PGA Tour champion Rory McIlroy's stunning 2019 by the numbers
After all of the stats thrown around about Rory McIlroy's form this season prior to the season-ending TOUR Championship, justice was done at East Lake.
A sublime performance from the Holywood golfer saw him comfortably win in Atlanta, Georgia and walk away for the second time in his career as the FedEx Cup champion.
It had seemed grossly unfair in the build-up to the event that McIlroy's exceptional form across the whole season would go unrewarded due to the new play-off system introduced by the PGA Tour.
Under the new format, BMW Championship winner Justin Thomas started at 10-under-par at East Lake because of the heavy weighting given to play-off events, while McIlroy started five strokes back despite being more consistent across the entire year.
However, McIlroy defied that to put in one of his awe-inspiring performances and secure a fantastic victory, holding off the likes of Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele to win.
It caps a fine year for McIlroy to date, one which isn't even over yet as the European Tour continues, that has seen him win multiple times and frequently be in contention.
So here are some of the key stats and figures from what has been a sensational 2019 for Rory McIlroy so far...
Having ended 2018 at 7th in the world rankings, McIlroy is now second, behind only Brooks Koepka, after his phenomenal year. The 30-year-old spent the majority of the season in 4th, which he got down to after his win at THE PLAYERS Championship in March, but this is the lowest he's been in the world rankings since May 2017.
If you're looking for the one stat as to why McIlroy was so successful this season, then this is the one. McIlroy averaged 2.551 strokes gained tee-to-green per round, which comfortably led the PGA Tour a full 0.694 strokes better than second-placed Patrick Cantlay.
Strokes gained measures how well a player performs compared to the rest of the field on any given day, meaning McIlroy was, on average, playing two-and-a-half strokes better than his opponents per round!
Wins on the PGA Tour this season, coming at THE PLAYERS Championship, the RBC Canadian Open and, of course, the season-ending TOUR Championship. It's the fifth time in his professional career he's won three or more tournaments in one calendar year and the first time he's done it since 2016.
McIlroy's margin of victory at East Lake over the weekend, the Holywood man finishing at 18-under-par after the adjusted scoring due to the new TOUR Championship format, four ahead of nearest challenger Xander Schauffele.
Funnily enough, McIlroy would have won the tournament, and the FedEx Cup, under the old system too - his 13-under 267 gross was still three better than Schauffele's 10-under 270 (which would have still been good enough for second place).
The margin of victory for McIlroy's biggest of the three wins, the Canadian Open. At Hamilton Country Club, McIlroy was inspired and at his untouchable best, and it was Webb Simpson and Shane Lowry he held off to record the victory at a stunning 22-under-par.
That's how many top-10 finishes McIlroy had in his first ten tournaments of the season, and the one where he missed out on - The Masters in April - he still finished a very respectable 21st. The World No.2 ended the streak by missing his first cut of the year at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, but for the first five months of the season there was nobody close to being in the same form as McIlroy.
The number of top-10 finishes McIlroy had on the season as a whole, the most on the PGA Tour. While his form may have waned ever so slightly towards the back end of the year - which seems ridiculous to say given he was still playing so well - he would only add five more top-10s to the nine he picked up early in the campaign in June, July and August. Of course, two of those were victories, so that probably balances things out.
McIlroy has played in 19 events this year so far, which makes this one of the busiest seasons he's had for a while. With the 30-year-old confirmed to be playing in five more tournaments before the season is complete - and highly likely to add at least one more to that, if not two - he's on track for the most events he's played in a calendar year since 2010.
The number of days between McIlroy tearfully giving that interview to Sky Sports' Tim Barter after missing the cut at Royal Portrush and hoisting the FedEx Cup trophy. The highs and lows of sport epitomized in McIlroy's incredible season.
McIlroy's average score this season, which led the PGA Tour rankings. Given that most golf courses have a par of 72, that makes McIlroy's average round almost three-under-par (this is not completely accurate as some courses can be as low as a par-70).
The percentage of cuts that McIlroy has made this season, missing just two in the 19 tournaments he's played at, which is a staggering ratio. The only two he hasn't been around for the weekend at were the Memorial Tournament and, ironically, The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. The last time he missed less than two cuts in a season was back in 2014.
McIlroy's average drive distance on the PGA Tour this season, which was second only to Cameron Champ and a big reason why the Northern Irishman was able to blow away fields all year. Amazingly, however, his driving accuracy was only 61.82%, which was 104th on Tour and behind Graeme McDowell!
The rather substantial cheque that McIlroy walks away with for winning both the TOUR Championship and the FedEx Cup yesterday, the second time he's done so in his career. Not bad for four days' work, eh?
Belfast Telegraph Digital