I wondered about even putting Rory in the power rankings this week. It’s understandable if his head’s not fully in it with a baby girl due any day now.
He did, however, play some good golf last week at the BMW Championship. McIlroy contended through 54 holes en route to T-12th. It’s not much for a four-time major champion, but it’s a step in the right direction given some middling play post-quarantine.
McIlroy said he’ll jet out of Atlanta the second he hears his wife, Erica, is ready to go into labor. If he sticks around for all four days, though, he could cash a check that’d buy a lot of diapers.
The Northern Irishman has won twice here in 2016 and 2019, T-2nd in 2014 and has two more top-10s. His worst finish in six appearances was T-16th.
“You’ve got to hit it in the fairway,” McIlroy was quoted by ASAP Sports in 2018. “Just the holes that I struggled on today are the holes where I missed the fairway. Put your ball in play, make life a lot easier for yourself.”
One of the best drivers in the world will have a driver in his hand often. He’s sixth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee to green (.714) and fourth in driving distance (314.2).
It’s all about the putter. He’s 134th in SG putting this season for one of the worst marks of his career. All he did was gain a half shot per round on the greens at the 2019 Tour Championship, but it was good enough to win by four.
I expect him to turn it around and contend this week, a la Phil Mickelson at the 1999 U.S. Open.