US Masters 2023: Course and current form stats

Augusta National has tended to favour the big hitters
The 13th: Will more golf balls end up in Rae's Creek this year?

The iconic par-five 13th is a major talking point, as the pros prepare for the first major championship of 2023. Words and stats supplied by Andy Swales ...

  • Augusta beef-up 13th with extra yardage

  • Eighteen 'Saudi Tour' stars taking part

  • Long driving stats favour Rory


  • 2023 Masters beckons

    The green, green grass of Georgia beckons for golf's leading players who travel to Augusta National for this week's opening major of 2023.

    Owing to a change in the golfing calendar in 2019, the four major championships are currently staged within a 15-week window.

    It's been nearly nine months (37 weeks) since Aussie Cameron Smith won last year's Open Championship at St Andrews, but the first major of the season is now upon us and, as ever, it begins with The Masters.

    Since Smith held aloft the Claret Jug in Scotland last July, the Saudi-based Tour has gained serious momentum - creating a huge division at the head of world golf.

    Famous or infamous #13?

    There's been one big change at Augusta too, with significant yardage added to the famous par-five 13th hole.

    Augusta National management have consistently sought ways to fight back against the game's biggest hitters.

    With the pros themselves becoming fitter and stronger year-by-year, combined with manufacturers who are always seeking ways to develop clubs that smack the ball longer distances, courses around the world have taken a hit.

    What used to be a 'long par-four', can now be reached with a drive and a short iron, while even par-fives that measure close to 600 yards are often located with two hefty swipes.

    The following PGA Tour stats reveal significant changes to driving distance averages through the decades.

    Dan Pohl led the Tour stats in 1980 with an average of 274.3 yards which, nowadays, would leave you trailing outside the top 200.

    In fact, at April 3rd, 2023, only one golfer (out of 209) on this season's PGA Tour Driving Distance standings is currently hitting the ball shorter distances than 'top of the class' Pohl did 43 years ago.

    PGA Tour Driving Distance Leaders (yards)


    2020: 322.1 (Bryson DeChambeau)
    2010: 315.5 (Robert Garrigus)
    2000: 301.4 (John Daly)
    1990: 279.6 (Tom Purtzer)
    1980: 274.3 (Dan Pohl)

    And with Augusta officials desperate to limit the number of 64s, 65s and 66s posted at The Masters, they have had to find ways of making the course tougher.

    The hole known as Azalea (13th) will measure 35 yards longer than last year.

    It will now shape up at 545 yards, which will certainly make the players wonder whether it's worth going for the green in two shots - or risk ending up in Rae's Creek.

    This historic water hazard not only guards the front of the green, but also runs along the left edge of the fairway.

    In 2022, the par-five 13th succumbed to six eagles, out of 17 carded at Augusta all-week.

    The tournament average for 13 was 4.8516, making it the 16th easiest hole on the course.

    Those who run The Masters lengthened the par-five 15th before last year's tournament, by adding 20 yards.

    As a result, no eagles were made during competition, which the tournament committee will be hoping will repeat itself on 13 this time around.

    Latest betting for this week's Masters Tournament

    Stroke Averages


    Lowest 15 At Augusta National (2017-22)
    Average .... (Rounds)
    70.17: Dustin Johnson (18)
    70.50: Cameron Smith (20)
    70.58: Scottie Scheffler (12)
    70.68: Rory McIlroy (22)
    70.75: Jon Rahm (24)
    71.00: Corey Conners (16)
    71.04: Hideki Matsuyama (24)
    71.04: Justin Thomas (24)
    71.14: Jordan Spieth (22)
    71.20: Tony Finau (20)
    71.25: Brooks Koepka (16)
    71.32: Patrick Reed (22)
    71.35: Justin Rose (20)
    71.39: Xander Schauffele (18)
    71.58: Cameron Champ (12)
    71.58: Collin Morikawa (12)
    Min. No. of Rounds = 10
    Only those competing this week are included in table

    Betfair Sportsbook The Masters

    Five years ago, it was observed by Augusta chairman Fred Ridley that the leading players were 'hitting middle and even short irons' into the green at 13 and remarked 'that is not a momentous decision. So we think there is an issue.'

    And now that the changes have been made, some leading players have had their say.

    According to golf.com, defending champ Scottie Scheffler says he will now be taking a driver off the tee, rather than a three-wood.

    For those wanting to go for the green in two, he believes a three-iron will become the order of the day, adding: 'So you could see more guys laying up at that hole, depending on pin position.'

    Brooks Koepka suggests 'the shorter hitters won't get it around the corner,' while two-time champion Bubba Watson generally agrees with Scheffler and questioned the committee's reasoning.

    He said: 'A few years ago, they wanted the roars back on Sunday. Now you're taking away the roars? That's weird.'

    Xander Schauffele was unhappy with the 15th being tinkered with in 2022, explaining: 'It's nice to have par-five holes that you can reach in two at Augusta.'

    Whether these changes on 13 helps the shorter hitters to compete, or plays even more into the hands of the long drivers, remains to be seen.

    The likelihood is that the course will continue to favour the big hitters, when The Masters begins on Thursday.

