Here’s proof that golf stats don’t lie and that the V1 Game app doesn’t miss a shot or any of the accompanying Strokes Gained analysis. The app’s co-developer, Dallas Webster, takes deep dives into the performances of professional golf’s weekly winners in his revealing and insightful “Ways to Win” column.
This week, Webster takes a look the data to suggest that even though everyone says the season’s first major doesn’t begin until the second nine at Augusta National Golf Club, this one might have been as good as over by Saturday evening. He also gives you the numbers that pinpoint just how much of an elite ball striker Hideki Matsuyama had to be to secure his first major victory.
Taking a look at the data the V1 Game app, available to all golfers, reveals on the 2021 Masters and how it can help amateurs use their own shot data to inform and accelerate their on-course improvement.
Using V1 Game to analyze Matsuyama’s Strokes Gained performance shows he gained a staggering 6.7 strokes on the average PGA Tour field in Saturday’s third round – 4.2 of those were from his iron game.
- Matsuyama made 96 feet of putts Saturday (the PGA Tour average is around 70 feet), including birdie putts of five, 19, 10, four and 10 feet. He also made a six-foot eagle putt on 15. You don’t have to be an elite putter when you have opportunities that close.
- For the week, Matsuyama’s putting was less than stellar and atypical of a major winner taking the path to the title. Matsuyama lost strokes to the field in all but four Putting Distance buckets. He gave significant strokes back to the field from 46 ft, 11-15 ft, and 31-50 ft. Matsuyama had four 3-putts on the week, including one on Saturday and one Sunday.
- As almost all Masters champions do, Matsuyama took advantage of the par fives, playing them in 11-under for the week.
- WithV1 Game’s Hole History, Webster points out that Matsuyama played the 13th the best at four-under, and the 8th the next-best at three-under. He made three eagles on the par fives and averaged 4.3 strokes on all the par fives combined. That even includes his near-disaster on 15 on Sunday. Matsuyama was consistently in play off the tee and able to challenge the greens with his approach shots throughout the week.
The Strokes Gained Heatmap from V1 Game for his final round scorecard shows exactly which part of his game became unsteady. Matsuyama overshot the 15th green into the lake and made bogey (Approach). Then three-putted the 16th green and missed a short putt on 18 (putting), knowing bogey was enough to win the golf tournament.
Photo Credit: V1 Game