By The Numbers: Tiger Woods' 2000 season still one for the books

PEBBLE BEACH, UNITED STATES: Tiger Woods kisses his trophy after winning the US Open at Pebble Beach, California 18 June 2000. Woods won with a score of 12-under-par. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/GEORGE FREY (Photo credit should read GEORGE FREY/AFP/Getty Images) GEORGE FREY/AFP/Getty Images

By The Numbers: Tiger Woods' 2000 season still one for the books

By The Numbers

By The Numbers: Tiger Woods' 2000 season still one for the books

Brandel Chamblee caused a minor ruckus on social media when he declared Dustin Johnson’s near ace on the 433-yard 12th hole at the Plantation Course during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions the greatest shot in the history of golf. The monster drive stopped 6 inches from the cup. Chamblee’s opinion is open to debate.

With Tiger Woods preparing to tee it up in competition for the first time in 2018 this week at Torrey Pines, there is no arguing that the 14-time major winner’s finest season was 2000.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas turned 6 the year Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots, the British Open at St. Andrews by eight strokes and beat Bob May in a playoff at PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

As golf fans buzz about Johnson’s driving and debate whether he is poised to dominate the PGA Tour in 2018, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how dominant Woods was at his peak. ShotLink, the PGA Tour’s shot-tracking system that provides statistics such as strokes gained and proximity to the hole, did not exist in 2000. So we must rely on older, traditional stats when analyzing Woods circa 2000. That in no way diminishes his accomplishments. The table below shows Woods’ key statistics in 2000, the PGA Tour averages that season and, for comparison, the PGA Tour average in those categories during the 2016-17 season. For fun, you can also see how Tiger’s 2000 stats would rank against last season’s results.

Tiger 2000 vs. PGA Tour 2017

Tiger 2000  PGA Avg. 2017 Avg. Rank in ’17
Driving Dist. 298 (2) 272.7 292.5 T54
Driving Acc. 71.22 (54) 67.78 60.55 6
Greens in Reg. 75.15 (1) 65.02 64.94 1
Birdies/Rd. 4.92 (1) 3.38 3.47 1
Holes/eagle 72 (1) 268.7 224.7 1
1st Rd. Avg. 69.11 (1) 71.97 71.22 3
2nd Rd. Avg. 67.53 (1) 71.36 71.2 1
3rd Rd. Avg. 67.63 (1) 71 70.67 1
4th Rd. Avg. 68.42 (2) 71.1 70.73 2
Scoring Avg. 67.794 (1) 71.446 71.108 1
Par 3 Avg. 2.91 (1) 3.07 3.07 1
Par 4 Avg. 3.91 (1) 4.06 4.06 1
Par 5 Avg. 4.37 (1) 4.72 4.69 1
Par 3 Birdie/Better 19.8 (2) 13.03 13.15 3
Par 4 Birdie/Better 21.11 (1) 15.32 16.06 3
Par 5 Birdie/Better 61.89 (1) 37.89 40.77 1
Money $9,188,321 $609,994 $1,274,986 3

Woods led all golfers in PGA Tour money winnings in 2000.

The only golfer who was longer than Woods off the tee in 2000 was John Daly, who averaged 301.4 yards per tee shot. As you can see, Woods was almost 26 yards longer than the Tour average. That 8.5-percent edge over the Tour average is nearly the identical advantage Rory McIlroy enjoyed last season as the Tour’s leader in driving distance.

When it came to scoring, Woods of 2000 was in a class by himself. That year he had the lowest scoring average on par 3s, par 4s and par 5s, averaged more birdies per round than any other player, and his average score was almost three shots better than the Tour average.

For perspective, Jordan Spieth led the Tour in scoring average last season at 68.846, but Tiger’s 2000 average is more than a full shot better (67.794). Don’t feel too bad for Spieth. Since 2000, the only time any player has come within a shot of Woods’ scoring mark is when the Big Cat did it himself. Six times.

In May 2000 at the Deutsche Bank Open in Germany, Woods started playing with a solid-core Nike Tour Accuracy ball after having played a wound Titleist ball. He won with the Nike ball the next week at the Memorial, while many golfers in the field were will still using a wound ball, and continued to play the solid-core ball the rest of the season. That could have given Woods a technological advantage over many players in 2000, but today’s players all use a solid-core ball and have access to technologies and game-enhancing gear that Woods lacked in 2000.

So appreciate Johnson and his game, but when it comes to dominating the PGA Tour from a statistical perspective, no one has ever done it better than Woods. Gwk

Latest

More Golfweek
Home