2016 Masters Preview

augusta national clubhouse 3Dates: April 7-10, 2016
Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
Par/Yards: 72/7,435 yards
2015 champion: Jordan Spieth
FedExCup: 600 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Cut: After 36 holes, top 50 and ties and players within 10 strokes of the lead play the final two rounds


Jordan Spieth and the 2015 Masters

  • After holding the sole lead after each round, including a four-stroke lead over Justin Rose entering the final round, Jordan Spieth closed with a 2-under 70 to win by four shots over Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose to claim the fifth wire-to-wire victory at the Masters.
  • Spieth became the first player to reach 19-under par at any point during the round at the Masters, ultimately finishing at 18-under 270, the best 72-hole score in tournament history (tied with Tiger Woods/1997). With the win, Spieth became the fourth player since 1900 to win three times with at least one major before the age of 22.
  • When he won the FedExCup title, Spieth became the first player in FedExCup history to have won the Masters in the same season he claimed the PGA TOUR season-ending title.
  • Spieth took over the lead after winning the Masters and did not relinquish it until missing the cut at The Barclays, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
  • Spieth became the second youngest winner of the Masters at the age of 21 years, 8 months, 16 days. Tiger Woods was 21 years, 3 months, 14 days when he won the Masters in 1997.
  • Spieth became the fifth wire-to-wire winner at the Masters, joining: Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972) and Raymond Floyd (1976).
  • Spieth joined Tiger Woods, Gene Sarazen, and Tom Creavy as players to win three times with at least one major on the PGA TOUR before turning age 22 since 1900. Note: Young Tom Morris won the Open Championship four times from 1868-1872 each under the age of 22).
  • Spieth became the third different player since 1940 to win three times on the PGA TOUR before reaching his 22nd birthday. Tiger Woods won six times before his 22nd birthday, while Sergio Garcia won three times.
  • Spieth set the 54-hole score at the Masters with a 200. The previous record was 201 by Raymond Floyd (1976) and Tiger Woods (1997).
  • Spieth matched the largest 36-hole lead at the Masters (5 shots) by Herman Keiser (1946), Jack Nicklaus (1975) and Raymond Floyd (1976). All four players went on to win.
  • Spieth recorded the most birdies by a Masters champion and the most by any player at the Masters (28)
  • Spieth is making his third start at the Masters. He is the first player to begin his Masters career with eight straight par-or-better rounds. 2014: 71-70-70-72—283 2015: 64-66-70-70—270.
  • With a win in 2016, Spieth would join Tiger Woods (2001-02), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Jack Nicklaus (1965-66) as players to successfully defend a Masters title.
  • Spieth went on to win the U.S. Open, becoming the sixth player to win the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open in the same season, joining Tiger Woods (2002), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Arnold Palmer (1960), Ben Hogan (1951, 1953) and Craig Wood (1941).
  • Before he won the 2015 Masters, Spieth was winless in all four previous attempts with the lead/co-lead after 54 holes (2015 Shell Houston Open, 2014 Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, 2014 Masters and 2014 PLAYERS Championship.
  • Since his Masters win, Spieth has converted all four 54-hole lead/coleads he has held: 2015 U.S. Open, 2015 John Deere Classic, 2015 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, 2016 Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

Masters 2016 Field Notes

  • 24 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings along with 28 of the top 30 (Jim Furyk and Sangmoon Bae) from last year’s final FedExCup standings.
  • 49 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking (No. 21 Jim Furyk is out with wrist injury).
  • 17 of the 19 different winners on TOUR from the 2015-16 season (Tony Finau and Peter Malnati).
  • Past Masters champions (16): Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Phil Mickelson, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize and Tom Watson.
  • PGA TOUR Champions professionals in the field (8): Davis Love III, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize and Tom Watson.

