By Alex Myers
Tiger Woods didn’t win or even finish in the top 10 at the Honda Classic, but he managed to produce arguably the most (over)analysed 12th-place finish in golf history. He also reached a total of 10 rounds played in 2018, which for the moment qualifies him to be ranked among the PGA Tour’s leaders in various statistical categories. In other words, here comes yet another angle to examine Woods’ latest comeback so far.
Granted, it’s a small sample size, but there’s still plenty to be gleaned from the numbers Tiger has put up thus far. Let’s start with the bad stuff, which not surprisingly begins on the tee. Woods ranks 213th in driving accuracy (out of 216 players), hitting the fairway at just a 45-percent clip. That has no doubt played a large role in him ranking only 206th on tour in greens in regulation (more on his iron play later). However, those struggles are somewhat mitigated in the strokes gained: off-the-tee stat, where Woods checks in at No. 146 at -.147 (which means he loses .147 strokes to the field per round off the tee).
Woods’ distance, he ranks T-29th for the season and was second at the Honda Classic, has helped to mask that inaccuracy. But wild misses with the driver, especially on par 5s, have hurt his scoring opportunities. Woods ranks a dismal 208th in par-5 scoring, a stat he used to dominate, with a 4.87 average. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads that category at 4.33, meaning that if a course has four par 5s, he’s picking up two shots per round on Woods on just those holes. Woods’ inability to take advantage of these longer holes has kept him to making only 3.6 birdies per round, which ranks 97th, and he has yet to make an eagle.