The numbers game...

With the 2008 Masters only days away, most of the talk is about Tiger winning not just the Green Jacket, but also the other three majors too. He currently stands at 8-1 with the bookies to achieve the Grand Slam. Of course, some would love him to take all four, and some would be quite happy if he was struck by lightning on the practice ground before he’s even had the chance to reduce a ten year old to tears by totally ignoring his request for an autograph. The thing is with Tiger, you either love him or hate him. Some see him as a miserable, ignorant golfer who is bad for the sport, and others would say he’s a fabulously talented and focused sportsman who is streets ahead of his peers. I see him as an excuse to fill a paragraph full of pointless nonsense, in order to get this piece underway. So, with the first paragraph easily completed, I return to the Masters, and some of the amazing statistics which, believe it or not are comparable with our own society statistics. For example, if you applied for a spectator ticket at Augusta it would be approximately 11 years before you received one, such is the waiting list. Coincidentally Jim Wilson spent 11 years as a spectator before finally donning our Pink Jacket. In 1997 Tiger won by an astonishing 12 shots – exactly the same number of shots that Graham took on the 18th at Andratx two years later. When Faldo won in 1990 he pulled back a massive 7 strokes to claim victory. How Ken Shadford managed the same number of ‘The Big One’ breakfasts in 2006 without inducing a stroke is beyond belief. Jack Nicklaus has recorded six victories at The Masters – I lost the same number of balls on the 16th at Andratx whilst attempting to chip over the pond. The 4th hole is 240 yards long – the exact distance Dave Anforth was from his hotel room when he attempted to find a taxi. 7445 yards is the total length of Augusta – and the same distance Neil walked back to the hotel when he turned right instead of left on leaving the bar almost right next door to the hotel in 2006. Seve Ballesteros has had two Masters victories – Quent has busted the same number of buggies in 24 hours. The number of Magnolia trees that line the driveway of Augusta is 61 – The exact number of chip-ins from off the green that Derek has managed in Majorca so far. The Eisenhower tree 210 yards up the fairway of the 17th hole is between 100 and 125 years old – So are Jimmy Elliott and Brian Clarke. Last year’s winning total was Zach Johnson’s 289 – The same number of customers in the Britannia Bar that were seriously affected by Ashey breaking wind in 2002. The Amen Corner starts at Eleven – So does Paul Fenton’s morning. So there you go. When it comes to statistics there is little difference between the select bunch of pros and us Thugs, so why are we never on the invite list? And Tiger? For the record I quite like him, but I don’t think he’d cut it on the THUGS Tour.

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