As Tiger Woods plays the par-5 holes, so goes his success.
This isn’t a new notion. For the first 14 years of his PGA Tour career, Woods ranked first in par-5 birdie or better percentage on 11 occasions and never finished lower than fifth. When he struggled in 2010 and 2011, he dropped to 32nd and 33rd in this category, respectively, before moving up to a more respectable 12th during his three-win season of a year ago.
And now? It appears Woods is back to the good ol’ days on the longest holes.
He currently leads the PGA Tour with a par-5 birdie or better percentage of 61.36, which is up 13 percent over a year ago and ranks just a fraction below his all-time best of 61.89 percent in 2000.
As if that statistic alone doesn’t illustrate his effectiveness on the par-5s, check out the differential between his wins and losses.
Including Woods’ missed cut at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, he has competed in seven stroke-play events so far. In his four wins, he is a combined 47 under on the par-5 holes – or 11.75 under per win. In his three losses, he is a combined 11 under on the par-5 holes – or 3.67 under per loss. Those latter numbers include a triple-bogey on the 15th hole at Augusta National after a two-shot penalty for an illegal drop, and a start at PGA National, which only includes two par-5 holes as opposed to the four on every other course he’s played this season.