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2012: The year of the dreaded others

August 31st, 2012 · No Comments

When pros play, they seldom make more than a bogey, and those dreaded “others” – triple bogeys or worse, are as rare as the proverbial dodo bird.

At the Masters there was 1 other in every 373 holes among those who played 72 holes,. At the U.S. Open, it was 1 in every 576 holes. And at the British Open, there was 1 “other” in every 373 holes. I am not including the PGA because “others” were not relevant at the top of the leaderboard.

Now, you would expect that these “others” would come from amateurs, club pros, and players like John Daly who are known for high numbers. Case in point: at the British Open 5 of the 16 others came from players who finished 77t, 81t, and 81t – and two of those were by Daly!

One of the most famous “other” of 2012 was by Tiger Woods, who tripled bogeyed the sixth hole in the final round of the British Open to all but kill his chances of winning. He eventfully finished 3t, four back of Ernie Els. His bogeys on 13, 14, and 15 possibly resulted from pressing too hard, something he wouldn’t have had to do if he’d not made that “other.” While it is tough to speculate on the outcome, if Woods had parred, or even bogeyed the sixth hole, he might have won.

At the Masters, only two “others” were scored by those in the top 31 – that is two in 2,232 holes. Both were by Phil Mickelson, who finished 3t, two shots back of Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen. Mickelson’s first came on the tenth hole of the first round. His far more famous triple was scored on the par 3 fourth hole of the final round where his ball ricocheted off the grandstand into the trees. The math: six over on two holes to lose by two. I wonder if Mickelson’s poor play the rest of the season was a result of these two Masters losing triples – especially considering that he played so poorly in the next six majors after tossing away the 2006 U.S. Open.

Our last significant triple was scored by Ernie Els on the long par 5 sixteenth in the first round of the U.S. Open. Els would go in to finish ninth, three shots back of Webb Simpson. If not for his dreaded “other,” perhaps Els would have won both Opens! It is worth noting that, despite the difficult set up at Olympic, Els’ “other” was the only one scored by those in the top 28.

Woods (14), Mickelson (4), and Els (4) are the three leading major winners of the Woods Era, and now they share something else in common – in 2012 they all finished near the top in a major despite scoring a “dreaded other,” one that could have cost each of them a major championship.

Tags: The Majors


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