Revisualizing The Masters Leaderboard

Revisualizing The Masters Leaderboard

(What if everyone played the same hole at Augusta National at the same time?)

Image for post(Masters Sunday, Spieth on 18 / Getty)

The leaderboard at Augusta National is different from your weekly PGA Tour stop. It offers a more complete view, showing each golfer?s relationship to par after every hole, rather than a compressed view of their current relationship to par.

Online, The Masters offers two views of the exact same data; a digital version of their analog ?over/under? scoreboard, and the more traditional ?minus-what-thru-where? example.

Image for postImage for post?Over/Under? leaderboard at left, and more traditional view (right)

Both have strengths and weaknesses, but each fails to depict what I?ve always wanted to see: what would it look like if every golfer was playing the same hole at the same time?

I tried to address this in video, through this ?quad supercut? of the PGA Championship in 2014.

The unmentioned hurdle is that there?s a benefit to having a late tee-time; you know what score you have to beat, but if you were truly ?playing the course,? you?d want to know the leading score through the holes you?ve already completed (only), right?

Jordan Spieth spoke about not looking at a scoreboard during the final round of The Masters yesterday, and whether or not you believe him, it?s a strategy to accomplish your own goal, unfettered by outside influence.

?The first time I saw the leaderboard was after I tapped in on 18,? Spieth said. ?Honest to God. When I finished, I could have been in the lead by two or been down by four. And neither one would have surprised me.? ? [espn]

What if this was a mandated strategy? That you could only know the score(s) of fellow competitors thru the hole you?ve completed.

To that end, I?ve wondered how to visualize this from a scorecard or leaderboard perspective, where you could witness performance of the entire field, per hole, in an easy-to-read, quickly accessible format, like this.

A few things immediately jump out that I wouldn?t have known from Faldo or Nantz. Reed had an 11-stroke lead (!) on Rahm after 27 holes (at left). And before Spieth?s bogey on 18 in the 1st round, this looked like an entirely different tournament (right).

Image for postImage for post

I know it?s completely impractical to limit the amount of knowledge that pros have access to on course, but in a gentleman?s game, couldn?t you imagine a caddie who could only disclose that you were in the lead by one stroke on the 18th tee, but couldn?t tell you if anyone in the groups ahead had birdied?

If anything, a thought experiment.

? MDM 20180409


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