To be clear, there were plenty of factors that went into Rory McIlroy outdriving his playing partners by a Connecticut country mile on his final hole on day one at the Travelers Championship. But the main reason is that McIlroy hits a long ball.
The par-4 ninth at TPC River Highlands is a 405-yard, dogleg right. But it plays much shorter if you take an aggressive line at the houses down the right side. And being McIlroy’s last hole of the day after starting on the 10th, and with him playing the previous 17 holes in seven under, the four-time Major champ was feeling good as he reached the tee.
When he reached his ball, he may have been feeling bad for the guys he was playing with. That’s because he outdrove Webb Simpson and Kevin Kisner by a combined 163 yards. Yep, we double-checked the math on that.
Now, to be clear, those guys aren’t bombers like McIlroy. And they took less club and a more conservative route off the tee. Still, it’s hard not to look at this graphic and not laugh:
You could almost build a petrol station between those drives!
McIlroy got up and down after his mammoth drive for one last birdie to cap an eight-under-par 62. The other two only managed par, although McIlroy’s gap on the leaderboard over Simpson, who shot 64, isn’t quite as big. Kisner had a solid day as well with 67.