Highlights Tours

Scottie Scheffler On Winning Masters And Becoming Father: “It’s a very special time”

Scottie Scheffler has won The Masters for the second time. This time Jon Rahm slipped the Green Jacket over him. Scheffler had only handed it to the Spaniard a year ago. Afterwards, the 27-year-old spoke to TV commentator Jim Nantz in the Butler Cabin at Augusta National. Scheffler spoke about how he handled the final day, what message he had for his wife and why he almost cried.

The Masters Champion Scottie Scheffler Talks His Success

Jim Nantz: What a pleasure to be here with Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley, the 88th edition. Fred, another spectacular memory made here today.

Chairman Fred Ridley: This has been a fantastic tournament. Our patrons here at Augusta National and around the world were treated to quite a Sunday Masters finish.

Jim Nantz: It was just amazing to see how things broke open on the second side for our champion. We’re pleased to have with us last year’s winner Jon Rahm to present the jacket and Scottie Scheffler along with the low amateur Neal Shipley.
Now, Fred, we have our champion for the second time in three years. Going to be kind of a neat exchange. We’ve seen these two go back and forth. What a performance by Scottie Scheffler.

Chairman Fred Ridley: It was unbelievable. Scottie, welcome back to Butler Cabin. Your play this week was simply spectacular. It seemed like every time someone made a run at you, you made another birdie. How did you stay so calm with all of that?

Scottie Scheffler: Yeah, I did my best. I did my best to stay calm out there. I tried to stay patient on the course and was able to make some key shots and key putts today to keep my round going. Ludvig played great today. He made a good move at me there on the back nine and I was fortunate to hold him off towards the end.

Scottie Scheffler On Becoming A Father

Jim Nantz: Scottie, just a couple questions for you. First off, the shots into 9 and 14, I thought the one at 9 changed the whole direction of the final round. Tell us about that one and what it meant to you at that moment.

Scottie Scheffler: I hadn’t hit many good iron shots, which is a bit unusual for me. I had hit some good ones but they weren’t really ending up where they were supposed to. I had that bogey there on 7 and a nice birdie putt on 8, and going into No. 9 it was nice to get that feeling of hitting a really well-struck shot and then it set me up to have a really nice back nine.

Jim Nantz: Meredith. I don’t know how you did it. This has been something the two of you have been talking about, the timing of everything for months. She’s back home watching. Is there a message you’d like to pass along to her right now?

Scottie Scheffler: I’m coming home. I’ll be home as quick as I can. Yeah, I love you and I’m coming home. That’s all.

Jim Nantz: What a time in your life. How do you put this into words? You win the Masters. You’re about to be a father for the first time. It’s pretty sweet.

Scottie Scheffler: You’re about to make me cry here in Butler Cabin. It’s a very special time for both of us. I can’t put into words what it means to win this tournament again. I really can’t put into words what it’s going to be like to be a father for the first time. I’m looking forward to getting home and celebrating with Meredith. Its been a long week here without her, but I’m just looking forward to getting home.

Jim Nantz: Chairman, it’s time for the Green Jacket.

Chairman Fred Ridley: It is, Jim. Jon, we’ll never forget your victory last year when you won on the birthday of your fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros. We look forward to you competing and wearing the green jacket many more years here at Augusta. We’d be honored if you would now present the green jacket to Scottie. Congratulations, Scottie.

Scottie Scheffler: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Transcript by asapsports

Highlights Tours

The Masters 2024: Rory McIlroy Scores 73 on Final Day

Rory McIlroy finishes The Masters 2024 with a round of 73 (+1). The 34-year-old leaves Augusta with an overall score of four over par. He narrowly misses out on a place among the top 20. He still has to wait for his career Grand Slam. McIlroy also failed to win The Masters at his 16th attempt and thus all four major tournaments. He has already won the US Open, the PGA Championship and the Open Championship.

Rory McIlroy Quotes After The Masters Tournament 2024

Question: Rory, can you give us your reflections on today and your Masters week?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah. I mean, I don’t really know what to say. Just sort of felt like my game was okay and managed it pretty well, but obviously Friday was a really tough day, and losing five shots sort of put me in a pretty difficult position going into the weekend.

Then the conditions were pretty tough. The greens are crusty and firm and hard to get the ball super close and hard to make a ton of birdies. Once you get seven or eight back going into the weekend here, it’s hard to make up that ground.

Question: Can you sum up your disappointment?

Rory McIlroy: I guess it’s more the same of what I’ve shown this year. It’s not as if it’s been a down week in comparison to the way I’ve been playing. It’s just a matter of me trying to get my game in a bit better shape going towards the rest of the season.

Question: Do you feel like you can get that confidence and momentum back with three majors coming up in quick succession?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I need to take a little bit of time and reflect on this week and what I did well, what I didn’t do so well, and sort of try to make a plan for the next few months, especially from here going through obviously the end of July. As you say, major season, they’re going to come thick and fast here, so hopefully get myself in a bit better form for those last three.

