Ehrmann/Getty ImagesRory McIlroy improved tee-to-green in 2012, but his real spike in improvement came on the greens.
By Alex Turnbull, Shotlink
In 2010, Rory McIlroy ranked 33rd on TOUR with a scoring average of 70.35. Since then, he’s improved that by a shot-and-a-half, leading the TOUR in 2012 with an average of 68.87 in 2012.
How has he done it? ShotLink provides some answers.
He’s 10 yards longer off the tee. In 2010, Rory McIlroy averaged 300 yards from the tee, ranking 12th on the PGA TOUR. That mark jumped to 310.1 yards in 2012. This season, McIlroy hit one out of every three drives over 320 yards. That ranked seventh on TOUR.
|Category||McIlroy: 2012||McIlroy: 2011||McIlroy: 2010|
|Driving Accuracy||56.61 percent/156th||60.29 percent/116th||62.64 percent/115th|
In his 12 stroke play starts in 2012 (where he made the cut), he led the field for driving distance three times and did not rank worse than 15th any week.
|Event won||Driving Distance||Rank|
|BMW Championship||306.9 yards||5th|
|Deutsche Bank Championship||310.3 yards||5th|
|PGA Championship||311.5 yards||1st|
|The Honda Classic||297.6 yards||8th|
His iron play continues to improve. McIlroy’s greens in regulation numbers have remained consistent over the past three years on the PGA TOUR. However, his proximity to the hole numbers have improved drastically this season. In 2010, he ranked T129th on TOUR for proximity to the hole, averaging 35 feet to the pin on all approach shots. In 2012, his ranking has improved up to a tie for fifth on TOUR for proximity to the hole.
|Greens in Regulation||2012/66.36/60th||2011/68.30/20th||2010/66.24/120th|
|Proximity to Hole||2012/33′ 0"/5th||2011/32′ 1"/T3||2010/35′ 6"/T129|
|Approaches: 125-150||2012/19′ 9"/5th||2012/19′ 5"/4th||2010/23′ 10"/T126|
Long iron improvement: In 2010, Rory ranked T-133rd on TOUR for approach shots from outside 200 yards, averaging 51 feet 5 inches. However, he’s made a huge climb up the rankings from this distance averaging nearly 10 feet closer to the pin (42 feet 2 inches) ranking second on TOUR in 2012 from outside 200 yards.
Lastly, and most importantly, McIlroy is much better on the greens. McIlroy ranked 82nd on the greens for strokes gained – putting on the 2012 PGA TOUR. 2012 marked the first season in the last three years where McIlroy did not lose strokes to the field on the greens.
|Putts Per Round||2012/28.72/T32nd||2011/29.76/166th||2010/29.27/T81|
|Putting – Inside 10′||2012/88.36/30th||2011/85.80/157th||2010/85.35/170th|