Most people will remember Rory McIlroy’s Sunday as the day he shot 80 and lost the Masters.
Most won’t remember that he held the lead going into the back nine. Or that he finished T-15, his best finish at the Masters in three tries (T-20 in 2009; missed the cut in 2010).
Shooting 80 on the final day of a major is a glaring collapse, but McIlroy might want to look at some of the stats before calling the week a complete failure:
• He was second in driving distance, at 303.12 (a 20-yard improvement over 2010)
• He was T-15 in fairways hit, with 40 of 56 (71.43%)
• He was T-3 in greens in regulation, with 54 of 72 (75%, up from 55.6% in 2010)
• He had two three-putts all week, and was 2-of-4 on sand saves
McIlroy didn’t take much solace in moral victories after his round.
“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “You know, I was leading this golf tournament with nine holes to go, and I just unraveled. Hit a bad tee shot on 10, and then never, never really recovered. You know, it’s going to be hard to take for a few days, but I’ll get over it. I’m fine. A couple of pretty good friends were in a similar position to me last year in Dustin Johnson and Nick Watney.
“I knew it was going to be very tough for me out there today, and it was. I felt good that I hung in well for the first nine holes, and then, as I said, just sort of lost my speed on the greens, lost my line, lost everything for just two, three holes, 10, 11, 12, and couldn’t really recover after that.”
For more Masters coverage, go to Golfweek.com.