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.

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