World No. 1 Jason Day

  • Jason Day is making his sixth start at the Masters Tournament and 22nd start in a major.
  • He has two-top three finishes at the Masters (2013/3rd and 2011/T2) and has never missed at cut. He withdrew in 2012.
  • Day is in search of his second major title having won the 2015 PGA Championship.
  • The last player to win the PGA Championship then win the Masters was Phil Mickelson (2005 PGA Championship and 2006 Masters Tournament).
  • Day holds the record for low 72-hole tournament total in a major at 20-under par. His 20-under 268 score at the 2015 PGA Championship broke the previous record of 19-under set by Tiger Woods at the 2000 Open Championship.
  • Day has won his last two starts on TOUR (Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play). Only two players have won the Masters coming off wins in their last two starts: Jack Nicklaus in 1975 (Doral-Eastern Open and Sea Pines Heritage Invitational) and Tiger Woods in 2001 (Bay Hill Invitational and THE PLAYERS Championship).

World No. 3 Rory McIlroy

  • Rory McIlroy is making his eighth start at the Masters and 29th start in a major.
  • His two top-10s at the Masters have come in his last two starts (2015/4th and 2014/T8).
  • The winner of the 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and 2014 Open Championship, looks to complete the career grand slam. Five players have won all four majors in a career:
    • Gene Sarazen 1935 Masters; 1922, 1932 U.S. Open; 1932 British Open; 1922, 1923, 1933 PGA Championship
    • Ben Hogan 1951, 1953 Masters; 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953 U.S. Open; 1953 British Open; 1946, 1948 PGA Championship
    • Gary Player 1961, 1974, 1978 Masters; 1965 U.S. Open; 1959, 1968, 1974 British Open; 1962, 1972 PGA Championship
    • Jack Nicklaus 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986 Masters; 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980 U.S. Open; 1966, 1970, 1978, British Open; 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980 PGA Championship
    • Tiger Woods 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 Masters; 2000, 2002, 2008 U.S .Open; 2000, 2005, 2006 British Open; 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007 PGA Championship
  • An 11-time PGA TOUR winner, McIlroy’s last TOUR victory was the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship.

World No. 4 Bubba Watson

  • 2012 and 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson will make his eighth start at the Masters Tournament.
  • His two wins mark his only top-10s in seven starts.
  • Watson looks to join Jimmy Demaret (1940, 1947, 1950), Sam Snead (1949, 1952, 1954), Gary Player (1961, 1974, 1978), Nick Faldo (1989, 1990, 1996) and Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010) as players to win the Masters three times. Only eight players have won three or more Masters tournaments.
  • Lefthanders have won six of the last 13 Masters (Bubba Watson-2, Mike Weir and Phil Mickelson-3).
  • Watson won his second Northern Trust Open title this season. In 2014, he won the Northern Trust Open ahead of winning his second Masters.

World No. 5 Rickie Fowler

  • Rickie Fowler will make his sixth start at the Masters, the only major he has never missed a cut. His best finish at the Masters was T5 in 2014, a season he recorded top-five finishes in all four major championships, becoming the first player to perform the feat since Tiger Woods in 2005.
  • Fowler won the 2015 PLAYERS Championship. PLAYERS champions to win the Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, Sandy Lyle, Fred Couples, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

World No. 6 Adam Scott

  • Scott leads the FedExCup with two victories and two runner-up finishes in eight starts to date.
  • The first and only Australian to win the Masters, 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott will make his 15th start in the Masters Tournament. In addition to his win, Scott also finished in the top 10 in 2002 (T9), 2011 (T2) and 2012 (T8).
  • The last playoff at the Masters was in 2013 when Scott defeated Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole (No. 10). It was the 17th playoff in tournament history.
  • Scott looks to become the ninth player with two Masters wins (Horton Smith, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Ben Crenshaw and Bubba Watson).
  • Scott is making his 60th appearance in a major and 59th consecutive. Active consecutive major appearances (including 2016 Masters Tournament):
    • Sergio Garcia: 67
    • Adam Scott: 59
  • Scott became the first multiple winner of the season when he won The Honda Classic and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship in back-to-back weeks. He also became the first player since Billy Horschel in 2014 to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA TOUR.
  • Scott owns more PGA TOUR titles than any active player under the age of 40 (13).