    Driving Distance Averages (yards) on PGA Tour


    This Season's Top 10 Thru April 3rd, 2023
    1: 326.6 Rory McIlroy
    2: 320.4 Brandon Matthews
    3: 315.8 Cameron Young
    4: 315.1 Matti Schmid
    5: 315.0 Cameron Champ
    6: 314.1 Jon Rahm
    7: 313.7 Jhonattan Vegas
    8: 313.0 Wyndham Clark
    9: 312.7 Gary Woodland
    10: 312.2 Trevor Cone
    Note: Not all listed players are taking part this week

    Form of Saudi-based Pros teeing-up on Thursday:

    Abraham Ancer: No T-12s in these events during 2023;
    Bryson DeChambeau: No T-12s in any Saudi events this year;
    Sergio Garcia: 6th in Arizona during March, no other T12s;
    Talor Gooch: 11th in Mexico during February, no other T12s;
    Dustin Johnson: 7th in Orlando on Sunday, no other T12s;
    Brooks Koepka: Won in Orlando on Sunday;
    Jason Kokrak: 11th in Orlando on Sunday, no other T12s;
    Phil Mickelson: No T-12s in these events during 2023;
    Kevin Na: 6th in Arizona during March, no other T12s;
    Joaquin Niemann: 11th in Mexico during February, no other T12s;
    Louis Oosthuizen: Runner-up in Arizona (March), no other T12s;
    Mito Pereira: 5th Orlando, 6th Arizona;
    Thomas Pieters: No T-12s in these events during 2023;
    Patrick Reed: 3rd in Orlando on Sunday, no other T12s;
    Charl Schwartzel: No T-12s in these events during 2023;
    Cameron Smith: 5th in Mexico during February, no other T12s;
    Harold Varner: No T-12s in these events during 2023;
    Bubba Watson: No T-12s in these events during 2023;

    So far, there has been three tournaments staged, with fields of 48.

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Last 10 Weeks / Augusta Form 2013-22

