March of 2012 was an exciting time on the PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy won the Honda Classic to claim the world #1 ranking. Luke Donald took the #1 spot back, two weeks later, with victory at the Transitions Championship. One week after that, Tiger Woods claimed his first win in two and a half years, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Finally, Hunter Mahan's win at the Shell Houston Open made him the Tour's first multiple winner of the season. Oh, by the way, Mahan's win came on his father's birthday.
If that weren't enough, George McNeill (Puerto Rico Open) and Justin Rose (WGC-Cadillac Championship) also claimed victory in PGA Tour events in March. A comparison of each of these winners overall performances, reveals why Rory McIlroy deserves to be the PGA Tour Player of the Month.
Did any of these PGA pros have a top 10 finish, in addition to their victory? Yes, four of them: at the Honda Classic Tiger Woods finished 2nd and Justin Rose 5th, while at the WGC-Cadillac Championship Rory McIlroy finished 3rd and Luke Donald 6th. Very impressive and unusual to have four different golfers with two top 6 finishes in the same month.
Justin Rose played two more events in March, finishing 15th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 29th at the Transitions Championship. Tiger Woods withdrew from his only other event, the WGC-Cadillac Championship, with seven holes remaining. Had he played even par over the remaining holes, Woods would have finished 24th. Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald did not enter a third event on the PGA Tour in March.
Reviewing the above results, there are three contenders remaining, in a very close competition for Player of the Month. I give a slight edge to Rory McIlroy over Luke Donald (3rd place vs 6th place), with Tiger Woods withdrawal leaving him a little behind.
To confirm or change this order, I considered their overall stroke average per 18 holes played. The averages for all six of the March winners are as follows:
1. Rory McIlroy, 67.75 average in four rounds played
2. Luke Donald, 68.38 in four rounds
3. Tiger Woods, 68.91 in 11 rounds and 11 holes
4. Justin Rose, 69.25 in 16 rounds
5. George McNeill, 70.29 in 16 rounds
6. Hunter Mahan, 70.42 in 12 rounds
Rory McIlroy should be the PGA Tour Player of the Month, but I would have to say McIlroy, Donald, Rose, Woods, and Mahan are all looking to be in fine form going into the next event, the 2012 Masters Tournament.
Harold Andrews has played golf for nearly 50 years (competitively and recreationally) and considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer of all time.source:
- Sports & Recreation
- PGA Tour
- Tiger Woods
- Luke Donald
- Rory McIlroy
- Justin Rose
- Hunter Mahan