The Masters: First round stats analysis ahead of the 2019 Augusta National test

Rory McIlroy at The Masters
Can Rory McIlroy make a strong start at Augusta National and end his first round major misery?

The last 13 winners of the Masters have all made strong starts to the tournament. Check out these revealing stats compiled by Andy Swales ...

"Between 2011 and 2014 he (McIlroy) fired six opening major rounds of 67 or better, and went on to win four of these. Yet, for the most recent four-year spell, his best first round score has been 69."

It's always helpful to make a flying start in a golf tournament and it's particularly important to enjoy a strong opening round at Augusta.

Such a statement is borne out by the data which shows that the last 13 winners of the Masters have all been inside the top 10 at the conclusion of the first round.

And not since Tiger Woods triumphed in 2005, has any champion posted an opening round higher than 71.

There's a well-worn golfing saying which goes: 'You can't win a tournament on day one but you can certainly lose it' and it's a remark that seems to sum up the Masters more than any other event in top level professional golf.

Since the turn of the millennium, the average first round position for champions at Augusta National is an extremely low 7.53.

Average First Round Positions For Major Winners Since January 2000:
7.53: Masters
10.00: US Open
10.21: The Open
16.16: PGA Ch`ship

Click Link Below To Check First Round Scores And Positons For Masters Champions Since 2005

MASTERS CHAMPIONS THRU 18 HOLES (2006-18)

Rory Needs To Improve First Round Form In Majors

One player who has suffered recently from mediocre opening rounds in major championships is Rory McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman hasn't won one of the big four titles since August 2014 and a quick review of his performances since then seems to suggest he has paid the price for making relatively slow starts to tournaments.

During the four-year period between 2011 and 2014, when Rory won four times in the slams, no one in world golf began the majors better than him.

His first round average for these 16 championships was exactly 70, some 0.31 of a stroke better than the next best player Adam Scott.

Compare this to 2015-18, when he posted quite a few top-10s but no victories.

Over the last four years, McIlroy has a first round major average that is more than 2.25 strokes higher than that of Jordan Spieth who posted the best figures for day one.

For those who played more than eight opening rounds in majors from 2015 thru 2018, McIlroy was only tied-40th in this list.

Between 2011 and 2014 he fired six opening major rounds of 67 or better, and went on to win four of these.

Yet, for the most recent four-year spell, his best first round score has been 69.

In the four majors he won, McIlroy twice led after 18 holes, and was just one shot off the pace in the other two.

These statistics seem to suggest if he can make a fast start at Augusta, he will certainly fancy his chances over the remaining 54 holes.

That said, McIlroy's first day performances at Augusta between 2015 and 2018 have generally been better than in the other three majors.

And in 10 career visits to the Masters, his first round average is a commendable is 70.7.

With last month's victory at TPC Sawgrass still fresh in the memory, can McIlroy end his four-and-a-half year drought by winning a first Green Jacket and completing a Grand Slam of major titles?

BEST FIRST ROUND AVERAGES IN MAJORS (2015-18)
Average (Rounds)
70.06: Jordan Spieth (16)
70.33: Dustin Johnson (15)
70.63: Justin Rose (16)
70.82: Tony Finau (11)
70.88: Matt Kuchar (16)
70.92: Lee Westwood (13)
71.00: Russell Henley (14)
71.13: Zach Johnson (16)
71.14: Brooks Koepka (14)
71.19: Paul Casey (16)

Click Link Below To View Full List Of First Round Averages In Majors (2015-18)

FIRST ROUND AVERAGES FOR MAJORS (2015-2018)

BEST FIRST ROUND AVERAGES IN MAJORS (2011-14)
Average (Rounds)
70.00: Rory McIlroy (16)
70.31: Adam Scott (16)
70.71: Steve Stricker (14)
70.92: Tiger Woods (12)
71.00: Matt Kuchar (15)
71.00: Charl Schwartzel (16)

BEST DOZEN FIRST ROUND AVERAGES AT AUGUSTA (2009-18)
Average (Min. No of Rounds = 5)
68.40: Jordan Spieth (5)
69.20: Charley Hoffman (5)
70.33: Lee Westwood (9)
70.70: Rory McIlroy (10)
70.78: Matt Kuchar (9)
70.83: Marc Leishman (6)
71.00: Tiger Woods (7)
71.17: KJ Choi (6)
71.40: Phil Mickelson (10)
71.40: Russell Henley (5)
71.50: Yong Eun Yang (6)
71.56: Justin Rose (9)

Check The Latest Betfair Odds for Augusta National 2019

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

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