Question: Will you scale back a little bit?

Rory McIlroy: No, the next two weeks I’m playing Hilton Head, I’m playing New Orleans. I’ll take a week off, playing Quail Hollow, play the PGA, take another week off, then play another four in a row. Loving golf at the moment. Loving it.

Question: Do you feel like you’re close?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, because all these disappointing weeks are 20ths, 25ths. They’re not terrible weeks by any stretch, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’m close in some ways, but then I feel quite far away in others. It’s a bit of a — once I get one thing, sort of put that to bed, then another thing pops up, and it’s just one of those at the minute.

Question: (On what’s missing in his game).

Rory McIlroy: Just a little bit of control, I think, with the ball-striking, especially in those sorts of winds. It really exposes any weaknesses that you may have. That Friday definitely exposed a few things. As the golf course changes here, you just have to be so precise, and I wasn’t quite precise enough this week.

Question: You’ve been on tears like Scottie is on. We talked about this at the API. What’s in his head right now?

Rory McIlroy: Nothing. Nothing. Not a lot of clutter. The game feels pretty easy when you’re in stretches like this. That’s the hard thing whenever you’re not quite in form. You are searching and you are thinking about it so much, but then when you are in form, you don’t think about it at all. So it’s trying to find that balance.

Question: We make a big deal about a first-timer hasn’t won here since 1979. When you look at Ludvig, does he strike you as a first-timer?

Rory McIlroy: No, I think he showed why at the Ryder Cup. I think every stage throughout his very, very young career, he’s shown that he belongs. Gets the win in Europe, plays the Ryder Cup, gets the win in the States, playing in his first Masters, contending on the back nine on Sunday. He’s sort of proven at every stage that he’s played at that he belongs.

Question: Michael Collins shared that at Bay Hill you had a bit of a longing for Bryson to be there, or at least you would see the value in Bryson being at Bay Hill. When you see what he does this week, a bit of an entertainment factor, does it reiterate the value of him and a few guys back into the pro golf world?

Rory McIlroy: Absolutely. The Masters stands alone in terms of every other golf tournament, but I think even in terms of the ratings the first two days on ESPN looked like they were up, which is a sign that when we’re all back together, then golf thrives. When we’re divided, it doesn’t. That’s just another example of why we should all try to put our heads together and get back together.

Question: When you talk about reassessing things, is there a way to measure when the time has come for that that’s almost analytical as opposed to emotional? How do you determine that?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, probably not the right time to be analytical at the moment, but I think as well if you’re really going to make wholesale changes it’s hard to play a lot of golf and make them at the same time. I don’t feel like I need to make wholesale changes. That’s why I’m playing a lot. But if the time comes that I need to make wholesale changes with my golf swing and really try to reassess, it could be a six-month to a year process. Not saying I wouldn’t play any tournaments in that time, but the focus would be on the sort of technical side of things and really not result driven at all. I don’t think I’m there yet, but there may come a time where I need to address that and really go back to the drawing board.

But I think right now it’s little tweaks here and there and managing my game. I really feel like I can sort of play my way into form here over these next few weeks.

Question: (On what he did to his caddie.)

Rory McIlroy: No, I was very apologetic. I didn’t mean to do it. The club got stuck, and I just — anyways, he’s resilient. He’ll be all right.
Transcript by asapsports

Highlights Tours

Tiger Woods After The Masters 2024: “It Was A Good Week”

Tiger Woods finishes The Masters 2024 in 60th place. The 48-year-old carded a round of 77 (+5) at Augusta National on Sunday. This brought his overall score down to 16 over par. That was certainly not the result the four-time winner of the tournament had in mind. But considering that Woods has not yet played a tournament over four rounds this year, his performance before the weekend is remarkable.

Tiger Woods Finishes 60th at The Masters 2024

On Saturday, however, the slump followed. The 82 deprived Woods of any chance of a top finish. He then improved his score once again on Sunday. His fellow player, amateur Neil Shipley, experienced a relatively relaxed Woods, who chatted with him as he walked down the fairways.

In an interview after the final round of The Masters, Woods spoke about the challenges of the week, why he needs to prepare better for the upcoming majors and why the Masters week was a good week despite everything.

Tiger Woods After The Masters 2024: “It was a good week”

Question: Tiger, it’s remarkable how you can be competitive for a couple of days without any reps. How can you turn two rounds into four moving forward?

Tiger Woods: Well, this is a golf course I knew going into it, so I’m going to do my homework going forward at Pinehurst, Valhalla and Troon, but that’s kind of the game plan. It’s always nice coming back here because I know the golf course, I know how to play it. I can kind of simulate shots. Granted, it’s never quite the same as getting out here and doing it. Same thing, I heard there’s some changes at the next couple sites. So got to get up there early and check them out.

Question: What will be the challenge to get ready for Valhalla, if that’s the next one?

