The Top 10 most improved players on the PGA Tour in 2021/22

Rory McIlroy, Tour Championship,Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Rory McIlroy, Tour Championship,Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /
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PGA Tour, 2021-22 PGA Tour Season, Golf, Rankings, Rory McIlroy
Keith Mitchell, RBC Canadian Open, Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Keith Mitchell (1.370)

Mitchell followed up his breakout 2020-21 season with continued improvement this year. At age 30 and five years into a developing career, he is on the precipice of becoming a star.

Mitchell entered 26 events last season, his best finish a tie for third at the CJ Cup. He topped $3 million in earnings, nearly doubling his previous best season.

But it’s the stroke average improvement that catches one’s eye. One season ago it was 71.286, dropping this season to 69.916. The 19th best average on the PGA Tour, that’s a decline of 1.37 strokes and it moved him up 107 places from 2021.

Here’s the chart on Mitchell.

                                           2020-21                2021-22                Change

Off The Tee                         0.570                    0.761                     0.191

Approaches                      -0.310                    0.024                     0.334

Around the Green           -0.343                    0.079                     0.422

Putting                               -0.057                    0.209                     0.266

Like Mcilroy who we looked at moments ago, Mitchell’s statistical game improved across the board by at least a tenth of a stroke. Nowhere did that stand out more than in his approach work, which transformed from an inhibiting liability into a modest asset.

One season ago Mitchell was spotting the field a third of a stroke with his irons; in 2022 his approach play became a nominal positive.

Statistically, his improvement around the greens was even more notable. In 2021 he was a poor recovery player, ranking 184th on Tour in that skill. During this just-concluded season, he made it a modest asset, ascending all the way to the 82nd.

Prior to this year, Mitchell had been a sub-par putter. But in 2022 he made up two-tenths of a stroke on the field due to his play on the greens. His driving game, historically his best asset, also improved.