Round Insights: Rory's closing 64 at the Masters

Words by
Dan Davies
Round Insights: Rory's closing 64 at the Masters

Rory McIlroy's closing 64 at Augusta National in the 86th Masters Tournament was the lowest round of the week and a masterclass of shot-making, albeit one that came a little too late to make a significant impact on the runaway winner, Scottie Scheffler. Let's see what his Clippd Round Insights tell us.

Rory McIlroy Round Insights Rnd 4 Masters

An Average Shot Quality of 114 tells its own story, while his 156 for around the green (ARG) was off the charts and the highest average Shot Quality we've seen for a single round. Three chip-ins, including an outrageous hole-out from the greenside bunker on 18, will do that for your numbers.

Shot Quality is the foundation for Clippd’s array of new performance metrics. Using the large volumes of data from our data partners, we have developed technology that takes into account the many factors that impact the difficulty of each golf shot. Shot Quality is represented as a number between 0 and 200, with 100 being the quality expected of a shot by a typical PGA Tour player and 200 representing “perfection”, such as a hole-in-one or a hole out from the fairway.

The chip-in on 7 scored 198 for Shot Quality, as did the bunker shot at the last, but the Clippd algorithms determined that the pick of the three was the chip he holed from the back of 10. If any of these shots had been a few yards longer, they would have scored a perfect 200.

Rory McIlroy Round Insights Around the Green Rnd 4 Masters

Given that the received wisdom is that his short game is the weakest part of Rory's play, his ARG dashboard (above) makes for some pretty impressive reading. In the final round, he was more than +5 shots for Strokes Gained around the green, which is underlined in his other-worldly Average Shot Quality of 156 and the fact none of the eight shots he played (five chips and three bunker shots) finished more than 7 feet away, which on greens such as Augusta's on Masters Sunday is pretty incredible.

His worst three drives for Shot Quality came on holes 15, 17 and 18, when he was pushing for the extra gains he needed to close the gap

It will surprise no-one that Rory was well ahead of the field with his driving, as shown by his off the tee (OTT) Average Shot Quality of 133. But what is interesting his how his driving performance tailed off towards the end of the round (below). His worst three drives for Shot Quality came on holes 15, 17 and 18, when he was pushing for the extra gains he needed to close the gap and increase the pressure on Scheffler. Had he given himself the chance to go for the green in two on 15, who knows what might have happened.

Rory McIlroy Shot Tracker Off the Tee Rnd 4 Masters

Rory's approach (APP) play was below par at an Average Shot Quality of 95, and the three lowest bars on his Shot Quality Tracker were all iron shots — including the approach shot he put into the sand from a great position on the par-5 2nd hole.

It all added up to another top-5 finish at a major but again, no career Grand Slam and no fifth major title for the collection. That said, Rory put together a wonderful round and, importantly, confessed to enjoying himself more than he has done in years. These are very encouraging signs for the Northern Irishman and his many fans. As is the insight that of the 64 strokes he played, 28 scored 120 or above for Shot Quality, with a remarkable 13 scoring 150 or more. In other words, seriously good golf.