World No. 20 Phil Mickelson

  • Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson will make his 24th start at the Masters. In 2015, for the first time in his career, Mickelson finished runner-up. In all, Mickelson has 11 top-five finishes at the Masters. Most top-five finishes at the Masters:
    • 15, Jack Nicklaus
    • 11, Tiger Woods
    • 11, Phil Mickelson
  • Mickelson is in search of his fourth win at the Masters. Players with the most Masters wins:
    • 6, Jack Nicklaus
    • 4, Arnold Palmer
    • 4, Tiger Woods
  • Mickelson has three top-10s in eight starts this season.
  • The 42-time PGA TOUR winner is looking for his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship.
  • He has five major wins.

Additional player notes

  • Rafa Cabrera Bello’s third-place finish at the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, his second career top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR, moved him into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, earning his first-ever invite to the Masters Tournament. Bello finished fourth last week at the Shell Houston Open as a sponsor exemption and is eligible to join the PGA TOUR as a Special Temporary Member for the remainder of the year.
  • After winning the 2015 Wyndham Championship, Davis Love III will return to the Masters for the first time since 2011. In total, Love has made 19 Masters starts, with 17 consecutive starts from 1991-2007. The 1997 PGA Championship winner has two runner-ups at the Masters (1995, 1999)
  • Augusta native Vaughn Taylor won on the PGA TOUR for the first time since 2005 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, earning a berth to the Masters for the first time since 2008. In three starts, Taylor has two missed cuts (2006 and 2008) and a T10 (2007).
  • Jim Herman captured last week’s Shell Houston Open to earn the final invite to the Masters.
  • Champions of the last five Masters Tournaments have each won on TOUR in 2016: Jordan Spieth/2015 (Tournament of Champions), Bubba Watson/2014,2012 (Northern Trust Open), Adam Scott/2013 (The Honda Classic and WGC-Cadillac Championship) and Charl Schwartzel /2011 (Valspar Championship)

Amateurs at the Masters:

  • Best finish by an amateur at the Masters: 2–Ken Venturi (1956); T2–Frank Stranahan (1947), Charles Roe (1961).
  • Bryson DeChambeau (United States), U.S. Amateur Champion
  • Derek Bard (United States), U.S. Amateur Runner-up Romain Langasque (France), British Amateur Champion
  • Cheng Jin (China), Asian Amateur Champion
  • Paul Chaplet (Costa Rica), Latin America Amateur Champion

First timers at the Masters (20):

  • Three players won the Masters in their first appearance: Horton Smith (1934), Gene Sarazen (1935), Fuzzy Zoeller (1979).
  • The 20 first timers at the 2016 Masters: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Derek Bard, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Daniel Berger, Paul Chaplet, Bryson DeChambeau, Fabian Gomez, Emiliano Grillo, Jim Herman, Cheng Jin, Smylie Kaufman, Kevin Kisner, Russell Knox,  Romain Langasque, David Lingmerth, Troy Merritt, Sammy Schmitz, Cameron Smith, Andy Sullivan, Justin Thomas

