By the numbers: Key stats from Round 2 at Masters

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 8, 2017, 12:20 am

The leaderboard is packed with plenty of big names at the Masters. Here are the key stats from Round 2 at Augusta provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.

Sergio Garcia

• 71-68 (4 under); second career 36-hole lead in major (2007 Open, finished second)

• Eighth time inside top 3 after second round in major championship

• Played first 21 holes this week without bogey

• Longest streak to open a major since 1999 PGA (31, finished second)

• 22 top-10s in majors; second-most all-time without a victory

• Worst third round scoring average in Masters last 30 years (minimum 10 rounds)

• Combined score of 38 over par in third round of Masters in career

Rickie Fowler

• 73-67 (4 under); ties lowest career round in Masters

• Best score in a major since 66 in second round of 2015 Open

• First lead after any round in a major (100th career round played)

• MC last year; last to win year after missed cut was Tiger Woods in 1997

• Shot 80-73 last year to miss cut (9 over)

• 16 of last 22 PGA Tour rounds overall have been under par

Thomas Pieters

• 72-68 (4 under); 3 under on holes 11-18 today (was 5 over in first round)

• Friday was 10th career major championship round

• First career 36-hole lead in professional event in United States

• First player to hold 36-hole lead in debut since 2007 (Brett Wetterich)

• Making debut; last Masters rookie to win was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979

• One bogey in second round (bogey or worse on four of last eight holes Thursday)

Charley Hoffman

• 65-75; played holes 6-11 in 5 over (par, five bogeys)

• Hit 10/18 GIR today (four fewer than in first round)

• 1 over par on par 3s in second round (birdied all four par 3s Thursday)

• Thursday was fifth round of career beating field by 7.5+ shots

• Combined 10 over in following round in each of those instances

• First 36-hole lead in major championship career

Fred Couples

• 73-70 (2 under); six birdies in second round (two in first round)

• Sixth time inside top 10 after 36 holes of Masters since 2010

• Most such instances inside top 10 of any player in span

• 29th made cut in Masters; one behind Gary Player for second-most all-time

• 10 under in rounds 1-2 of Masters since 2010 (6 over in rounds 3-4)

Justin Rose

• 71-72 (1 under); tied for sixth entering third round

• Par or better in 10 of his last 13 rounds in Masters

• 96 birdies/eagles in Masters since 2012 (most of any player in span)

Phil Mickelson

• 71-73 (Even); bogey on three of last five holes to finish round

• Fourth time in last 10 years inside top 10 entering third round of Masters

• 82nd worldwide start since last win (2013 Open)

• Would be oldest Masters champion all-time with win this week

Jordan Spieth

• 69 in second round; played last 11 holes of round in 4 under

• Snaps streak of four straight rounds over par in Masters

• Inside top 10 entering third round in all four Masters starts

• 12th or better following 13 of 14 career Masters rounds

• Was four or more shots back thru 36 in two of nine career PGA Tour wins

Rory McIlroy

• 72-73 (1 over); seven birdies and eight bogeys through two rounds this week

• Was at/within two of lead through 36 holes in all four major wins

• Hit 19/36 (52.8 percent) GIR through two rounds this week

• First time since 2010 did not break par in either of first two rounds

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry