Daily Archives: July 21st, 2012

2012 British Open: Is Adam Scott’s four-stroke lead safe?

PGA golf professional Adam Scott chips out of ...

Adam Scott (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Australian Adam Scott sits at 11-under after the third round and takes a four-stroke lead into the final round of the British Open. He leads  Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and American Brant Snedeker. Tiger Woods is five shots back.

The question: Is his four-shot lead insurmountable?

Looking back at the past 50 British Opens, there have been only four times when the third round leader had a lead of four strokes or more and lost the tournament. Interestingly enough, each of the four times occurred since 1995.

Here’s a few other quick stats about those golfers who have led the British Open after the third round since 1962:

* In 27 of the last 50 tournaments (54 percent) the golfer leading after the third round (or was tied for the lead) has won the tournament.

* Of the 23 tournaments where the third round leader eventually lost the tournament, in three tourneys the eventual winner came from one stroke back to win; in 12 tourneys, the winner came from two shots back to win.

* Scott’s four-shot lead is the 11th time since 1962 that the third-round leader goes into the final round with a lead of four shots or more. In nine of those previous 10 times, the third-round leader won the tournament; the only exception was in 1999 when third-round leader Jean van de Velde blew a five-shot lead at the start of th day on Sunday and lost the tournament to Paul Lawrie in a playoff.

Following are the biggest third-round deficits to win the British Open since 1962.

Third-Round Deficit, golfer, year

-10: Paul Lawrie, 1999

-6: Padraig Harrington, 2007

-5: Justin Leonard, 1997

-4: John Daly, 1995

-3: Tom Watson, 1975; Tom Watson, 1982; Sandy Lyle, 1985; Mark Calcavecchia, 1989

The last golfer to come from behind after the third round to win the British Open was American Stewart Cink who was tied for sixth after the third round in the 2009 tournament. He was two shots back going into Sunday’s round, but tied third-round leader Tom Watson at the end of 18 holes on Sunday. He defeated Watson in the playoff.

Of note is that Watson won two of his British Opens after being behind by three shots going into the final round.

Following are the golfers who have won the most British Opens in the last 50 years who were not in the lead after the third round.

Jack Nicklaus, 3 (1966, 1970, 1978)

Seve Ballesteros, 3 (1979, 1984, 1988)

Tom Watson, 2 (1975, 1982)

Padraig Harrington, 2 (2007, 2008)

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Barry Larkin: A shelf full of Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds, 2004, by Rick D...

Barry Larkin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame tomorrow. Playing his entire career with the Reds, Larkin compiled a .295 career batting average with 198 home runs and 960 RBI.

A 12-time All-Star, Larkin was the 1995 National League MVP and was the first shortstop to join the 30-30 club when he hit 33 HRs and had 36 stolen bases in ’96. Larkin is also one of only three shortstops to have won three or more Gold Glove Awards and three or more Silver Slugger Awards.

In 1980 the Silver Slugger Award was first awarded honoring the best offensive player at each position in each league. The Silver Slugger was instituted as a hitting honor to go along with the Gold Glove Award which honors the best defensive players at each position. The Gold Glove was first awarded in 1957.

Larkin is one of only 27 different players in baseball history to have won three or more Silver Slugger awards and three or more Gold Glove awards. Topping the list are catcher Ivan Rodriquez and outfielder Barry Bonds. Rodriquez has won the defensive honor 13 times and he has seven Silver Sluggers. Bonds has 12 Gold Gloves and eight silver bats.

Larkin holds the MLB record for most Silver Slugger Awards by a shortstop with nine. He is followed by Cal Ripken, Jr., with eight. He follows Barry Bonds (12) and Mike Piazza (10) for most Silver Slugger Awards by all positions since the honor was instituted in 1980.

Following, by position, are the players who have won three or more Gold Gloves and three or more Silver Slugger honors.

Position… player, GG (Gold Gloves), SS (Silver Sluggers)

Catcher: Ivan Rodriquez (13 GG, 7 SS), Lance Parrish (3 GG, 6 SS), Gary Carter (3 GG, 5 SS), Joe Maurer (3 GG, 4 SS), Benito Santiago (3 GG, 4 SS)

First Baseman: Todd Helton (3 GG, 4 SS), Don Mattingly (9 GG, 3 SS), Eddie Murray (3 GG, 3 SS), Mark Teixeira (4 GG, 3 SS)

Second Baseman: Ryne Sandberg (9 GG, 7 SS), Roberto Alomar (10 GG, 4 SS), Craig Biggio (4 GG, 4 SS), Lou Whitaker (3 GG, 4 SS)

Shortstop: Barry Larkin (3 GG, 9 SS), Derek Jeter (5 GG, 4 SS), Alan Trammell (4 GG, 3 SS)

Third Baseman: Mike Schmidt (10 GG, 6 SS), Matt Williams (4 GG, 4 SS)

Outfielder: Barry Bonds (12 GG, 8 SS), Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 GG, 7 SS), Tony Gwynn (5 GG, 7 SS), Kirby Puckett (6 GG, 6 SS), Dave Winfield (7 GG, 5 SS), Andre Dawson (8 GG, 4 SS), Dale Murphy (5 GG, 4 SS), Ichiro Suzuki (10 GG, 3 SS), Larry Walker (7 GG, 3 SS)

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