times in the last eight years. In fact, Woods and Mickleson between them have won seven of the last 15 Masters.

Since Tiger and Phil will likely get a great deal of camera time this weekend (assuming they both make the cut and stay in contention through the final round) here’s an 18-hole 18-stat comparison of how the two have performed at Augusta in the Masters.

1. Years at Augusta: Phil is playing in his 20th Masters (he played his first in 1991); Tiger is playing in his 18th Masters (his first was in 1995).

2. Masters Wins: Tiger has won four (1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005); Phil won in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

3. Top Five finishes: Tiger is one up on Phil as he has 10 Top Five finishes to Phil’s nine. Both have finished in the Top Five seven times in the last 10 years.

4. Top Ten finishes: Phil takes the lead in this category with his 13 Top Ten finishes. Tiger has  12.

5. 72-hole totals under par: Phil has finished 15 of his 19 Masters tourneys under par (78.9%). Tiger has finished 11 of his 17 Masters under par (64.7%).

6. Missed the cut: Both Tiger and Phil have missed the Masters cut only once; Tiger in 1996, Phil in 1997.

7. 18-hole rounds under par: Phil holds a slight edge here. He has shot under par in 42 of his 74 rounds (56.8%); Tiger has been under par in 37 of his 66 rounds (56.1%).

8. Low round: Both Tiger and Phil have shot 65 as their low round in the Masters. Tiger had a 65 in the third rounds in 1997 and 2005; Phil had a 65 in his first round in the 1996 event.

9. Best 36-hole total: A 36-hole total of 136 is the best score after two rounds for both Tiger and Phil. Tiger did it twice, in 1997 and 2001. Phil was at 136 tied with Tiger in 2001.

10. Final rounds under par: Tiger has shot under par in 11 of his 16 final rounds (68.8%). Phil has shot under par in half of his final rounds (nine of 18).

11. When Tiger wins, where’s Phil?: In Tiger’s four wins, Phil missed the cut in 1997, finished third in 2001, finished third again in 2002, and finished 10th in 2005.

12. When Phil wins, where’s Tiger?: In Phil’s three wins, Tiger finished 22nd in 2004, tied for third in 2006, and tied for fourth in 2010.

13. Interesting fact: Either or both Tiger and Phil has finished in the Top Ten of the Masters in each year since 1995 (17 years).

14. Masters money: Tiger holds an advantage over Phil when it comes to money earned at the Masters. Tiger has earned $6,821,473 and Phil has earned $6,418,842 prize money at the Masters.

15. First round averages: Phil has a lower average in the first round over Tiger. Phil has averaged 70.8 on Thursdays while Tiger is at 72.1.

16. Second round averages: Tiger has a slight lead in second round scores. His second-round average in the Masters is 70.4, Phil’s is 70.7

17. Third round averages: Here’s the big advantage for Tiger. He averages 69.8 in the third round, Phil is at 71.2.

18. Fourth round averages: Tiger wins the fourth round average battle. He averages 70.6 in the final round. Phil is about a stroke back at 71.4.

Atlanta Braves: MLB’s best Opening Day team in the last 20 years

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Although Oakland and Seattle began the 2012 Major League Baseball season with a pair of games in Japan this past weekend, many baseball purists look at today as the start of the 2012 campaign with the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals facing the Miami Marlins in Miami tonight.

Looking at the last 20 MLB seasons, the Atlanta Braves top the 30 teams with the best Opening Day record at 14-6. Following is a look at each team’s Opening Day wins and losses from 1992-2011. (Note: Oakland and Seattle’s 2012 Opening Day is not included in the records below).

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Opening day record in last 20 years, Teams

14-6: Atlanta

13-7: Florida

12-8: Pittsburgh, San Francisco

8-6: Arizona

10-9: Miami

10-9-1: Milwaukee

10-10: Colorado, LA Dodgers

9-11: Philadelphia, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis

8-12: Houston, San Diego

7-13: Washington

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Opening day record in last 20 years, Teams

13-7: Baltimore, NY Yankees, Toronto

12-8: Chicago White Sox

11-9: Boston, LA Angels, Seattle

10-10: Minnesota

7-7: Tampa Bay

9-11: Texas

8-12: Cleveland, Detroit

6-14: Kansas City, Oakland

Note: In looking at current winning and losing streaks on Opening Day, three teams entered the 2012 season with five straight wins on Opening Day: Pittsburgh, Arizona and Seattle (the Mariners with their win over the A’s in Japan have now won six straight on Opening Day). In the loss column, Oakland has now lost eight straight with their loss to Seattle in Japan, and Houston tops the National League with five straight Opening Day losses.

A quick historical scan of the Opening Day starting line-ups for each team revealed 24 players who have a current streak as Opening Day starter at a particular position for six or more consecutive Opening Days. How many will extend those streaks? For some, those streaks have already ended before the first pitch of Opening Day. For example, Albert Pujols streak of eight straight Opening Days as the Cardinals first baseman ends as he has taken his talents to the LA Angels. The same with Prince Fielder, who had been the Brewers Opening Day first baseman for six straight years but will now patrol first base with the Tigers.

Following are the players who entered the 2012 season with the longest active streaks as a team’s Opening Day starter at a particular position.

Current streak as Opening Day starter at position, Player, Position, Team

14: Todd Helton, 1B, Colorado

11: Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philadelphia; Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox

10: Derek Jeter, SS, NY Yankees

8: Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Chicago Cubs; Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis; Brian Roberts, 2B, Baltimore; David Ortiz, DH, Boston; Travis Hafner, DH, Cleveland

7: Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta; David Wright, 3B, NY Mets; Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis; A.J. Pierzynski, C, Chicago White Sox; Magglio Ordonez, RF, Detroit; Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota; Mark Ellis, 2B, Oakland.