Tiger Woods: Well, just keep lifting, keep the motor going, keep the body moving, keep getting stronger, keep progressing. Hopefully the practice sessions will keep getting longer.

Question: Tiger, no one’s asked you about the meeting with Yasir in the Bahamas last month. What were your impressions of him? Do you feel like you’re any closer to a deal with him?

Tiger Woods: I don’t know if we’re closer, but certainly we’re headed in the right direction. That was a very positive meeting, and I think both sides came away from the meeting feeling positive.

Question: What’s the one thing this weekend that was the biggest challenge?

Tiger Woods: Well, I think that just the wind and what it was doing out here to the golf shots and the balls and putting, how difficult the course was playing. It doesn’t take much to get out of position here. Unfortunately, I got out of position a lot yesterday and a couple times today.

Question: Tiger, in terms of the achievement, not the outcome of the tournament, but the achievement for you personally, how do you rate this performance this week?

Tiger Woods: It was a good week. It was a good week all around. I think that coming in here, not having played a full tournament in a very long time, it was a good fight on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately yesterday it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to. Today the round that I — the way that Tom is playing I thought I had in my system. Unfortunately, I didn’t produce it.
Transcript by asapsports

Highlights Tours

The Masters Tournament 2024: Scottie Scheffler’s Tee Time on Moving Day

After the first two rounds of The Masters Tournament 2024, Scottie Scheffler shares the lead at Augusta with Max Homa and Bryson DeChambeau. On Moving Day, the 2022 Masters champion will attempt to take the sole lead. The third round will be opened by Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama at 09:35 a.m. local time.

The Masters Tournament 2024: Scottie Scheffler’s Tee Time on Moving Day

Scottie Scheffler will start his third round at The Masters Tournament 2024 at 02:35 p.m. in a Flight with the Dane Nicolai Hojgaard.

Tee Times The Masters 2024 Scottie Scheffler
Tee Time Saturday 14:35

Full Tee Times The Masters Tournament 2024 Round 3

Take a look at the complete Tee Times on Moving Day in Augusta.

Tee Tee Time Player 1 Player 2
1 9:35 Rickie Fowler Hideki Matsuyama
1 9:45 Thorbjørn Olesen Russell Henley
1 9:55 José María Olazábal Luke List
1 10:05 Tom Kim Jake Knapp
1 10:15 Si Woo Kim Adam Scott
1 10:25 Jon Rahm Grayson Murray
1 10:35 Chris Kirk Tony Finau
1 10:45 J. T. Poston Keegan Bradley
1 10:55 Rory McIlroy Camilo Villegas
1 11:05 Joaquín Niemann Min Woo Lee
1 11:25 Sahith Theegala Phil Mickelson
1 11:35 Adam Hadwin Jason Day
1 11:45 Denny McCarthy Vijay Singh
1 11:55 Erik van Rooyen Will Zalatoris
1 12:05 Akshay Bhatia Shane Lowry
1 12:15 Patrick Cantlay Neal Shipley (A)
1 12:25 Corey Conners Harris English
1 12:35 Brooks Koepka Taylor Moore
1 12:45 Tiger Woods Tyrrell Hatton
1 12:55 Xander Schauffele Eric Cole
1 13:15 Sepp Straka Matt Fitzpatrick
1 13:25 Kurt Kitayama Lucas Glover
1 13:35 Adam Schenk Patrick Reed
1 13:45 Byeong Hun An Cameron Smith
1 13:55 Danny Willett Ryan Fox
1 14:05 Cameron Young Tommy Fleetwood
1 14:15 Ludvig Åberg Matthieu Pavon
1 14:25 Cameron Davis Collin Morikawa
1 14:35 Scottie Scheffler Nicolai Højgaard
1 14:45 Max Homa Bryson DeChambeau
Highlights Tours

The Masters Tournament 2024 Tee Times: When Will Jon Rahm Tee Off?

Jon Rahm got off to a weak start to The Masters Tournament 2024 on the first two days; the third round saw him improve his scores slightly as he played his best round at the tournament to date. Still, the defending champion urgently needs to improve on Moving Day to put pressure on the leading group. A look at the tee times of the Spaniard and his competitors.

The Masters Tournament 2024: Tee Times Jon Rahm on Moving Day

Jon Rahm starts his final round alongside US-American Tony Finau at 11:45 a.m. local time.

Tee Times The Masters 2024 Jon Rahm
Tee Time Round 4 (Sunday) 11:45 AM (local time)

The Masters Tournament 2024: Full Tee Times Round 4

Take a look at the complete Tee Times on the final round in Augusta.