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W13 W12 W11 W10 W9 W8 W7 W6 W5 W4
Scottie Scheffler 4 1 4 12 1
Rory McIlroy 3 MC 2 29 32 1
Jon Rahm 31 Wd 39 1 3 7
Patrick Cantlay 9 19 4 3 MC
Cameron Smith MC
Max Homa 9 6 14 2 39 1
Xander Schauffele 5 19 39 33 10 13
Will Zalatoris 59 73 53 4 MC
Viktor Hovland 31 3 10 20 42 13
Sam Burns 1 6 35 MC MC 6
Justin Thomas 10 60 21 20 4 25
Collin Morikawa 28 13 MC 6 MC 3
Tony Finau 17 19 24 20 14 9
Cameron Young 2 51 10 20 64 2
Matt Fitzpatrick 31 MC MC 14 MC 29 MC
Jordan Spieth 31 3 19 4 MC 6 63
Tyrrell Hatton MC 59 2 4 40 6 38
Sung Jae Im 17 6 21 42 56 6 4
Joo Hyung Kim 31 51 34 45 50
Kurt Kitayama 5 MC 1 MC 23 29 MC
Hideki Matsuyama 15 31 5 MC MC 29 9
Keegan Bradley 28 MC 10 MC 20 2
Shane Lowry 31 35 67 5 14 MC MC
Billy Horschel 9 MC MC 42 MC 32
Tom Hoge 59 3 MC 14 MC 48
Joaquin Niemann 5 10
Tommy Fleetwood 52 3 27 61 20 MC 59
Brian Harman 17 MC 44 MC MC 42
Sahith Theegala 31 74 14 6 39 4
Abraham Ancer 1 MC
Justin Rose 36 6 MC MC 1 18
Sepp Straka 22 59 65 MC 5 45 MC
Jason Day 5 19 10 9 5 7
Chris Kirk 10 52 MC 39 1 MC
Seamus Power 31 MC 72 14 20 15
Ryan Fox MC 17 27 14 17 11 20
Russell Henley 17 19 53 MC MC
Adam Scott 31 71 31 65
Si Woo Kim 39 17 27 39 MC 23 25
Corey Conners 1 17 MC 21 61 50
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 59 19 MC 53 MC 42
Alexander Noren 15 52 MC 61 MC MC
Thomas Pieters 6
Harris English 31 MC 2 MC 12 MC MC
Aaron Wise (wd) 31 MC MC 29 MC
Keith Mitchell 52 35 24 5 42 4
Min Woo Lee 31 6 MC 26 13
Kevin Kisner 31 MC 75 MC MC MC 34
JT Poston 9 10 MC 63 MC MC
Taylor Moore 1 35 39 MC 14 15 11
Talor Gooch 12
Guillermo Pereira 11 6
Mackenzie Hughes 5 MC 61 50 MC
Adam Svensson 52 13 24 49 9 MC MC
Adrian Meronk 17 MC 14 45 4 MC
Harold Varner 46
Scott Stallings 31 69 MC MC 23 15 MC
Dustin Johnson
Patrick Reed 25 2
Kazuki Higa MC 4 11 13 36
Jason Kokrak 13 18
Danny Willett 27 34 29 18 41
Kevin Na MC
Gary Woodland 45 54 MC 9 42 62
Brooks Koepka MC 46
Louis Oosthuizen MC 28
Francesco Molinari MC 60 14 MC MC MC
Bryson DeChambeau MC
Sergio Garcia 5 28
Cameron Champ MC MC MC MC 35 53
Charl Schwartzel 13 MC 12
Bubba Watson MC
Zach Johnson MC 68 12 32
Phil Mickelson MC
Harrison Crowe 29 MC
Tiger Woods 45
Sam Bennett
Aldrich Potgieter
Jose Maria Olazabal
Bernhard Langer
Vijay Singh
Mike Weir
Fred Couples
Sandy Lyle
Larry Mize
Ben Carr MC
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira
Matthew McClean
GordonSargent
Player `22 `21 `20 `19 `18 `17 `16 `15 `14 `13
Scottie Scheffler 1 18 19
Rory McIlroy 2 MC 5 21 5 7 10 4 8 25
Jon Rahm 27 5 7 9 4 27
Patrick Cantlay 39 MC 17 9 MC
Cameron Smith 3 10 2 51 5 55
Max Homa 48 MC MC
Xander Schauffele MC 3 17 2 50
Will Zalatoris 6 2
Viktor Hovland 27 21 32
Sam Burns MC
Justin Thomas 8 21 4 12 17 22 39
Collin Morikawa 5 18 44
Tony Finau 35 10 38 5 10
Cameron Young MC
Matt Fitzpatrick 14 34 46 21 38 32 7 MC
Jordan Spieth MC 3 46 21 3 11 2 1 2
Tyrrell Hatton 52 18 MC 56 44 MC
Sung Jae Im 8 MC 2
Joo Hyung Kim
Kurt Kitayama
Hideki Matsuyama 14 1 13 32 19 11 7 5 MC
Keegan Bradley 43 52 22 MC 54
Shane Lowry 3 21 25 MC MC 39 MC
Billy Horschel 43 50 38 56 MC 17 MC 37
Tom Hoge 39
Joaquin Niemann 35 40 MC
Tommy Fleetwood 14 46 19 36 17 MC
Brian Harman MC 12 44 MC
Sahith Theegala
Abraham Ancer MC 26 13
Justin Rose MC 7 23 MC 12 2 10 2 14 25
Sepp Straka 30
Jason Day MC MC 5 20 22 10 28 20 3
Chris Kirk MC 33 20
Seamus Power 27
Ryan Fox
Russell Henley 30 15 11 21 31 MC
Adam Scott 48 54 34 18 32 9 42 38 14 1
Si Woo Kim 39 12 34 21 24 MC
Corey Conners 6 8 10 46 MC
Kyoung-Hoon Lee MC
Alexander Noren 62 MC MC
Thomas Pieters MC MC 4
Harris English 21 42 MC
Aaron Wise (wd) 17
Keith Mitchell 43
Min Woo Lee 14
Kevin Kisner 44 MC MC 21 28 43 37
JT Poston MC
Taylor Moore
Talor Gooch 14
Guillermo Pereira
Mackenzie Hughes 50 40 MC
Adam Svensson
Adrian Meronk
Harold Varner 23
Scott Stallings MC
Dustin Johnson 12 MC 1 2 10 4 6 MC 13
Patrick Reed 35 8 10 36 1 MC 49 22 MC
Kazuki Higa
Jason Kokrak 14 49 MC
Danny Willett 12 MC 25 MC MC MC 1 38
Kevin Na 14 12 13 46 MC 55 12 59
Gary Woodland MC 40 MC 32 MC MC MC 26
Brooks Koepka MC MC 7 2 11 21 33
Louis Oosthuizen Wd 26 23 29 12 41 15 19 25 MC
Francesco Molinari MC 52 MC 5 20 33 50 MC
Bryson DeChambeau MC 46 34 29 38 21
Sergio Garcia 23 MC MC MC 1 34 17 MC 8
Cameron Champ 10 26 19
Charl Schwartzel 10 26 25 MC MC 3 MC 38 MC 25
Bubba Watson 39 26 57 12 5 MC 37 38 1 50
Zach Johnson MC MC 51 58 36 MC MC 9 MC 35
Phil Mickelson 21 55 18 36 22 MC 2 MC 54
Harrison Crowe
Tiger Woods 47 38 1 32 17 4
Sam Bennett
Aldrich Potgieter
Jose Maria Olazabal MC 50 MC MC MC MC MC 34 50
Bernhard Langer MC MC 29 62 38 MC 24 MC 8 25
Vijay Singh MC MC Ret MC 49 MC MC 54 37 38
Mike Weir MC MC 51 MC MC MC MC MC 44 MC
Fred Couples MC MC MC MC 38 18 MC 20 13
Sandy Lyle MC MC MC MC MC MC MC MC 44 54
Larry Mize MC MC MC MC MC 52 52 MC 51 MC
Ben Carr
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira
Matthew McClean
GordonSargent

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