10 Notes to Know: November 9, 2020

November 9, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. Carlos Ortiz held off Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama to win the Houston Open by two strokes. Ortiz, a former Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year, is the first player from Mexico to win on the PGA Tour since Victor Regalado in 1978.
  1. Ortiz showcased brilliant ball-striking en route to victory, hitting 15 greens in regulation on Sunday. Ortiz gained 4.41 strokes tee-to-green in the final round, third-most of any player in the field. Ortiz was bogey-free over the last 30 holes of the tournament.
  1. Johnson, who was making his first start since the U.S. Open, has now finished sixth or better in each of his last six worldwide starts. For the week, he ranked first in the field in strokes gained off the tee and second in strokes gained tee-to-green. DJ is a combined 29-under par at The Masters the last five years, second-best of any player in that span (Jordan Spieth, -39).
  1. Hideki Matsuyama fired a bogey-free 63, tying the second-lowest final round score of his PGA Tour career. Matsuyama missed only one green in regulation in the final round and led the field Sunday in strokes gained tee-to-green. Only three players have made more birdies at The Masters the last five years than Matsuyama has (79).
  1. Brooks Koepka finished tied for fifth, his second-best result worldwide in 2020. Koepka gained 6.36 strokes putting for the week, his best performance in that statistic in any PGA Tour event since his win last July at the WGC-FedEx Invitational. Koepka has averaged the most strokes gained tee-to-green per round at The Masters the last three years (2.63).
  1. Robert MacIntyre made eight final round birdies to win the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, his first career European Tour win. MacIntyre led the field in both strokes gained off the tee and tee-to-green in the final round. He’s the second Scot to win on the European Tour in 2020, joining Marc Warren (Austrian Open).
  1. At long last, Masters week has arrived: Tiger Woods will defend his historic victory at Augusta National, while Rory McIlroy tries to join Woods and four others as players to complete the career grand slam. Woods has successfully defended a major championship title four times, tied with Walter Hagen for most in men’s golf history.
  1. Iron play is a critical factor at Augusta National. Over the last five years, players to lead the field in strokes gained approach for the week have finished first, first, second, third and first. Woods led the field in that statistic in his victory last year.
  1. How low will they go? In 2019, the field scoring average at The Masters was 71.87, the lowest in Tournament history. Eleven players finished the tournament double-digits under par; the previous record was just six players. Both green in regulation percentage and scrambling percentage has improved each of the last three Masters.
  1. Rory McIlroy will make his sixth Masters appearance needing just the green jacket to complete the career grand slam. The five men to achieve the feat – Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen – all completed their final leg in three attempts or less. McIlroy has seven consecutive top-25 finishes at The Masters, the longest active streak of any player.

You can find ’10 Notes to Know’ following each day of the 2020 Masters Tournament at The Athletic.