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Rory McIlroy

Rory Mcilroy1

Rory McIlroy

Born: 4 May 1989
Birthplace: Holywood, N Ireland
Resides: Florida, USA

Major Wins: 4
Euro or PGA Tour Wins: 24
Other Wins: 1

Grass Preference: Bermuda
Significant Life Events: Yes
GBC Wind Performance Rating: ⭐⭐
GBC Pressure Rating: ⭐⭐


Rory is a four time Major champion (2011 US Open, 2012 & 2014 US PGA and 2014 Open Championship) who has been destined for golfing greatness since an early age.  Despite his wins to date, Rory is often criticised for not winning more often given he has a near flawless swing.  Rory has now failed to add to his Major tally for five successive seasons and he will be looking to rectify this in 2020.

Rory turned 30 in 2019 and it was no coincidence that this significant birthday played a part in him to have his best year for several years.  Whilst he didn't win a Major, he did win golf's "5th Major," The Players Championship, in March 2019 and also won a WGC event in July 2019.  Including those wins, he won four times in one calendar year, something he hadn't done since 2015, meaning he finished the year as the 2nd ranked golfer in the world. 

When golf stopped in 2020 due to Coronavirus, Rory was in the middle of a hot streak having recorded 7 consecutive top 5 finishes and had risen to number 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings.  We saw a different Rory return post-lockdown and it later became clear when it emerged his was to become a father.

Significant info

Rory and his wife, Erica, had their first child in August 2020.  Whilst we would normally expect golfers to experience a bounce from the joy of a new arrival, we saw several golfers negatively affected in 2021 due to the way Covid is affecting travel and family life. 

Rory appeared to be focused more on family than golf at the end of 2020 and it's likely that he may well prioritise his life this way until things return to normal.

Rory also changed coaches in 2021, opting to work with Pete Cowen.  The switch didn't work out and Rory is now back working with long time coach, Michael Bannon.


Pressure Performance Analysis

Rory has been up and down in contention lately.  His Golf Betting Club Pressure Performance Rating is set at ⭐⭐⭐.

July 2022
❌ Rory co-led the Open Championship with Viktor Hovland but could only manage a 70 to lose by two to Cameron Smith who shot 64. Hit every green in regulation but hardly holed a putt all day.

June 2022
✅ Co-led the Canadian Open and shot 62 to win by 2 shots. A convincing performance despite one or two blips on the back nine. 

March 2022
❌ Rory was in joint 2nd place (shots behind) going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  A disappointing 76 (2nd worst of anyone in the top 20) would result in a 13th place finish.

January 2022
❌ Trailed Justin Harding by two going into the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic.  Took command of the tournament early in the round but finished par-bogey on the driveable Par 4 17th and reachable Par 5 18th. Looked rattled after his poor drive on 17 and never really recovered. 

November 2021
❌ Led by a stroke going into the final round of the DP World Tour Championship.  Was unlucky to make bogey on the 15th when his approach shot struck the pin and bounced back into the bunker.  Was leading at that point but wheels fell off coming in and he signed for a 74 to slip to 6th.

October 2021
✅ Trailing Rickie Fowler by two shots at the CJ Cup, Rory shot a final round 66 to win by 1 shot.

August 2021
➖ Rory was 3 back going into the final round at the Olympics, matched winner, Xander Schauffele's 67, to lose out by three.

June 2021
❌ Began the final round of the US Open 2 shots behind the leaders. Shot 73 to finish 5 shots behind Rahm, a poor performance by his standards.

May 2021

✅ Trailing by a shot going into the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Rory shot a final round 68 to win by a shot.

January 2021
❌ Began the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship 1 shot ahead of Tyrrell Hatton. Shot 72 to finish 5 shots behind Hatton who shot 66. A really poor effort.

June 2020 
❌ Rory headed into the final round of the Charles Schwab 3 shots back from leader Xander Schauffele. Started with a bogey at the par 5 1st (easiest hole on course) and played the front nine in 6 over par to completely eliminate himself. Finished 32nd, 9 shots behind winner Daniel Berger. Note it was first tournament back from Coronavirus with no fans present on course. 

March 2020
❌ Rory shot 76 (joint worst of anyone in the top 15 in the final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when trailing Tyrrell Hatton by 2 shots with a round to go.

February 2020
❌ Rory held the joint lead going into the final round at The Genesis Invitational.  He shot a 73 (2nd worst score of anyone in the top 16) to lose out by 3 shots in 5th place.  Despite the collapse, Rory's overall record on the PGA Tour stands at eight wins from fourteen 54 hole leads.

January 2020
➖ Rory was 3 back going into the final round at The Farmers Insurance Open, shot an acceptable 69 but remained three shots off the pace.

November 2019
❌ Rory was two shots back after 54 holes at the DP World Tour Championship.  Shot a 73 (joint worst of anyone in the top 15) to lose out by 7 shots.

November 2019
✅ Rory led by a shot at the WGC HSBC Champions with a round to go and shot a 68 to make a playoff against Xander Schauffele.  He would win the playoff with a birdie at the first playoff hole.

