As I try and think of content for the Clubs Away blog, I want to cover a range of subjects that I think is helpful for golfers and golf fans and something that they might find interesting, creating further informative discussion.
As a PGA Professional and huge golf fan, a subject that has come up in my mind at various times over the year has been the achievements of Rory McIlroy. He has achieved so much over the course of the year, winning the FedEx Cup and The Players Championship topped off with the PGA Tour Player of the Year award to name a few. Even so, with all these amazing achievements he didn’t really feature in any of the major championships with his best finish being tied 8th at the PGA Championship.
I recently watched an interview of Tiger Woods and his opinions of who is the player of the decade, and before he answered I paused the interview to try and think what he would say. There is no doubt Rory has to feature in the top 5 contenders but who would you chose of player of the decade given that there are so many who have achieved so much? Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka – would you also consider Tiger given his stint out of the game during the decade?
Given he spent most of the time recovering from multiple surgeries I wouldn’t consider Tiger for the award, but I would certainly say that he undoubtedly won the achievement of the decade after winning The Masters in 2019. With that in mind I wrote down the players that I thought should be contenders.
Whilst it’s impossible to not consider the likes of Brooks Koepka and Jordan Speith but When you start looking at the stats it is tough to conclude that anyone other than Rory is the player of the decade, although I’m sure there will be a few people that disagree with me. Brooks and Jordan have both had amazing stints at the top of the game, Brooks major record is just outstanding. But when you ask who the most consistent performer of the decade has been, all the stats point to Rory.
I’ll be honest and say that I find it frustrating watching Rory at times, especially given he ranks right up there in the best ball strikers I have ever seen. The stats would back up that statement ranking number 1 in Strokes Gained of the Tee, Strokes Gained Tee to Green and Strokes Gained Total but in the last few years there has been a standout issue in Rory’s short game. Whilst not there yet, Rory has clearly been working on Pitching, Chipping and Putting and has shown marked improvements in his numbers. With a win already in the 2020 season my excitement for watching the player of the decade is like no other and I predict that we will see Rory win a major in this coming 2020 season.
Image courtesy of New York Times