Tee Times The Masters Tournament 2024 Round 4

Tee Tee Time Player 1 Player 2
1 9:15 Adam Hadwin Vijay Singh
1 9:25 Jake Knapp Grayson Murray
1 9:35 Neal Shipley (A) Tiger Woods
1 9:45 Tom Kim Denny McCarthy
1 9:55 Kurt Kitayama Thorbjørn Olesen
1 10:05 Erik van Rooyen Eric Cole
1 10:15 José María Olazábal Camilo Villegas
1 10:25 Russell Henley Jason Day
1 10:35 Keegan Bradley Min Woo Lee
1 10:45 Si Woo Kim J. T. Poston
1 11:05 Corey Conners Brooks Koepka
1 11:15 Phil Mickelson Shane Lowry
1 11:25 Taylor Moore Sahith Theegala
1 11:35 Akshay Bhatia Harris English
1 11:45 Jon Rahm Tony Finau
1 11:55 Hideki Matsuyama Luke List
1 12:05 Ryan Fox Rickie Fowler
1 12:25 Danny Willett Adam Scott
1 12:35 Will Zalatoris Tyrrell Hatton
1 12:45 Rory McIlroy Joaquín Niemann
1 12:55 Matthieu Pavon Sepp Straka
1 13:05 Matt Fitzpatrick Patrick Reed
1 13:15 Adam Schenk Chris Kirk
1 13:25 Patrick Cantlay Lucas Glover
1 13:45 Cameron Young Tommy Fleetwood
1 13:55 Byeong Hun An Cameron Smith
1 14:05 Cameron Davis Nicolai Højgaard
1 14:15 Bryson DeChambeau Xander Schauffele
1 14:25 Max Homa Ludvig Åberg
1 14:35 Scottie Scheffler Collin Morikawa

Patron Portraits: Past and Present. #themasters

— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 9, 2024

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The Masters Tournament 2024 Tee Times: Rory McIlroy’s Final Round

Rory McIlroy improved his score in the third round of The Masters with a round under par. But to win the Green Jacket, he would have to make up ten strokes on Scottie Scheffler. Can he accomplish that? He goes into the final round of The Masters 2024 together with Joaquin Niemann. Like McIlroy, the Argentinian is on two three over par.

The Masters Tournament 2024 Tee Times: Rory McIlroy alongside Joaquin Niemann

Rory McIlroy will start his final round at The Masters Tournament 2024 alongside Joaquin Niemann at 12:45 PM.

The Masters Tournament 2024: Tee Time Rory McIlroy Round 4

Tee Times The Masters 2024 Rory McIlroy
Tee Time Round 4 (Sunday) 12:45 PM (local time)

Patron Portraits: Past and Present. #themasters

— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 9, 2024

Tee Times The Masters Tournament 2024 Round 4

Tee Tee Time Player 1 Player 2
1 9:15 Adam Hadwin Vijay Singh
1 9:25 Jake Knapp Grayson Murray
1 9:35 Neal Shipley (A) Tiger Woods
1 9:45 Tom Kim Denny McCarthy
1 9:55 Kurt Kitayama Thorbjørn Olesen
1 10:05 Erik van Rooyen Eric Cole
1 10:15 José María Olazábal Camilo Villegas
1 10:25 Russell Henley Jason Day
1 10:35 Keegan Bradley Min Woo Lee
1 10:45 Si Woo Kim J. T. Poston
1 11:05 Corey Conners Brooks Koepka
1 11:15 Phil Mickelson Shane Lowry
1 11:25 Taylor Moore Sahith Theegala
1 11:35 Akshay Bhatia Harris English
1 11:45 Jon Rahm Tony Finau
1 11:55 Hideki Matsuyama Luke List
1 12:05 Ryan Fox Rickie Fowler
1 12:25 Danny Willett Adam Scott
1 12:35 Will Zalatoris Tyrrell Hatton
1 12:45 Rory McIlroy Joaquín Niemann
1 12:55 Matthieu Pavon Sepp Straka
1 13:05 Matt Fitzpatrick Patrick Reed
1 13:15 Adam Schenk Chris Kirk
1 13:25 Patrick Cantlay Lucas Glover
1 13:45 Cameron Young Tommy Fleetwood
1 13:55 Byeong Hun An Cameron Smith
1 14:05 Cameron Davis Nicolai Højgaard
1 14:15 Bryson DeChambeau Xander Schauffele
1 14:25 Max Homa Ludvig Åberg
1 14:35 Scottie Scheffler Collin Morikawa
Highlights Tours

The Masters 2024: Rory McIlroy Scores Under Par in Round 3

Rory McIlroy improved his score at The Masters 2024 to +3 with a round of 71. As in the first round, the 34-year-old remained one under par at Augusta National. After a 77 on Friday, however, the four-time major winner had already fallen a long way back. Read the interview to find out whether he is happy with his score and whether the golf course was easier to play today because there was less wind.

The Masters 2024: Rory McIlroy on His Score in round 3

Question: Are you happier today?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, obviously conditions were a little easier than yesterday. Still tricky, though. Greens are firm. Some of the hole locations are really tough, especially some of the downwind holes with the pins at the front. Hard to get the ball close, and then you sort of just have to take your chances from 20, 25 feet. But definitely hit the ball better today, gave myself a lot of looks. Missed a few, but shooting something under par was a decent effort.

