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Masters 2013: Analyzing Tiger Woods' Game After Performance at Augusta

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 14:  Tiger Woods of the United States on the 18th green during the final round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IApril 15, 2013

Tiger Woods was the favorite at the 2013 Masters this year, but he fell short at Augusta.

Why?

Well, let's take a look.

Coming into Augusta, Tiger was ranked first on the PGA Tour in putting (strokes gained), per PGATour.com. He was coming off back-to-back victories at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He topped the field at each tournament in putts per GIR (via CBSSports.com).

But at the 2013 Masters, Woods wasn't his dominant, putt-making self. He averaged 1.61 putts per hole (including two three-putts in the tournament), which was better than the field average, but still a ways away from the leaders in that category. He was particularly poor in the last round, averaging 1.72 putts per hole while notching one three-putt.

What's interesting is that, despite losing his putting game on Day 4, Tiger still ended up with a five-under-par 283 for the tournament—tied for fourth place. A large part of that can be attributed to his length off the tee and the fact that his sand-save percentage was off the charts (6-of-7).

Can you remember when Tiger's sand-save percentage was ranked relatively well on tour? That's right, in 2009, before his miserable two-year stretch of golf.

While some may see it as a disappointment that Tiger didn't win his fifth career green jacket this year, there is a silver lining. Finishing fourth at Augusta is not bad at all. And neither is Tiger's putting or ability to get out of tough spots this year.

That's not to mention the dreadful 15th hole on Saturday, where he went from a potential putt for birdie to a triple bogey. Not only did Woods' second shot on the 15th hit the flag stick and bounce into the water, he was later assessed a two-stroke penalty for an illegal drop after the shot.

The reality is, this still figures to be Tiger's best year since 2009. He already has four top-five finishes in five stroke-play PGA Tour events in 2013, including three victories. Considering he had three victories in all of last year in his bounce-back campaign, you have to like the way he's continued his success this year.

Tiger may have missed his chance at a fifth career green jacket, but he's still in position to capture at least one major this year.

 

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