Rory McIlroy won the 2011 US Open in dominating fashion, leading the tournament wire-to-wire and finishing eight strokes better than the second-best golfer this weekend. But considering the number of golfers that went low this year, it is not clear just how excited we should be about the young golfer’s win.McIlroy’s winning margin was the third-largest in US Open history. But to get a sense of how well McIlroy played, we need to compare his play to the entire field.
His final score 268 was an average round of 67. That was six strokes better than the average round of golf (73.0) at Congressional. For comparison, last year, Graeme McDowell won the US Open at even par (284). That was four strokes better than the average score.
In fact, McDowell’s winning margin was typical at the US Open in recent years. In eight of the previous 10 US Opens prior to this year, the winning golfer posted an average round that was between 3.5 and 4.5 strokes better than the average round during the tournament.
Here is a look at the average score by the winner as compared to the tournament’s scoring average since Tiger Woods historic 15-stroke win in 2000…
McIlroy’s dominant run was the best mark since Tiger’s domination at Pebble Beach in 2000. But his final score of minus-16 was still a little bloated. But not much.
If Rory had bested the average golfer in the 2010 US Open by six strokes, he would have still finished 8-under par. Not the best mark in US Open history. But it still gives you a sense of how much better he was than the rest of the field.
So it’s time to get excited. The entire field beat the US Open this weekend. But Rory beat the field in a way that we have rarely seen.
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