Stats Incredible! Inside McIlroy's ride to No. 1 and Tiger's 62

Tuesday March 6th, 2012

McIlroy's rise to the top of the World Ranking July 22, 2007First ranking points for T42 finish at British Open, ranked 865th Sept. 10, 2007First professional ranking points, third-place finish at Alfred Dunhill Links, ranked 308th. Jan. 27, 2008First time in top 200 after T11 finish at Qatar Masters, ranked 190th. Oct. 19, 2008First time in top 100 after T10 finish at Portugal Masters, ranked 91st. Nov. 23, 2008First time in top 50 after T2 finish at Hong Kong Open, ranked 50th. Feb. 1, 2009 First time in top 20 after win at Dubai Desert Classic, ranked 16th. Nov. 11, 2009First time in top 10 after third-place finish at Dubai World Championship, ranked 10th. March 4, 2012No. 1 player in the world after win at Honda Classic The youngest players to reach No. 1* 21 years, 24 weeks - Tiger Woods on June 15, 1997
22 years, 44 weeks - Rory McIlroy on March 4, 2012
26 years, 9 weeks - Martin Kaymer on Feb. 27, 2011
27 years, 20 weeks - David Duval on March 28, 1999
27 years, 35 weeks - Ernie Els on June 22, 1997 *The Official World Golf Ranking started in 1986. Most PGA Tour victories before age 23 Rory McIlroy earned his third PGA Tour win at the Honda Classic on Sunday at the age of 22 years, 10 months. Here is a look at who has won the most PGA Tour victories before reaching 23 since 1960:
7 - Tiger Woods
3 - Jack Nicklaus
3 - Sergio Garcia
3 - Rory McIlroy
2 - Ray Floyd
2 - Jerry Pate
2 - Seve Ballesteros
2 - Robert Gamez
2 - Phil Mickelson
For the record, the all-time under-23 winner was Horton Smith, who won 14 PGA Tour events before his 23rd birthday in 1931. McIlroy extends run of international success at Honda Classic Rory McIlroy became the fifth consecutive international winner of the Honda Classic, joining Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010) and Rory Sabbatini (2011). He is also the seventh international winner in the last eight years. The only American winner during that span was Mark Wilson in 2007. McIlroy also became the first international player to win on the PGA Tour in 2012, breaking a streak in which the first nine events were won by American players. The longest American winning streak to start a year came in 1991, when the first 11 events were won by Americans. Welshman Ian Woosnam broke up that streak at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The spirit of the 60s McIlroy is just the fourth player to win the Honda Classic and post four straight rounds in the 60s. The others were Tom Kite (1981), Matt Kuchar (2002), and Camilo Villegas (2010). He is also the youngest winner in Honda Classic history at 22 years, 10 months. The youngest previous winner was Matt Kuchar at 23 years, 8 months, 20 days. McIlroy's keys to victory at the Honda Rory McIlroy hit 48 of 72 greens, which ranked T10 in that stat. But of the 24 greens he missed, he got it up and down 20 times, or 83.3 percent, the best scrambling percentage of anyone in the field. In putts inside 10 feet, McIlroy only missed four out of 66 attempts (93.9 percent), the best rate in the field. 
Another key was the way he played holes 15, 16 and 17, the so-called "Bear Trap."  For the week, McIlroy was three under on those holes and didn't make any bogeys. Tiger Woods (T2) played those holes in one under, as did Lee Westwood (4th), while Tom Gillis (T2) played them in one over.
One of the biggest moments on Sunday was McIlroy's birdie at the 13th hole.  He had made bogey at 12, and his birdie on 13 came just after Woods eagled the 18th to get within a shot of McIlroy. McIlroy one-putted 13, 14 and 15 and took just eight putts on his final six holes. Tiger Woods posts his lowest final-round score ever In his first time at the Honda Classic as a professional, Tiger Woods posted the best final-round score of his PGA Tour career with a bogey-free, eight-under 62, good enough for his 28th runner-up finish. It was his best round since a third-round 62 en route to winning his last PGA Tour title at the 2009 BMW Championship. The only time he has gone lower in his PGA Tour career were 61s carded at the 1999 Byron Nelson Championship (first round), 2000 WGC-NEC Invitational (second round) and the 2005 Buick Open (second).
With eagles on Nos. 3 and 18, Woods posted two eagles in a round for the 18th time in his career. It was the first time he has performed the feat since the final round of the 2010 Masters. Woods’s eight-under 62 was his first bogey-free round on the PGA Tour since a three-under 69 during the first round of the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open. --Compiled by Sal Johnson

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