Miscellaneous Masters notes

  • Dating to 1991, with the exception of Zach Johnson (T4) in 2007, Bubba Watson (T3) in 2012 and Adam Scott (3rd) in 2013, the Masters champion has been ranked no lower than T2 following 54 holes.
  • The only Masters champion who was not inside the top 10 on the leaderboard after 54 holes was Art Wall Jr. in 1959 (T13).
  • The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Masters Tournament 43 (out of 79) times, most recently Jordan Spieth (2015), Bubba Watson (2014) and Angel Cabrera (2009).
  • The eventual Masters champion has come out of the final Sunday pairing 21 out of the last 25 years, with Zach Johnson (2007), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Bubba Watson (2012) and Adam Scott (2013) the exceptions.
  • The youngest winner of the Masters is Tiger Woods (1997, 21 years, 3 months, 14 days).
  • The oldest winner of the Masters is Jack Nicklaus (1986, 46 years, 2 months, 23 days)
  •  Gary Player owns the most starts in Masters history (52).
  • The largest comeback victory at the Masters is eight strokes (Jack Burke, 1956). Burke was eight behind Ken Venturi through three rounds but edged Venturi by one with a closing round of 71 (compared to Burke’s 80).
  • Americans have won 10 of the last 16 Masters to 2000.
  • Six of the last 10 Masters champions played the week before their win, most recently Jordan Spieth in 2015
  • Fewest starts before a first victory at the Masters:
    • 1, Horton Smith, 1934
    • 1, Gene Sarazen, 1935
    • 1, Fuzzy Zoeller, 1979
    • 2, Jimmy Demaret, 1940
    • 2, Herman Keiser, 1946
    • 2, Charl Schwartzel, 2011
    • 2, Jordan Spieth, 2015
  • Since 1934, most major starts without a victory:
    • Jay Haas 87
    • Colin Montgomerie 72
    • Scott Hoch 7
    • Brad Faxon 68
    • Lee Westwood 71
    • Miguel Angel Jimenez 70
    • Robert Allenby 65
    • Scott Verplank 65
    • Sergio Garcia 69
    • Steve Stricker 65
    • John Cook 62
  • Since 1934, just five players have won the week before winning the Masters Tournament.
    • 2006 Phil Mickelson won BellSouth Classic followed by Masters
    • 1988 Sandy Lyle won Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters
    • 1959 Art Wall won the Azalea Open followed by the Masters
    • 1949 *Sam Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters
    • 1939 Ralph Guldahl won the Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters
      • *No event scheduled the week after first win. Major was next event contested

2015-16 PGA TOUR Season Highlights

  • The 2015-16 Season marks the 10th season of the FedExCup, and the winner’s circle to this point has been shared by both young and established stars.
  • The season kicked off last fall with five consecutive first-time winners including two from the high school class of 2011, Emiliano Grillo (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) and Justin Thomas (CIMB Classic). That 2011 class includes five PGA TOUR members – 2015 FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth, 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Daniel Berger, Thomas, Grillo, Patrick Rodgers along with Web.com Tour member Ollie Schniederjans.
  • In the 2016 calendar year, eight of the 14 winners have major championship titles on their resumes (Jason Day/2, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott/2, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Jordan Spieth) and two of the winners have won the FedExCup (Brandt Snedeker, Spieth). Highlights of this period include:
    • The reigning FedExCup champion Spieth, still only 22, picked up right where he left off last year, winning at Kapalua by eight strokes in early January.
    • Day, also a five-time winner last year, won back-to-back tournaments in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play to move to second in the FedExCup standings and returning to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Day now has nine career PGA TOUR titles and has won six of his last 13 PGA TOUR starts.
    • With his win at Trump National Doral, Scott became the first player to win in back-to-back weeks since Billy Horschel at the 2014 BMW Championship and TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
    • Veteran stars have struck back after the early-season success of the twenty-somethings, as nine of the 14 winners in 2016 have been players in their 30s.
    • In the race for the FedExCup, one season with three playoff losses, Kevin Kisner rebounded with his first TOUR win at The RSM Classic, taking the lead in the FedExCup standings that he did not relinquish until Snedeker surpassed him with his victory at the Farmers Insurance Open.
    • Snedeker maintained his lead atop the FedExCup standings through The Honda Classic.
    • With his back-to-back wins at The Honda Classic and WGC-Cadillac Championship, Scott overtook the No. 1 spot after the WGC-Cadillac Championship and continues to lead the FedExCup standings over No. 2 Day entering the Masters.




Liked it? Take a second to support The Original Golf Blogger on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: