Golf like tennis with Federer-Nadal-Djokovic
by ANDREA GUSSONI | VIEW 1265
Do you know what has happened in the last few years in the world of tennis, with the triumvirate Federer, Nadal, Djokovic ruling the globe? We are facing the same phenomenon within the world of golf, with Scheffler, Rahm and McIlroy standing out one step (perhaps even two) clearly above the others.
Golf like tennis
Without taking anything away from phenomena like Thomas or Spieth or Hovland, please, but, numbers in hand, there is no doubt that the three aforementioned, the same ones who alternate every week at the top of the World Ranking, in recent months have dominated far and wide in every tournament they entered.
Any statistics? Here it is, starting with what the three have in common: none of them ever crack the top 10 on Strokes Gained. The one exception is Rory, whose putting performance has plummeted in recent weeks, I fear from mental exhaustion following the LIV fight in which he was to the fore.
But let's go in order and start from Scottie's numbers: in less than 400 days he has collected 6 victories (and what victories!) out of 27 tournaments played on the Pga Tour (22% chance of success every time he puts the ball on the tee… Stuff to make your wrists shake!).
Now: if you don't know, these are percentages that only Tiger and Duval have been able to put together in the history of the American circuit. And again: the Texan's average score is 68.14 shots per round. Monstrous, if you think that especially in recent weeks the Pga Tour has stopped at some of the most technical routes in the world (see Bay Hill or Sawgrass, just to name a couple).
A few numbers on Rahm: he has collected three successes since the beginning of 2023 (Sentry Toc, American Express and Genesis), as well as 6 top 10 out of 8 tournaments played. Thanks to the most repeatable swing on the Pga Tour and a putter that has improved significantly since the beginning of 2022, Rahm NEVER comes out of the top 10 of every possible and imaginable statistic, so much so that his average score dwarfs even Scheffler's: 68.03 shots per round.
The Spaniard just caught his breath at Arnold Palmer, where he disappeared from the radar after the first lap, and was unfortunately stopped by an intestinal infection at the TPC, where he had scored an excellent first round anyway.
Let's come to Rory: he has a victory on the Pga Tour out of 5 tournaments played (CJ Cup), in addition to the success recorded in Dubai on the DP World Tour. Of the three, he is the one who seems most mentally tired today, after an extraordinary 2021/22 season finale and after a front row year in the war at LIV.
What do these three champions have in common, besides an amazing attitude? Creepy percentages from tee to green and a gigantic variability in shots from 100 yards down, where even Rory, who in the trio was the weakest in controlling the distance, finally made giant strides.
In addition, all three boast the finesse game, the one from 30 yards down, richest in the world, comparable to that of Tiger and Mickelson, just to mention the two sacred monsters of the sector.
It's hard to imagine who is the strongest among them: the differences are minimal and reside above all in the mental lucidity they manage to express day after day on the pitch.
We will see the toughest clash in a few weeks in Augusta, for the Masters, the tournament for which the three have been preparing for months: never like this year will Georgia be the scene of an epochal battle to be enjoyed, obviously if Spieth, Thomas & Co will allow it.