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Rory McIlroy made the cut at the Masters, but it was another year where he failed to complete the career Grand Slam.

McIlroy finished four over par for his tournament and never looked like challenging to get in contention. That’s not to say it was all bad for the four-time major champion, who did see promising signs in his game, finishing in a tie for 22nd, but it’s certainly not what he was looking for.

After his final round, McIlroy was asked what was missing from his game last week.

“Just a little bit of control, I think, with the ball-striking, especially in those sorts of winds.

“It really exposes any weaknesses that you may have. That Friday definitely exposed a few things.

“As the golf course changes here, you just have to be so precise, and I wasn’t quite precise enough this week.”

A look at the stats from Augusta National shows two key areas where McIlroy struggled.

1. Par-5 scoring

It’s often said that par-5s are where scores are made at Augusta National. Take Scottie Scheffler for example, who played the longest holes at the Masters in nine-under par over the week. Contrast that with Rory, and he was just three-under for the par-5s.

For a player of McIlroy’s length, over 16 par-5s over the week, that’s not what he would have been hoping for to say the least.

• Butch Harmon explains Rory McIlroy Masters swing change

His only deviation from par on the par-5s before the cut came in his first two of the week, with a birdie on the second and a bogey on the eighth.

His plight on the par-5s might just have been summed up on the 13th hole of his final round. After two solid shots, McIlroy found himself putting for eagle, and ended up walking off with a bogey. When it isn’t your week, it isn’t your week.

Before this week on the PGA Tour, McIlroy made birdie on 57% of the par-5s he’s played this year. That trend, sadly for him, never continued into the Masters.

2. Greens in Regulation

Sure, in the era of Strokes Gained stats, greens in regulation might be a fairly primitive stat, but we know how important it is around Augusta National. With the brutal nature of the greens, you’re going to really struggle to score if you’re relying on getting up and down too often.

Rory McIlroy greens in regulation
Rory McIlroy hit less than half of his greens in regulation over the first two rounds at the Masters. (Credit: Getty Images)

In the first two rounds of the 2024 Masters, McIlroy hit only 17 greens in regulation of a possible 36. To put that number into context, that’s in a tie for 75th in that particular stat. Jordan Spieth, who missed the cut by several shots, hit more greens than McIlroy through the first two rounds.

On Saturday, McIlory again struggled, only hitting ten greens over his third round. That number was the same for the 34-year-old over his Sunday round at Augusta National.

Over the full week, eventual winner Scottie Scheffler hit nine greens more than McIlroy. That might not seem like a huge amount, but at the top level, that number will add up over the week.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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