Rory McIlroy holds a six shot lead heading into the final round of The Open Championship and the reason for his dominance becomes clear once you have had a look at the cumulative statistics for the first three days of the Championship.
The 25 year-old from Holywood, Northern Ireland, features near the top of almost all the statistical categories at Hoylake which just goes to show how why he’s currently 16 under par with 18 holes left to play.
McIlroy is first in the putting statistics with an average of 26.67 a round and second in driving distance with an average of 329.3 yards. He’s tied fourth on the list of birdie makers with 16 over the first 54 holes and tied 14th in greens in regulation having hit an average of 12.67 each round. The only category he is languishing outside the top-20 is in fairways hit where he is 35th on the list having hit an average of 8.67 a round.
The Irishman’s nearest challenger Rickie Fowler tops the list of birdie makers heading into the final round. He’s accumulated 18 over the first three days (5, 5 and 8) which is one more than Matteo Manassero and Charl Schwartzel.
Fowler’s fellow American Brooks Koepka is the biggest hitter this week with an average of 329.5 yards while Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg who is currently in a tie for 23rd place in the Championship leads the greens in regulation stats (80%) and shares the lead in fairways hit (79%) with Chris Rodgers.
The list of biggest hitters this week features many of the biggest names in the game with Koepka just ahead (in order) of McIlroy, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Angel Cabrera, Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Matt Every and Keegan Bradley. The shortest hitter overs the first three days are David Howell and Billy Hurley III who are averaging 259 yards.
It is often said you drive for show but putt for dough and just behind McIlroy in the putts per round category are (in order) Marc Warren, Brandt Snedeker, Thongchai Jaidee, Graeme McDowell, the Molinari brothers, Matteo Manassero, Robert Karlsson, Jim Furyk, Brendan Grace, Stephen Gallacher and Brian Harman. Jason Dufner is in a tie for 52nd place on the leaderboard but he might well be higher but for the fact he’s last in the putting stats with an average of 32 putts per round.