There was so much to admire in Tiger's first tournament round in 17 months, not least his best three shots of the day, which were right out of the top drawer. He scored 194 for Shot Quality for the tee shot he stiffed at 6, and 191 for his long putt on 16. The pitch to save par on 7 (169 for Shot Quality) was classic Tiger, even if his wedge play was understandably not as sharp as it can be.
Shot Quality is the foundation for Clippd’s array of new performance metrics. Using the large volumes of data from our data partners, we have developed technology that takes into account the many factors that impact the difficulty of each golf shot. Shot Quality is represented as a number between 0 and 200, with 100 being the quality expected of a shot by a typical PGA Tour player and 200 representing “perfection”, such as a hole-in-one or a hole out from the fairway.
His worst three shots of the day (above) included the pitch that came up short on 8. The shot seemed to lead to a minor dip in Tiger's Shot Quality Tracker, which is interesting given it was played immediately after the toughest climb at Augusta National.
“An APP Shot Quality score of 114 is a more accurate reflection of the calibre of his iron play than the nine greens he hit in regulation”
His two other lowest scorers for Shot Quality were the drives on 7 and 18. The pulled drive on 14 scored a lowly 68 and led to a bogey. Overall, his OTT performance (below) was a little below average, although astonishing might be a more appropriate way to describe it given it was not so long ago that doubts existed about whether his shattered right leg could be saved.
Tiger's APP performance (below) included a number of imperious iron shots, including a beauty from 213 yards on 5, which scored 169 for Shot Quality. Only an outrageous lip-out there prevented him from converting it into a birdie. Another vintage iron shot on 13 scored 153 for Shot Quality and confirmed what Tiger told us: there is still magic in those hands. An APP Shot Quality score of 114 (below) is a more accurate reflection of the calibre of his iron play than the nine greens he hit in regulation.
Missing so many greens meant that Tiger had to rely on his around the green play (below) more than he would have probably liked. There were a few loose ones – three of his six pitch shots finished outside the 6ft conversion zone – but let's also not forget that Augusta National is probably the hardest course they play for chipping it close.
Tiger had 27 putts on day one, including nine one-putts. His par-saving 10-footers on 1 and 9 were important for maintaining momentum, while the long uphill putt he drained on 16 produced surely the loudest cheers of the day. Ninety-two feet of holed putts was well above average and speaks volumes for both Tiger's stroke and his encyclopaedic knowledge of Augusta's greens.
Whatever Tiger does over the rest of the tournament, his comeback was a performance to savour, albeit hardly a surprising one given who he is.
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