×
Did you know you can save your preferences across all your digital devices and platforms simply by creating a profile? Would you like to get started?
Not right now
No, never ask again
Stats Report
  • McIlroy leads TOUR in strokes gained-driving

    McIlroy gained an incredible 2.2 shots via driving per round at Bridgestone

  • Rory McIlroy leads the TOUR in strokes gained-driving this season at 1.48. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)Rory McIlroy leads the TOUR in strokes gained-driving this season at 1.48. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

Rory McIlroy followed up his Open Championship victory with a win at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday. McIlroy led the field in strokes gained-driving, gaining a whopping 2.2 strokes per round off the tee. After the final round, McIlroy said, “Whenever I drive the ball well, I always put myself in positions where I can attack flags and try and make birdies.”

How did McIlroy gain so much off the tee? Here are a few examples of his second-round drives that found the fairway or first cut:  313 yards (hole 1), 312 yards (hole 2), 346 yards (hole 3), 369 yards (hole 8), 310 yards (hole 10), 307 yards (hole 11), 309 yards (hole 13), 329 yards (hole 14), 322 yards (hole 17), and 339 yards (hole 18). Each of these drives gained more than 0.2 strokes against the field. For the tournament, McIlroy led in driving distance with a 318-yard average compared to a 289-yard average for the field. McIlroy’s drives found the fairway or first cut 71 percent of the time compared to the field average of 62 percent. Longer and straighter drives led to his number one rank in strokes gained driving for the week.

McIlroy gained 4.1 strokes per round in his victory. Driving (defined as tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes, whether or not the player uses the driver) contributed 2.2 strokes per round, or 53 percent of his total gain on the field. Putting was the next largest factor contributing to his victory: McIlroy gained another 1.4 strokes per round on the field with his putting. The next table gives a strokes gained summary of McIlroy’s play during his win and during the season. 

“I've been driving the ball great all year. I really have,” McIlroy said. The numbers back up his comment, too. He is ranked first in strokes gained-driving for the season.

 

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

 

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy during win

4.1 (1)

2.2 (1)

0.8 (17)

-0.3 (46)

1.4 (7)

Rory McIlroy during season

2.6 (2)

1.5 (1)

0.6 (18)

0.2 (64)

0.4 (32)

Difference

1.5

0.7

0.2

-0.4

1.0


Here's a strokes gained breakdown of the top 11 finishers at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational:

 

Strokes gained per round (ranks in parentheses)

Golfer

Total

Drive

Appr

Short

Putt

Rory McIlroy

4.1 (1)

2.2 (1)

0.8 (17)

-0.3 (46)

1.4 (7)

Sergio Garcia

3.6 (2)

0.8 (6)

1.5 (6)

0.3 (26)

1.1 (9)

Marc Leishman

3.4 (3)

0.4 (27)

1.9 (1)

0.0 (42)

1.2 (8)

Charl Schwartzel

2.6 (T4)

0.0 (38)

1.7 (2)

0.8 (8)

0.1 (33)

Keegan Bradley

2.6 (T4)

0.1 (36)

0.5 (25)

0.3 (24)

1.7 (3)

Justin Rose

2.6 (T4)

0.7 (7)

1.5 (5)

0.3 (23)

0.1 (34)

Patrick Reed

2.6 (T4)

-0.1 (44)

0.9 (14)

0.8 (7)

1.0 (13)

Graeme McDowell

2.1 (T8)

-0.4 (54)

0.4 (28)

0.6 (14)

1.6 (4)

Ryan Moore

2.1 (T8)

0.5 (17)

1.1 (10)

0.6 (12)

-0.1 (39)

Rickie Fowler

2.1 (T8)

0.5 (16)

0.9 (12)

-0.6 (61)

1.4 (6)

Adam Scott

2.1 (T8)

1.0 (5)

-1.2 (65)

1.3 (1)

1.1 (11)

Top 11 average

2.7

0.5

0.9

0.4

0.9

Fraction of total

100%

19%

34%

13%

34%


Compared to other winners on the season, McIlroy’s driving was the most dominant. Here are the top 10 winners this season, ranked by strokes gained-driving during their victory:

Winners ranked by strokes gained driving per round

Winner

Event

Rank

SG Drive

Rory McIlroy

WGC-Bridgestone

1

2.2

Bubba Watson

Northern Trust Open

2

1.7

Angel Cabrera

The Greenbrier Classic

3

1.4

J.B. Holmes

Wells Fargo Championship

4

1.3

Matt Jones

Shell Houston Open

5

1.2

Jimmy Walker

Sony Open in Hawaii

6

1.1

Kevin Streelman

Travelers Championship

7

1.0

Steven Bowditch

Valero Texas Open

8

0.8

Brendon Todd

HP Byron Nelson

9

0.8

Brian Harman

John Deere Classic

10

0.7


STROKES GAINED-DRIVING (2013-14 season)

Golfer

Rank

SGD

Rory McIlroy

1

1.48

Bubba Watson

2

1.10

Louis Oosthuizen

3

0.92

Ryan Palmer

4

0.77

Dustin Johnson

5

0.75

Adam Scott

6

0.75

Hunter Mahan

7

0.73

Boo Weekley

8

0.72

Jamie Donaldson

9

0.67

J.B. Holmes

10

0.64


Mark Broadie is the author of Every Shot Counts, available in bookstores and on amazon.com; See the website everyshotcounts.com for more information.