Question: Did you feel like you got a little bit more momentum going today?

Rory McIlroy: A little bit. It was hard to get any momentum yesterday just because of the conditions. So, yeah, it was nice to see — I think I made three birdies today compared to zero yesterday. So nice to see some red numbers on the card. Yeah, it was a little better.

Question: You crushed that ball off of 9. I don’t know if you’ve seen the video, but it was actually rolling around the people walking across the crossway.

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I haven’t seen it yet. I hit it way further left than I thought I was going to. I thought I was going to catch these trees over here. It was so far downwind that I covered there. Yeah, I certainly didn’t expect the ball to be down there whenever I — I was looking somewhere in the left pinestraw. Just sort of shows the strength of the wind.

Question: We saw you back on the range still after your round last night. Is that still working on the technical things you’re working on?

Rory McIlroy: I just needed to get some rhythm. It was so start/stop yesterday, and I didn’t have any fluid in my golf swing because of that. I just wanted to got and try and find some rhythm last night.

I only hit 10, 15 minutes, but definitely felt better as well. As the wind is coming down you start getting out of sync. It was better to make some normal golf swings and hit some normal shots. Definitely hit it a bit better today. No, I mean, all I can do is come here and try my best. That’s what I do every time I show up. Some years it’s better than others. I’ve just got to keep showing up and try to do the right thing.

Question: When you played with Scottie on those first two days and he’s so unmoved by everything, so unflappable, is that difficult?

Rory McIlroy: No, not really. If anything, it’s good because, to have someone beside you that has a great attitude and sort of does everything the right way, it’s nice to try to feed off that.

Question: What you’re working on with your irons, you’ve seen progress this week to be ready as the summer rolls on with all these other big events coming up?

Rory McIlroy: I think so. I made good progress last week in San Antonio, my strokes gained numbers and approach were good. I thought my — I would say my strokes gained approach numbers today were probably pretty good. So it’s getting better. It’s definitely better than what it was through the Florida swing.

Question: You said you were going to try to be patient. How much has this been a test of patience this week?

Rory McIlroy: A lot. But it’s this tournament and this golf course and especially these conditions. That’s all you can be. You can’t really do anything else. You’ve got to try to have as much acceptance as possible and try to keep hitting good shots and move on.

Question: I think it’s currently 2-under on the par-5s this week. How much frustration you haven’t been able to take advantage of those a bit more?

Rory McIlroy: That’s okay. The par-5s have been playing difficult and into the wind. It’s been hard to go for the greens in two because of the conditions. Yeah, it’s probably not quite what I would have wanted, but it’s probably not too far off what everyone else is playing them in because they have been sort of difficult.

Question: What would a 15 handicap do around here?

Rory McIlroy: It’s hard because a 15 handicap usually doesn’t get the ball in the air far enough for the wind to affect it, but they would have struggled.

Question: What are you hoping to finish off with tomorrow?

Rory McIlroy: Just go out and finish on a positive note. Shoot a good round of golf and move on to Hilton Head next week in a good frame of mind, I guess.

Question: Thoughts on Hilton Head? What went into adding Hilton Head next week to your schedule? You weren’t committed until yesterday?

Rory McIlroy: I think I’m like 50th in the FedExCup. I need to get all the events under my belt as I can.

Question: You look at the top of the leaderboard much and pay attention to it?

Rory McIlroy: A little bit. Obviously Scottie’s got off to a great start. I’m excited to watch it.
Interview via


Highlights Tours

Tiger Woods: “One Of the Most Tricky Days That I’ve Ever Been a Part Of”

Tiger Woods has not finished a single golf tournament so far this year. This is set to change at The Masters, where he could finally conquer the record for the most cuts made by (among others) Gary Player. Woods had to finish his first round in Augusta after 13 holes as there was not enough daylight for everyone due to the rain break in the morning.

At one under par, the 48-year-old is very solidly in contention. Of course, it remains to be seen what his body is capable of. After the first round at The Masters, Woods explained how difficult the conditions were on the very windy Thursday in Augusta and what condition he was in.

Tiger Woods on Round 1 at The Masters 2024

Question: My understanding is that this was the second time in your career that you opened with a birdie on 1 and followed it up with a par. Did that get you settled?

TIGER WOODS: I don’t remember the other time, to be honest with you. Yeah, I hit a nice 3-wood off of 1, hit a nice little 8-iron in there about 10, 12 feet and made the putt. Then quickly hit the next one almost in a hazard, played lefty, got out there, and boy, I hit a nice pitch from over the green. That was nice.

Question: How were the conditions out there? Can you talk a little bit about it?

TIGER WOODS: The wind was all over the place. It was one of the most tricky days that I’ve ever been a part of. It was hard to get a beat not only on what direction it was going, but the intensity, and it kept switching all over the place, and then you had to — the timing was affecting putts on the greens. It was a very difficult day.

