How Good Is Rory?

How Good Is Rory?

With a win today at The Wells Fargo, Rory McIlroy has 26 wins in his PGA Tour career.

McIlroy has taken quite a bit of flack from the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism for not winning more majors and for not winning more in general. The sense, especially among the Twitterati (which I should not waste any time reading, but do anyway) is that he is — as one wag put it — “the mailman” who doesn’t deliver on Sundays.

But that’s not really true. As stated before, Rory has 26 wins on the PGA Tour, which puts him in a tie for 22nd with Henry Picard.

Among his relative contemporaries, only Phil and Tiger are above him. Tiger is of course in a class of his own.

Phil has 45 wins in a 31 year career. Rory has 26 in a fifteen-year career. Extrapolate that out, and Rory surpasses Phil with 52 wins (assuming he plays another fifteen years which would have him playing at 50 — not out of the realm of possibility).

Fifteen years into his career, Phil was at 29 wins. Rory is only slightly behind.

Rory had thirteen wins over his first seven seasons. He has had thirteen wins over the last eight seasons (this included). Included in that are winlesss 2017 and 2020 seasons (but 2020 was the COVID year). He has six wins over the last four years.

If he keeps that up, he would finish with fifty-two wins, which would put him in a tie for sixth with Byron Nelson.

It is true that McIlroy has not won a Major in ten years. But his four Majors places him just two behind Phil.

There is plenty of time left. Phil didn’t win his first Major until age 34. Rory is 35.

Brooks Koepka has five Majors, but only 9 PGAT wins (5 of which are those Majors). He’s a weird edge-case and a statistical outlier.

In that ten-year Major winless span, Rory has finished Top Ten 20 times. He has finished Top Five 9 times. That’s not a guy who has finished battling.

Four more majors in a career as long as Phil’s and Rory is tied with Tom Watson and behind only Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Walter Hagen, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

How good is Rory? If he keeps up his pace, Rory is on track for a top ten career in golf.

I actually hope that he pulls it off. I enjoy watching him play as much as I enjoyed watching Phil. Both seem to me as though they enjoy the game (as opposed to a couple of scowling, angry golfers whose names I won’t mention, but whom you can probably guess).

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