MASTERS 2017: The best stats from day two


As four players are tied at the top following the second round at the Masters, we've taken a closer look at the best stats as just a handful of players head in to the weekend under par.

The most noticable stat to consider was that the course played marginally easier than on day one, which was hardly surprising given the wind was not as strong or as persistent.

The 93 players in the field averaged 74.742 compared to Friday's 74.978 but while the 67 of Rickie Fowler, the 68 of Thomas Pieters and the 69 by Sergio Garcia were impressive efforts, they did not match Charley Hoffman's opening 65 in exacting conditions. There are still only 9 players under par and three at even (previous Masters champions Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth).

The 1st hole again played the hardest, so what is making it so tough? Everything. It's true that third of the field missed the fairway with their drives, but, equally, less found the 7th and 9th (almost half missed those). In addition, just one in three players in the field found the 1st in regulation on day two. Yet plenty of other holes played as tough tee to greenside; so the key difference is in the exacting nature of the recoveries from around the 1st. And especially the fact it required 1.903 putts from the field - the highest of any green on the course.

The par-5 2nd was again the easiest - averaging 4.613, which is less than the par-4 1st - and it is easy to imagine the players looking at a 5, 4 start, the reverse of what the scorecard suggests should happen, as being routine. 

Talking of par 5s, the 15th was still a tougher proposition than usual, averaging 4.978 to the field. However we did see the first eagle of the tournament there, Branden Grace holing out from 95 yards for a three. With a more central pin position and it not playing into as strong a breeze, there were also seven more birdies than on day one and with the weather set fair for the weekend, watch for it to give up lots more shots to the field.

We are told how you play the par 5s is crucial at Augusta and those doing so this year are largely in contention. A group of players are on 4.38 for the three-shotters: Rose, Rahm Mickelson, Kjeldesen, Koepka, Grace, Holmes and co-leader Rickie Fowler. JB Holmes has made the most par-5 birdies, making six from the eight three-shotters, with a group of big-hitters behind him on five including Koepka and Rahm. But wedge maestro Kjeldsen is also in there on five, showing finesse can be just as important.

Not many are talking about Ryan Moore but he has been the most consistent player in the field over the first two challenging days; the American, one one under, has had 24 bogey-free holes, which is three better than day one's Mr Consistent Sergio Garcia with Martin Kaymer on 18.

Rory McIlroy is in the mix without producing his best ball striking. He again hit just five of 14 fairways but used driver more off the tee as he lifted his average driving distance to 282.3, up 16 yards from Thursday. He didn't putt as well though, averaging close to two putts per green (1.9) - a big difference compared to the 1.5 of Rickie Fowler.

It seems like Fowler has got the measure of Augusta's greens. He had just 23 putts in his second round, one fewer than Will McGirt. He was also top of the Strokes Gained category, and led putts in GIR with that 1.5 average.

Thomas Pieters built his second-round 68 around his superlative driving. The Belgian averaged 302 yards off the tee and hit nine of 14 fairways. He leads the cumulative putts in GIR stat over the first two days, too.

It was largely the same story for Sergio Garcia, who hit 13 of 14 fairways (as did Daniel Berger) and was fifth in driving distance with a 295 average. He putted better than yesterday too, with 1.58 per green in regulation compared to Thursday's clunky 1.92. He's also the ONLY player to card two under-par rounds so far.

Finally, American Stewart Hagestad won four of the final five holes of the 2016 Mid-Amateur to get to Augusta and the career amateur has excelled on his Masters debut, tying for 19th after two rounds. He's only hit 11 fairways in two rounds yet has scrambled brilliantly to claim a late start time on Saturday. The best stat of all? He's the first U.S Mid-Amateur invitee to make the cut since the invitation began in 1889

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