Question: How do you feel about starting tomorrow on 14?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was nice to finish up 13. We’re going to warm up and just kind of head down there and start our round, and I think the flow would be pretty much almost like between 20 and 30 minutes in between rounds, so it’ll be a natural flow from the finish of the first round and continuation of the second.

Question: Body, how is it feeling?

TIGER WOODS: It’s there. The body is okay. We’ve got some work to do yet tonight.


“Focus on Your Driver and Your Approach Play” – How to Use Stats Your Way

Arccos collects data from millions of golfers – and Lou Stagner gives us an insight into what it reveals. Stagner is Data Insights Lead at Arccos and is probably the most readable golf statistician, and not just on Twitter, with his informative and funny content. In an interview with Golf Post, he talks about how important it is to know your own stats, why you should work on your expectations and how much fun he has with his new Stimp Meter.

Interview with Arccos Data Insights Lead Lou Stagner

Golf Post: Lou, it’s sometimes great, especially when you’re a golfer or a golf journalist, to get lost in numbers. But in order to get a better player, where do I start with the numbers?

Lou Stagner: I would say there’s a couple of different types of players. There are some players that are not interested in something like Arccos. They don’t want to use an app, they don’t want anything to do with that. And I get questions from people like that that saying ‚I want to get better, I want to track some stats, but I don’t want to use anything like Arccos.

For those not ready to make that jump, I would tell them that they should be measuring greens in regulation. Greens in regulation is a very big predictor of what your skill level is going to be. Better players hit more greens. That’s one of the traditional stats that has some value.

I would say track penalty shots. How many penalty strokes are you accruing each round? We want to limit those. Better players have much fewer penalty shots. So we want to hit the ball relatively solid and keep the ball in play. And that sort of dovetails into the last thing I would tell you: A lot of amateur players will track fairway percentage and there’s not a lot of value in that.

I would just tell you to track, because it is so important, how many tee shots you’re keeping in play. In play, it just means you have a reasonable chance at hitting a green in regulation. So you haven’t hit it into the water. You haven’t hit it into the trees and you need to come out sideways. So for those that don’t want to get to using something like Arccos, those are the basic things I would tell you to start with.

But I would encourage everyone to get to shot level tracking where you’re able to get strokes gained on each part of your game. Where the four parts of your game are off the tee, approach play, your short game around the green and putting. Within each area, you’re going to be able to get information on, for example, your approach play from different distances.

And it’s also fantastic information that you can use to deliver to your coach. If you’re working with a swing coach, you can give them very detailed information to help guide them on what they would work on with you. And doing all of these things helps you to focus on the areas you need improvement on the most and helps you to improve those quicker, which is going to help improve your scores and lower your handicap, which is what all of us are trying to do.

Why it’s important to “focus on the right thing”

Golf Post: How do I identify the stats I need to work on, that tools like Arccos provide? Does it necessarily have to be those where I lose most strokes?

Lou Stagner: That’s an interesting question. There’s so many variables in golf. Every shot you hit is different. You know, we’re not doing the same thing over and over again. It’s not like shooting a free throw in basketball where the rim is always 10 feet high and you’re always 15 feet from the rim. Everything is different in golf and that’s true for every player, but a good starting point is when you open up an app like our coach, you’re going to get your strokes gained for each part of the game.

And typically for a lot of players, you’re going to see a weakness there. You’re going to see something that is much lower than the rest. And that’s really common with players. And that’s typically a good place for you to start. Now, it doesn’t always mean that it’s the lowest hanging fruit for you.

Typically for most amateurs, I would tell you that you want to focus on your driver and your approach play. If you want to go from a 15 handicap down to a scratch player, that is going to be the lowest hanging fruit. Your full swing is going to be what’s going to move the needle the most for most players. But that’s not to say that everybody is like that. Everybody is different. Everyone has their own unique fingerprint.

You and I could both be 10 index players. And if you happen to be in the top 10 percent of putters for 10 index players, and I’m in the bottom 10 percent of putters, there’s about six shots of skill difference in putting between us roughly.

So remember we’re both 10 handicaps, but we’re about six shots different in putting skill. Me as the bad putter, if I could snap my fingers and become the same skill level in putting as you overnight, I would go from a 10 handicap down to a four. That’s how much opportunity there is for me to improve my overall handicap by focusing on the right thing.

Golf Post: Is there any stat that’s stuck in your head because it’s so eyeopening for any amateur player, that you think everybody should know it?

Lou Stagner: I’ll answer that in a way without necessarily giving a specific answer.

I put a lot of content out there around managing your expectations and in giving people actual stats from different skill levels about how likely somebody is to hit the green or how many shots they might average from a certain distance or how many shots they keep in play or how many tee shots go out of bounds.

I think it’s extremely important to understand those numbers because there’s so many amateur players that have pretty warped expectations on what a good shot is and what a bad shot is. What happens with a lot of amateur players is their expectations do not match reality.

