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10 stats you need heading into the 3rd round at the Masters

How often does Bubba Watson convert a 36-hole lead into a win? Which nine is playing harder? Those are just two of the stats you need to know.

Jamie Squire

Golf is a game of statistics. From scoring stats to driving stats to putting stats, there are numbers for everything a player does on the course. Some of those stats can be very telling, others, not so much. The same can be said about historical stats at Augusta National. The course has changed so much over the years that scoring stats may not be much of an indicator for modern-day success. Some trends, however, have held true during the 77-year history.

With the remaining field of 51 set for the third round of the 2014 Masters, here are 10 stats that could be a factor in who dons the green jacket on Sunday.


Of the previous 77 Masters winners, 76 began the third round within six strokes of the lead. With Bubba Watson at 7-under, the contenders for the green jacket are likely 1-under or better. Jack Burke in 1956 is the only player to begin the third round more than six strokes behind and still win.


A lot of Watson's early success can be attributed to his ability to hit greens. He hit 28-of-36 greens during the first two rounds, tied for the second best GIR total. In his five professional wins, Watson finished T-4 or better in GIR four times.


Sixteen players have won multiple green jackets, but only seven have won twice in a three-year span. Both Watson and Adam Scott have the opportunity to join that list.


That is Fred Couples' third-round scoring average in the his last three Masters. That average is more than five strokes worse than his 69.5 scoring average during the first two rounds since 2011. He'll need better than a 75 to stay in contention this year.


Although a lot of big names failed to miss the cut, 17 major championship winners remain in the field. Whoever wins is still going to have to hold off a talented and experienced group.


Watson's 36-hole lead is the ninth time he's held the lead heading into the weekend during his pro career. He won just one of the previous eight times.


That will be the score to watch on Saturday as just eight players have shot a 74 or worse in the third round of the Masters and gone on to win the tournament.


Augusta National played more than two strokes over par during the first two rounds with the back nine playing just less than one and a half strokes over par. The 37.4 average on the back nine is largely because of the start of Amen Corner. No. 11 has been the hardest hole this week with No. 12 the second-hardest.


Watson opened the tournament with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. In the last 20 years, only five players have carded a round in the 60s in each of the first three rounds. Surprisingly, only two of the five went on to win the tournament.


The 2014 Masters field included 49 of the top 50 players in the world, but the average world golf ranking of the players currently ranked in the top 10 is 68.1. Scott is the only top 10 player near the top of the leaderboard. Fred Couples is the lowest-ranked player under par, checking in at No 521.