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You probably didn't notice: The one part of Rory McIlroy's game that's really holding him back right now

March 23, 2015

Coming off a win and a runner-up on the European Tour to start 2015, Rory McIlroy's performance on the PGA Tour's Florida Swing was a bit disappointing. McIlroy missed the cut at the Honda Classic and had T-9 and T-11 finishes at Doral and Bay Hill, where he was never a factor on either Sunday.

The good news for the World No. 1? It seems that only one part of his game is holding him back.

In his 10 PGA Tour rounds this year, McIlroy's iron play has been the main culprit. While those 10 rounds -- just one of which was in the 60s -- aren't enough to qualify him officially, his statistics stand out in several categories.

Starting with greens in regulation, McIlroy's 67.22 percent would rank him only No. 80 on tour. Last season, he ranked sixth at 69.44 percent. The numbers get much worse, though, for proximity to the hole. McIlroy's average of 38' 10" would have him tied for 178th on tour. Last year, he ranked 31st.

Those are two key stats that have his strokes gained/tee to green down more than a full shot from last season when he led the tour at 1.993. And his scoring average is nearly two shots worse -- despite his putting and driving numbers remaining nearly identical -- from his tour-best 68.827 during his player of the year campaign that saw him win the season's final two majors.

With 2015's first major approaching, McIlroy has decided not to play any more events before heading to Augusta National, where he'll have his first crack at completing the career Grand Slam. At least, he knows what to work on before he gets there.