I don’t want someone to hear this and think, well, I shouldn’t really care about the outcome. I shouldn’t really try. That’s not what I’m saying. Every single shot you hit, you should pick a good target and you should try to execute as best you can and have the ball go exactly where you want it to go.

But the key part there is you have to realize and accept that that is not going to happen very often, even for the best players in the world. They do not hit the ball exactly where they want to at a high frequency. You have to understand what reasonable expectations are for your skill level. It’s removed a lot of the frustration and it’s helped me play better because I’m not beating myself up over something that may actually be a good shot.

Understanding expectations, I think is a key component to helping you to play better.

“Golf is only relatively recent to the party”

Golf Post: You’re transforming a lot of the Arccos stats on Twitter into great content. People get quite mad at you on Twitter sometimes. Not only mad at you, but sometimes even at the numbers. Why do you think some people are so afraid of and mad at the stats and numbers and the maths and physics behind golf?

Lou Stagner: That’s a great question. I think what we’re seeing now in golf is what we have seen and continue to see in other sports. There are other sports that adopted analytics, advanced analytics, leveraging numbers to help improve performance. There are a number of sports that are well ahead of golf.

Golf is only relatively recent to the party. Mark Brody invented strokes gained. I think his first paper was around 2007 or 2008, somewhere in that range. And it started to be used on the PGA tour in 2011. It initially was only used with putting and then they expanded it to the rest of the game.

His book „Every Shot Counts“ was published 2014, I believe. Over the last 10 to 12 years, you’ve seen sort of this steady increase in understanding and adoption of leveraging math, numbers, analytics to help understand the game better and then help to drive improvements in performance. It’s a part of how we get better. The number of detractors will just continue to decline. I don’t think they’ll ever disappear, but they’ll just naturally continue to decline because we have a whole generation of golfers that are growing up with this as part of what they do.

“The partnership between Edoardo Molinari and Arccos is going to be transformative”

Golf Post: Because you mentioned Mark Brody – the Strokes Gained Method revolutionized the use of statistics within golf. Do you see something like it coming in the next years? Anything that will change the use of statistics within golf as much as the Strokes Gained Method did?

Lou Stagner: I think there are opportunities to improve what is looked at and what is included in Strokes Gained and how you calculate it. You’ll see people start to make those next steps in strokes gained.

I think the partnership between Edoardo Molinari and Arccos is going to be transformative. Edoardo is a very, very intelligent man and a world class golfer. As you know, he’s one of the key forces behind the European Ryder Cup team and what they’ve done leveraging analytics.

I’m a USA fan on the Ryder Cup and I need to figure out a way to sabotage him on the European side, so we have a better chance, I say that to him jokingly. I think the things that Edoardo has started to do with tour players is transformative and is going to help to shape the game.

I can tell you where you started and where you finished relative to the hole if we’re talking about approach shots, for example. But I can’t tell you what your intention was. If you’re 150 yards out and you have a pin that’s tucked into the corner and there’s water on that side and your target is 20 or 30 feet away from the hole and you hit it exactly where your target is, it’s going to look like you missed the hole by 30 feet when you may have hit exactly where your target was.

Those are the kind of things that you’re going to see work their way into stat tracking and game tracking. Everything that Edoardo is doing with tour players is going to start to trickle down to the rest of us and and you’re going to see a shift in what all of us are doing with respect to what is tracked, how it’s tracked, and then how we use it. To me, this partnership is a big inflection point.

And I think they’ll consider that similar to Brody inventing Strokes Gained. I don’t mean to take anything away from Mark Brody with what he did and what he’s added to the game. This is an evolution of the foundation that he built.

Golf Post: Do you think one could overrate statistics?

Lou Stagner: I think like anything else you can put too much focus on it. I think you can do that with your swing. You can do that with how you’re looking at the stats. I think too much of a good thing might be too much. Going over the top with anything is, depending on your personality, potentially something that won’t work for you.

Somebody like Matt Fitzpatrick, he’s a very analytical person. Or Bryson DeChambeau, they want all that information and that’s their personality. I don’t know if Dustin Johnson is thinking about golf the same way that Matt Fitzpatrick is. Dustin’s just like ‚Give me my club and where’s the hole?‘. I don’t mean to trivialize because he’s obviously a fantastic player, but he’s very different than Matt Fitzpatrick or Bryson DeChambeau. And so I think it’s important to make sure that how you are approaching the game kind of aligns with your personality.

I would say if you’re not a math person, if you’re not an analytics person, you shouldn’t ignore stats and just say, then that’s not for me. You have to figure out a way to do it in a way that is going to help you because there’s a lot of value there. But make sure that you’re staying true to your personality. If you’re more of a DJ like player, don’t try to make yourself a Matt Fitzpatrick type player. Hopefully that makes sense the way I said that.

Lou Stagner on The Maters

Golf Post: Absolutely. Lou, it’s Masters week. Is there anything we should look out for in Augusta statistics wise?

Lou Stagner: We could spend an entire two, three hours just on that.

