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

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Masters 2013: Analyzing Tiger Woods' Game After Performance at Augusta
Harry How/Getty Images

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.

Harry How/Getty Images
Despite his putting game falling apart on Day 4, Tiger still finished in a tie for fourth at Augusta.

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.

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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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