September 2019
✅ Rory was three shots back going into the final round at the European Masters.  Birdied 5 of the last 7 holes to shoot 67 and get in a playoff.  Failed to win in Switzerland in a playoff for the second time in his career.

August 2019
✅ Rory shot a 4 under par final round at the Tour Championship to overcome a one shot deficit as they entered the final day (note - most of the third round and final round were played on the Sunday due to weather delays on the Saturday).  Rory was comfortable winner in the end.

July 2019
❌ Held a one shot lead with 18 holes to go at the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational but shot a 71 (joint worst score of anyone in the top 25) to slip to 4th.

June 2019
✅ Held the joint 54 hole lead at the Canadian Open before shooting a blistering 61 to win by 7 shots.


Avoid When Playing Here
Rory tends to struggle with Poa Annua greens as he mentions in significant quotes below. He's a player who is best avoided at events in California for that reason. Rory also struggles to win where he gets off to a slow start.  He has 26 career victories and 23 of those wins have opened with a first round in the 60s.  This also correlates with his poor record when trailing with one round to go, Rory takes on shots that he doesn't need to take on in an effort to make up ground.

Events to back McIlroy

Wells Fargo Championship
Three wins at Quail Hollow indicate just how much Rory loves the setup there and he must always be under consideration when the PGA Tour stops there.

Dubai Desert Classic
Rory returns to Dubai in 2022 and he's a rock solid proposition.  Wins in 2009 and 2015, along with numerous other top 10 finishes mean he's certsinly not one to bet against.

Playoff Record

Rory has a very poor record in playoffs but he did win his most recent playoff, defeating Xander Schauffele at the 2019 WGC HSBC Champions.  He's overall very poor in a playoff situation though.

Significant Quotes

2020 Players Championship
Q. You said at the weekend that you wish you could have converted one of the recent top 5 finishes you've had coming into this week. Is there one thing that you can pinpoint that has held you back from crossing the finish line so far this year?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, just big numbers when I find myself in those positions. I made the triple bogey at Riviera early on Sunday, and I made the two double bogeys on the front nine last week. Just real untimely, poor shots. Not even poor shots but just -- like Riviera was very firm, as well, and if you missed it in the wrong spots, it got tricky, and I feel like that's what happened there and that's what happened at Bay Hill, as well. Especially on the par-5 sixth hole on Sunday, I hit a decent drive but didn't hold the fairway and tried to get the ball up as close as possible to the green so I had an easier third shot with the chip, and it went into the bunker and then I had a tricky shot. It was just -- maybe playing the percentages a little more if I had have made sure to stay short of that minute on 5 at Riviera, I wouldn't have brought 7 into play and then maybe staying short of that bunker on the 6th hole at Bay Hill last week, I wouldn't have brought the water into play with my next. So just those little things.

When the courses are playing that firm and that fast, those are the tiny little margins that make the difference. Yeah, so maybe just sort of dialing it back that five percent instead of trying to play the perfect shot to hit my next from, being okay with the 80-yard shot into the par-5 or the 40-foot putt below the hole. They're the things that make the difference, I guess.

2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational
"So good to be back. Course is in phenomenal shape. It's as good as I've seen it. It's nice to get back on Bermuda greens after the few weeks that I've started off on the poa annua. So, yeah, everything's good and game feels in good shape and looking forward to getting going."

2019 Tour Championship
Q. You've spoken a lot this season about not letting the highs get too high or the lows get too low, all the way since Maui. Is there something to the fact that you've had the most consistent year of your career, and you've also kind of reached this point in your career that you want to have these thoughts and make sure you don't get too high or too low?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I think some of the work that I've put in on the mental side of the game and some of the things I've been doing, I definitely think you're starting to see the fruition of that, I guess. Even winning THE PLAYERS at the start of the year, THE PLAYERS is a tournament I've never won before, but I just did my job. I went out there and played solid golf and got the job done. Today again, I would have been disappointed if I didn't win because I've given myself so many chances. To get that third win of the year was big for me.
But yeah, there's something to just -- just a different approach, a little bit of a different attitude. I think I played 19 times on the PGA TOUR this year, 14 top 10s, three wins, I don't know how many final groups. So just that attitude and that consistency day in, day out, I think that's what you've seen over the course of this year, and hopefully will continue to see going forward.

Q. You've talked about the importance of the strokes gained stat. You've had multiple major seasons, but because of the importance of that stat, is this your best season, just playing-wise?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think it is. We talk about consistency. I don't know what my strokes gained number finished at, whether it was 2-point --

Q. 55.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, the Holy Grail is three. I'm not going to stop until I get to three because Tiger has done that multiple seasons, and when you get to three strokes gained, you're just in another league. I mean, that's what I strive towards. One of my goals every year, plus three. I'm getting closer. It's been my best season to date. But all these little goals, like even today, I wanted to win -- so Patrick Cantlay, he went to No. 1 in the stroke average last week because of Medinah, and I a hundred percent knew that coming in this week, and I wanted to end the season with No. 1 stroke average. There's just little motivating factors that don't have to be about the tournament, but keep you where you need to be.