Golf Post: Give us one or two interesting things to look out for.

Lou Stagner: One thing that always comes up every year is the third hole. The third hole is a short par four. It’s quasi reachable. Some people can get it onto the front edge or onto the green, depending on wind conditions.

When you look at the numbers over the last few years, putting it down there as far as you can to every pin position, tends to be materially better than laying up. I would say that players that are laying up are probably costing themselves a few tenths of a shot, fractions of a shot, which at that level is really what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to scoop up little fractions of a shot. So you want to make good decisions, select good targets, and all of those good decisions are going to result in a fraction of a shot improvement. And those little fractions of a shot add up to full shots. So the players that have put in the effort to understand those things, give themselves an advantage.

Golf Post: Have you done your calculations on who’s going to win the Masters yet?

Lou Stagner: It’s tough to make predictions. I mean, Scotty Scheffler is playing so well right now.

It’s hard to not pick somebody other than Scotty, because he’s just performing at another level. We know his ball striking is going to be there. If he can roll the putter and have a decent putting week, he’s going to be near the top of the leaderboard, no matter what. I’m interested to see how Jon Rahm does, obviously a fantastic player.

If I had to go with a secondary pick. He hasn’t been playing all that great this year, but I’m curious to see how Victor Hovland does there. And that’s maybe more of a fan pick than a numbers pick. Because I’m a huge fan of Victor Hovland.

Golf Post: One of my favourites among your recent tweets was the one on you buying a stimp meter and I’m curios to know if you have found the fastest surface in your house yet?

Lou Stagner: It’s funny. I’ve gotten stimp readings on everything and you’ve heard people joke before ‚It’s like putting on a hardwood floor‘ and I’ve tried to get a stimp reading on a hardwood floor. It’s impossible. The ball just goes forever. It doesn’t stop. I am the assistant coach of the Princeton men’s golf team. We have a big gymnasium on campus that is in the same building as our indoor practice facility. And there’s a huge, huge expanse of hardwood floor there – massive, multiple basketball courts together. From one end to the other, it might be 150 feet. Next time I’m there in that building, I’m bringing my stimp meter and I’m going to try to get a reading on hardwood floor to see what it actually is.

I think it could be well over a hundred. In my house, I have a stretch of about almost 30 feet, like kind of down a hallway and through another, I have about 30 feet of hardwood floor and I tried to get a stimp reading and the ball, when it hit the wall, it was still traveling at top speed. So I think a stimp reading on a hardwood floor is gonna be over a hundred.

Golf Post: That should prepare you for a US Open then.

Lou Stagner: It should, or Augusta. I’m not playing in either of those so it doesn’t quite matter. But it’s been fun to have and play around with and see what things are.

European Tour

Will Rory McIlroy Play the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth?

Rory McIlroy will once again tee it up at the BMW PGA Championship from September 17-22 2024, and tickets to see the four-time Major winner at Wentworth Club are on sale here.

The reigning Race to Dubai champion opened his 2024 season with a successful Rolex Series title defence in Dubai, and the Northern Irishman is aiming to further enhance his impressive BMW PGA Championship record.

Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship 2024

With a victory in 2014 and five further top tens – including two runner-up finishes – to his name, the World Number Two will join fellow past champions Ryan Fox, Shane Lowry and Billy Horschel at the iconic Surrey venue this September.

Following a final round 65 to finish in a share of seventh place last season, the 34-year-old went on to inspire Team Europe to a famous 16.5 – 11.5 victory over Team USA at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, delivering four from a possible five points.

McIlroy then ended the year on top of the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex for the fifth time to once again be crowned European Number One.

Rory McIlroy: “I’ve always enjoyed playing at the BMW PGA Championship”

“I’ve always enjoyed playing at the BMW PGA Championship, and I’ve had some great results round the West Course in the past,” said the four-time Major Champion. “Wentworth is a place where I would like to add another title.”

The BMW PGA Championship Festival of Golf takes place just outside central London, attracting more than 100,000 spectators each year, with the world class action inside the ropes set to be complemented by live entertainment on the Showstage, and an unrivalled atmosphere in the vibrant Spectator Village.

The G4D TOUR @ BMW PGA Championship will take place at the start of the week, with some of the best golfers with a disability competing for the penultimate G4D Tour title on the iconic West Course on Monday September 16 and Tuesday September 17.

That is followed by the star-studded Wednesday Celebrity Pro-Am which will bring together global celebrities with some of golf’s most famous players in a fun-filled curtain raiser to the main event, the BMW PGA Championship, which tees off on Thursday September 19.

The Rolex Series tournament assumes a key position on the DP World Tour’s 2024 Global Schedule as part of the ‘Back 9’, encompassing nine of the Tour’s most historic tournaments and national opens, running from August to October. It gives members their final opportunities to secure their playing rights for 2025 and also advance to the season-ending ‘DP World Tour Play-Offs’.

(Text by European Tour)